Blooming Oleander Everywhere

It’s truly amazing what a little early morning rain will accomplish.  Today, everywhere you look, you see large flowering clusters of pink, white or deep red oleander blooming. Hedges of it along the highways and roads and skirting fences.  It appears to have shown up overnight!

We decided this morning that it might be a perfect day to head back to Almancil and finally have a peek at the inside of Igreja São Lourenço, a small 17th-century Baroque church with a gold altar & walls covered in intricately painted tiles.  It’s touted as the most beautiful church in the Algarve.  It truly is beautiful, entirely covered in hand painted azul tiles.   You cannot take photos…..well not legally…….but Marc managed one and I took a photo of the entrance ticket that shows some of the tile work.

I will forever refer to this church as the “Belly Button Church”!!!  Don’t ask me why but……everywhere I looked, the people in the tiles seemed to have their belly button in full display…..have a look at this one tile……


You can clearly see her belly button and it was a common theme throughout!  I did look online to see if there was any reference to São Lourenço (Saint Lawrence) and his belly button but alas, Wikipedia failed me!!!!!!!

From here we enjoyed a slow leisurely drive through the mountains, skirted Loule and wound our way to Estoi for lunch at Ana’s.  The prato do dia was favas com entrecosto…..broad beans with succulent cubes of pork.  So happy were we when it arrived, we forgot to take photos.

Lots of activity in the square as there is four days of festivities coming up, April 29-May 02, and they are setting up stages etc..  Sounds as if we might get to enjoy some local entertainment this coming weekend.

Once we were done lunch we took a trip up São Miguel with Patricia, who had never been up there to experience the view.  We made a few mandatory stops along the way for photo opportunities……..and the rain stayed away the entire day while we were out….how nice.

Tonight we are off to Santa Luzia to enjoy dinner and a fado concert, which for those of you who might not know what it is, a type of popular Portuguese song, usually with a melancholy theme and accompanied by mandolins or guitars.  Tonight is a group that Marc and I enjoyed last year, a brother and sister with two accompanying musicians.  We are looking forward to the food and the music.



  1. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa hahahahahahahaaa Just seeing this now. Too funny. I was caught up on that stunning rose and nothing else came to mind at the time.


    1. Not sure what you are laughing at exactly BUT…if it’s my bellybutton comment, turns out there is some validity to my observations. Belly Buttons were considered holy as they represented the centre of birth and therefore the centre of life. I have since discovered that there is actually a book about that church that references just that!!! I’m trying to find it.


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