Our private boat tour of the Ria Formosa lagoon in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, just outside of downtown Faro (it wasn’t *supposed* to be private, but because it’s the off season, and apparently other people aren’t as enthusiastic about boat rides in January as we are, it became private =D). It was BEAUTIFUL. And so fascinating! The tides vary so much within a day that entire islands come and go in hours. During our trip, the tide was rising – it looked as if we were in the middle of a vast ocean. Then mere hours later from the shore, we could look out and see that ocean now a maze of thin waterways divided by masses of land. And the birds! There were so many, most of which had simply migrated for the winter and would soon return to their homes across the world in Africa, Europe, and beyond.
Our tour guide took us out to the very edge to the thin strip of sand that is Faro Beach. We were able to park the boat and walk across the land to the other side, the beach, to see the ocean. I’ve never seen such powerful waves. They were alive, alive like the entire ecosystem.
This eerie chapel appears so innocent from the outside where it sits not far from the harbor in Faro. But through the doors and behind the altar, out the back door lies an entirely different sort of little sanctuary. A room of human skulls, perfectly and aesthetically arranged. The entire structure, in fact, is built of human bones, the remains of over 1,200 monks, who were exhumed from the cemetery that formerly sat on the site of the chapel.
These sorts of places generate such mixed feelings for me; awe, sadness. It’s so strange to stare into the empty sockets of a human skull and to think that one time, not too long ago in the timeline of the universe, there would have been two eyes staring back at me. Eyes of a person with hopes, dreams, and feelings… now gone.
Wandering “Old Town,” a lazy seaside afternoon in Faro, Portugal. I still need to pinch myself looking at the photos – was this real? The cobblestones, orange trees, the miniature potted plants. The streets were so quiet, deserted even. It was as if this whole little world was just sitting, patiently waiting for us.
I had so much fun playing with my new(ish) Canon camera today – the lighting was perfect for it (I”m especially partial to bright whites). So I’ll definitely be framing some of these prints for the living room at home. A little bit of Faro magic to brighten our walls, though I could never truly capture the way I felt with my feet on the ground in that charming, empty village.
Hello, hello from England. These are pictures from Portugal, yes. But the last time I posted, I was in the U.S., and so much has happened. First of all, I missed my flight back to England. Yes, true life. And not my first time missing a flight… Then, I miraculously made it back, and 24 hours later, we were flying to Portugal. Jet lag x1000. BUT it was so amazing and worth it! We are back in England now, but one week later, I still am craving the octopus salad, the port, the tapas.
These are pictures from my first day in Faro, exploring the harbor. We visiting during the off season, which is why it was so quiet / less expensive. But honestly, I loved it. It was quiet, yes; but intimate. Everything we did was nearly one-on-one. Private tours. Private concerts. The whole city, just for us.
The harbor. Here, quiet. A city alive, resting. Breathing, during it’s break.
This is our first impression of Faro. I will post more pictures soon.