Local art

The trend towards using buildings and walls as canvas continues here in Lagos.  A nice way to showcase some talent.




Lots going on in this one, though not sure how it’s all connected. Note the hydro at far right.


IMG_2670My favorite  🙂  Laura





New additions to the main plaza in Lagos’s  old town (walled city).  Haven’t deciphered the Portugees to figure it out – art installation /promotion/other.  Maybe just using up some scrap fabrics.  In addition to trees and trash bins, several benches (unoccupied) sported these garments.   Some free-spirited crafters in Tacoma’s 6th Ave District have done similar crochet-work, covering bike racks, light posts and trees  -Laura



Bennett, I miss you and trust all is well in Tacoma.  Today I met  your 3rd cousin, 58 times removed – Papillion Pepé from Portugal.


I figure you’re related as he displayed the same cheerfulness and smarts that you do.  Say hello to the guy at the other end of your leash. – Laura



Our stay in Faro, Portugal was our first non-Airbnb lodging.  I couldn’t find a place that ‘clicked’, so we chose a small guest house.   Tiny room was a challenge, but OK for a 3 night stay.  It was made easier with English-speaking TV stations – a first since Madrid.


Wandering around Faro, spotted a bit of Mid-century architecture.  Lovely exterior tile work is common.


More unique tile.


Our York’s could all fit in this 3-story complex.  Hello to all the nieces & nephews!


At the end of our Faro visit, we elected to take the train to Lagos, vs. the bus.   The 1 &  3/4 hour trip to the end of the line (Lagos)  included 15 stops along the way, at simple stations like this one.  So there were as many locals on the train as there were tourists. – Laura


Portugal is one of several European countries having economic difficulties.  I’m no financial genius, but a possible solution would be to impose a 100% tax on spray paint.  The coffers would be overflowing….








Jewel of Great Britain

Vickie O'Shea - English Treasure
Vickie O’Shea

Had a quick but lovely visit with Ms. Vickie O’Shea, sporting a twin-lens reflex camera.  She offered to let me snap a shot (I did – of her), though it’s been nearly 40 years since I’ve used one.  Do YOU know how to set an f-stop? 🙂  I wish her the best – betting she’ll leave her mark on the world! – Laura

Faro, Portugal

Before we started this adventure, we both acquired International Drivers Licenses in case we wanted to rent a car.  No test required – just a passport and $15.  We thought we might want to explore the countryside in S. Spain and Portugal, but haven’t yet, as public transportation has worked out fine.  IMG_2578

The bus ride from Seville to Faro was through farmlands. The tinted bus window casts a green, but that there is plastic they grow in Spain!  Best guess is that it protects the strawberry, raspberry, and tomato crops.   Many orange groves also.

This is also stork territory, with every power line tower capped with a huge nest – occupant’s heads visible.

Portugal seems a little bit downtrodden compared to Spain.  We’re staying in the older part of town, and there are many vacant homes.  The shopping district in the same area, however, is very vibrant, with upscale retail and many restaurants.  So there is quite a bit of tourism, but  I haven’t seen the tourist hotel/resort area.  Maybe it’s nearer the beach, which is a ways out of town.

Regardless, people we’ve met are friendly and trusting.  I tried to buy 2 espresso to-go our first morning here but since the shopkeeper didn’t have change for my 5 euro bill, he just waved me off – coffee and bill in hand.  I came back later to pay in the correct change.   Also, two ladies just stopped me on the street and started talking to me – in Portuguese – like they knew me.  We had a fun exchange – neither knowing what the other was saying – smiles all around.  – Laura


There is a core area of Seville that has most of the popular attractions within walking distance.  Of course these streets and sidewalks are lined with more than their share of eateries of all types vying for your euros.  I haven’t figured out how to find the ones that serve authentic Spanish food – not just the common tourist fare. You can easily eliminate some, but it’s still kind of a crapshoot.  Our host did us a big favor by recommending a place.  Even though it’s  in a very unlikely location – right next to the Cathedral tower – it did indeed serve hearty Spanish food, sans the fries and bread.  Better yet, they had an evening show that consisted of a Flamenco dancer, a singer and a guitarist.  Fifteen euro gets you a choice of 3 tapas (small plates) dishes.  Add a beverage and it’s a sufficient meal – entertainment included.  On Friday we reserved for Saturday’s 8:30 show – not too late for early-to-bed Laura!  We had our choice of seating, so took the front row.   Mind you, this restaurant seats maybe 25.  So our last night in Seville, and in Spain, we saw a wonderful show of Spanish singing (heavy on the wailing) and a dancer tapping her dang feet off, accompanied by guitar.  The dancer performed with a passion and energy I’ve never seen – it was quite a closing memory for Seville – Laura





Seville Cathedral

As noted in a previous post, this cathedral if the largest gothic church in the world, and the second largest Christian church in the world, next to the one in the Vatican and in London.  It is massive.

Some exterior shots.


I was surprised that the inside walls, except for the many altar areas, were un-adorned.   There are only 1 or 2 small sections that have pews, the rest of the marble floors are empty, so you’re free to wander.  Again, a little camera and poor lighting cannot capture the space adequate to give an idea of it’s volume.  All the interior shots are photos taken from internet sources.  An audio guide reveals facts about each of the altars and alcoves and their works of art.


The largest altar in the world.  Took 80 years to create.

3494283425_d3f707bac8_z[1]Dab smack in the middle of the cathedral is the enclosed choir area.  The above photo is looking at an outside wall of the  choir area, and these incredible pipes are mirrored on the opposite side of the area.  The choir members and organist are inside the enclosed area.


You can see glimpses of the organ pipes through these massive columns.


The two walls of the choir box that aren’t organ pipes are short walls (above), so those voices need to travel up and out.


Entry to the Cathedral includes access to the tower.  No steps – the way up/down is all ramped floors, following just inside the exterior walls.  This allowed access to windows along the way to the enormous bell tower floor.  We counted 22 bells there, one of which rang while we were up there – on the 1/4 hour.  Everyone was startled!


From one of the tower windows.


Another shot from a tower window.

The Treasure room in the Cathedral contained just that – many precious metal artifacts embellished with precious stones.

IMG_2565The evening before we left Seville, we had dinner very near the tower, and took this shot on the way out.  Whew.  Laura

Plaza de Espana

Just a few block from our apartment is an incredible structure – the  Plaza de Espana.  It was built in 1928 for the Ibero- American Exposition to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. It’s a huge half-circle building that encompasses a moat with bridges that represent the four ancient kingdoms of Spain.  In the center is the Vicente Traver fountain.  It’s been used as a filming location for movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and a couple of the Star Wars flicks.  Today it contains mostly government offices. IMG_2413

This building is lined with unique tiled alcoves, each representing a different province or town within Spain  The girl in the blue skirt is standing in front of one of them.


Each alcove is unique and very ornate, and tells something about that community – history or otherwise.


This is one of the entry portals if you enter from the outside of the building, vs. coming from the park to the open side of the semi-circle building.  It hinted of the grandeur you were about to see.


Tile work everywhere – even rails and balisters.


As with most of the incredible buildings in Seville, my little camera cannot do them justice – I can only show you pieces-parts.

5703263058_a431d5eff3_z[1]This aerial photo gives a better perspective, with the dark blue “D” shape a moat/waterway.   Above the building and a little to the right is the university building (large square) that we wandered through, and included a photo of in a previous post.  The Cathedral is just out of view in the upper right corner.  The green to the left is the huge Maria Luisa park, which goes almost to the river.


A Saturday afternoon queue to rent row boats to ply the moat.


Dad letting Jr. do the work.  Just previous to this shot he was getting a lesson in steering.  I think they’re looking at the bride & groom on the bridge.


Understandably a popular wedding venue.  We didn’t stand around and stare – just snapped a photo as we were passing.  Both of them were wiping tears away – very sweet.

We’re headed off to Faro, Portugal today via bus, but I still have a couple of more Seville posts in the works.  First time in Portugal! – Laura