The Algarve

Ok, so what else was there of interest?
Many things, obviously, so I'll start with the best
A place I often went to in Loulé
My link to you people - the Internet Café!
As the guys were friendly I liked there to roam
In the end this place started feeling like home!

I think I have mentioned before in the thread
That Loulé has beautiful alleys to tread
A market so busy, many shops, old and new
An endearing town centre, I'm telling you!
Also the food in that region is great
To many good restaurants I went and ate
The local dishes, a most delicious treat
Cataplana for instance, a stew made with meat
Or fish, and onions, mussles, potatoes and peas
Oh yes, I relished the food of the Portuguese!
And believe me, it even tastes better because
You can sit outside in the evening breeze
Above are canopies of leaves and lo!
Once a musician even played a fado!
Below you can see a picture I took
In a Santa Barbara resto, so have a look:

A great many cities have landmarks you know
Rio for instance has a mountain to show
When I say Paris you think of a Tower
Berlin has a Tor and no longer the Mauer
Well, Loulé being a city of world-wide reknown
Also sports a landmark which here should be shown:

A giant white building on top of a hill
Is beckoning pilgrims to linger at will
In this huge domed cathedral, modern and calm
A haven of peace, a soul-soothing balm
To the right stands the smaller Capela
De Nossa Senhora da Piedade, I dwell there
And admire the paintings (if you go there, you should)
Showing scenes from the Bible on colourful wood.

Not far from Santa Barbara lies a place
Called Estói, whereto I drove one of those days
The main attraction of the town is really
A palace built in the eighteenth century
On my to-see list this building I really can't skip
Since the Maiden guys also have made there a trip

The place is supposed to be open since two
I get there at ten after and wait like a fool
That day I am out of luck because, damn,
The gates are still closed at 2.30 pm!
The other tourists are leaving, I sigh
I have to get in there, priority's high
But the sun it is burning incredibly hot
For my patience rewarded it seems I am not

Okay then, I have to take things in my hand
This futile waiting must now have an end
Drawn by quest for entry I'm walking around
The high wall, and on the west end I've found
Another gate leading up to the stair -
Locked again by a chain, I start to despair!
But I notice by closer inspection, you see
The chain has been broken! well, then, technically
The place is quite open and no-one can sue
Me for taking a quick look around, or two

The park looks neglected, the weed's growing high
A few meters only and the palace stair's nigh
Beautiful murals adorn the stairs' wall
In the middle a fountain and trees around tall
I imagine the nobles of a long-gone past time
Celebrating their parties in this agreeable clime
All disappeared now, merely my mind still sights
A pleasure palace paraded by the noblest knights

I take a picture on the same spot where
The Maiden guys once stood on the stair
When in the making was yet a Brave New World
Which for five years before us now has unfurled!

I found this and more Maiden pics on the French site dedicated to Eddie's Bar

Having taken some pics I don't linger but leave
This spot, before official rebuke I'll receive
I'm just hoping the next site I want to see
Will be more easily accessible for me

Just a few miles between Estói and Ed's Bar
(Which, of course, is no problem with a car)
Lie the intriguing ruins of Milreu whence
Has been excavated a Roman residence.
An exhibition explains how the rich and the bold
Lived here quite wealthily in the days of old
See me sitting at ease in an ancient bathtub
Unfortunately without a single refreshing drop!

One day I decide not simply to stay
Around Santa Barbara, so I get on the way
To a place that I warmly recommend to you
It's the most fantastic, romantic wild view
Cabo Sao Vincente is the name of the spot
To get there is easy: drive west and stop not
Until the mighty Atlantic is barring your way
With rugged dark cliffs and a stormy windspray

The westernmost tip of the old continent
Is the place where a wonderful hour I spent
You're gazing across the mighty deep sea
With the crashing of waves as sole company
When finally the day makes place for the eve
There's a sunset so glorious, you wouldn't believe!

An hour's drive west of Loulé lies the city
Of Silves, where once lived the wealthy and witty.
Arab invaders made it Algarve's capital
Which sported an imposing castle as well
I walk up the paved little streets of the town
And soon reach the castle gate, which, I must own,
Is well protected by a huge armoured knight
He makes me feel tiny this statue of might!

Inside the ruins you can walk without ado
Over the battlements enjoying the view
Below lie the houses, the fields and the hills
The whole sun-drenched valley before your eyes spills

Exploring the remnants of times old and past
I love, so this visit was really a blast
My tourist guide book knows another such place
Where the history of Portugal's past you can trace
The ominous "few remains" of a Maurish castel
I set out to find and to photograph as well
The village is small but no castel I can see
Walking around there, on a paved old alley
But then at last I understand just where
The famed ruins are, I stand on them - right there!
"Few" are the remains, but I had a nice day
And after all that's what's important, I say.

please note the castel to the left, behind the trees ....

History, nature, and wonderful people as well
These things you can find here in south Portugal
My heart's almost broken when one day I knew:
I must now farewell say, dear Algarve, to you!