We’ve just had the midterm holidays and last week, we packed up the car and headed off to Portugal, Lagos to be precise. We’ve been to this part of the world a couple of times before but stayed closer to Portimão, this time we fancied a change of scenery and headed further west to Lagos.
We stayed in a lovely apartment on the western edge of Lagos. Sadly it was too nippy to make use of the outdoor pool (well for the softy grown-ups at least!). Can you see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance? It was a lovely spot.
Lagos has a rather pretty old town which is surrounded by city walls.
The archetypal Portuguese tiles are in abundance here.
Even the pavements are artistic…
And there are some gorgeous front doors too…
At the start of our visit to the city there was a craft fair going on in town. Housed in an old building which used to be a munitions store, it was the home for stalls selling needlework, jewelry, fused glass and cork items.
I was in my element and bought a few bits and bobs which will come in handy for Christmas presents.
Among the stalls was a marvelous collection of yarns and woven items.
The lady who runs this stall hand dyes all her yarns and weaves them into beautiful scarves and bags. She also sold balls of yarn…
She dyes the yarn using seeds, vegetables, bark (for the deep purple) and insects for the pink and red tones. I bought this gorgeous yarn which was coloured using tree roots.
If you would like to see more of her work, you can check out her Facebook page.
Another craft emporium had this fabulous window display;
It was run by a German couple who between them wrote books and poetry and whittled beautiful wooden jewelry. They had been living in Lagos for 20+ years and raised their children here. I bought some earrings made by the wife and a book of folk lore stories written and illustrated by the husband.
One morning we took a drive out to Lagos Zoo. I’m uncomfortable with the whole ‘zoo’ thing but at this one, the animals seemed well cared for.
It was a perfect small zoo for young children. In some areas there were no fences at all, and some of the creatures just wandered around at will.
These pelicans caused quite a stir as they just ambled along the path amongst the visitors. We even got to see them being fed a little while later…
There were plenty of primates, many of whom lived on this primate island. The noise of the calls and booming cries could be heard a good distance away in the car park!
This bird had a really funky hairdo…
I’m told that this Pygmy hippo bore a more than passing resemblance to me…
I loved the flying foxes, they were fascinating to see up close.
My absolute favorites had to be the rainbow coloured parrots (macaws to be precise) and this angora nanny goat!
At the western edge of Lagos seafront/riverfront stands an old fort-like building. Rectangular in shape, with lookout towers at each corner and with a drawbridge on the land side, it caught my eye the first time I saw it.
On our first trip into Lagos, we had tried to get in, but it was closed for lunch sadly. I made it my mission to be back in town one day while it was open to have a mosey inside.
Over the drawbridge and through the old wooden doors we went to buy our entrance tickets.
The Forte da Ponta da Bandeira is a restored 17th Century maritime fortress. On the ground floor are a series of small rooms which were being used as galleries displaying a photographic exhibition.
There was also a very small chapel, dedicated to Santa Barbara. It may be small, but there was such a calming, yet powerful atmosphere in there, and as you can see it was totally covered with traditional Portuguese tiles.
Up the ramp, to the upper floor…
… and the many wind sculptures…
They were so striking.
In each corner of the fort, as I mentioned, there is a little lookout turret, and we were able to go into three of them.
The narrow slit windows perfectly framed the views they looked out on…
…. both inland….
….and out to sea.
It was such a lovely spot.
Back downstairs, we found another small gallery featuring more work from the artist who had created the sculptures on the roof…
José Maria Silva Pereira is the artist who created these installations and the sculptures on the roof are called Caminhos do Vento (which I think translates of Paths of Wind). They were specially designed to be moved by the north wind which is common in Lagos during the summer months.
And that, is just about it for this postcard from the Algarve. We had a lovely few days, and mainly good weather, if you’re ever in this neck of the woods I’d definitely recommend a visit.