I’ve mentioned earlier this week that Marc and I are into our final days here in the Algarve and that we had created a short list of things we would like to do before heading home. One of these things was to drive to Vila Real de Santo Antonio and take the ferry across to Ayamonte, Spain and treat ourselves to a lovely Spanish meal….I had even dared to dream of paella!
We got ourselves organized this morning and headed off. The drive was slow as it seemed we hit a bit “tourist traffic” (as I like to call it). How difficult is it to drive close to the actual speed limit as opposed to half of it???? We kept reminding ourselves we are retired and it didn’t matter when we got there, as long as we arrived safe and sound.
Found a great parking space, walked to the ferry terminal……………and for the first time in all the years I’ve been coming here, they demanded our passports!!!!! And as you’ve probably surmised, they were at home in the bedroom, not with us!!!!! We gather that because of the Pope’s visit, tied to Fatima, which is nowhere near us, the SEF (Portuguese Immigration) has decided to “apply all rules”, which means they are asking for official identification at any and all interactions. Our dreams of paella quickly faded!!!!!
Not ones to wallow in self pity, or whine (well not very much) we quickly threw a Plan B in place and took a long lovely walk all along the promenade as far as we could and were delighted to find all kinds of new work happening….flower beds being installed……trellis’s being constructed and strung with vines etc.. Obviously Vila Real de Santo Antonio is paying attention and putting money into beautification as a calling card.
We headed into the main square and were delighted to find there was a Moroccan craft show/fair. The music was wonderful and we thoroughly enjoyed wandering around to check out the various vendors and take in some of the sights.
We decided to wile away a bit of time exploring some of the tiny side streets and see what gems we might stumble upon.
Disappointed about our imaginary meal in Spain being squelched, we decided to drive homeward and stop in Tavira to go to one of our favourite places. We parked at the mall as we had a couple of errands to run before heading home which allowed us to enjoy a long lovely stroll through Tavira and our destination.
As is preferable after most of our lunches out…..a walk about to digest and simply move.
As we walked along we came fairly close to a church that we’ve passed countless times and I said to Marc, “you know, in five years of coming here, I’ve never seen this church open”. Rounded the corner and the door was wide open!!!!!! Doesn’t take a lot to make me excited and happy!! We were both pretty happy to have an opportunity to see the inside as it was quite beautiful.
And so…..despite the abrupt change of plans…..a fabulous day. Once home around 16h00 we lazed on the patio, played on our electronics and have just finished a wonderful meal…..we are living every moment till we have to get on the plane.