Our free day.

We had a great free day today….starting off with a visit to the Portimao Museum (free on Saturday mornings). It is situated in the old sardine canning factory on the dockside in Portimao.
Apart from a digital photography exhibition that they are currently displaying, for me the main attraction was the display of the factory itself.
It was extremely well done, with an introductory film from the 1940’s which lasts for maybe 10 minutes, subtitled in English.

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In the film they show you the whole process, from the fishermen going out in their boats, and their fishing techniques, then the factory where hundreds of local men and women worked on the production line to prepare and can the sardines by hand.

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I shall never look at a tin of sardines in the same way again. Really amazing to see.
Then you can also see how they sank 3 Portuguese ships off the coast of Portimao to form an artificial reef. This they have displayed underground so it looks like you are diving around the wrecks.

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After this we went along the coast to Alvor, and found a beautiful part of Alvor beach, which for me was typical of the Algarve.

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Life’s a beach!

We’re very much enjoying our stay here in Portimao, and have been on a scooter trip to Ferragudo over the river and relished seeing Mutley running his socks off on the beach in his own crazy way.
Here are some photos from yesterday.

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Windswept Mutley.

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My boys on the beach.

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Mutley in full glorious flight enjoying it thoroughly!

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Praia de Rocha beach

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Ferragudo estuary.

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Street art in Ferragudo.

Portimao punch up!

We’ve moved on from Seville to Portimao in the Algarve, and have been staying on a motor home aire near to Praia de Rocha beach.
The aire itself has been very busy and amusing as we people and van watch. As I type this, Bruce is sat, on what we call the naughty step….  watching the games going on opposite us at the water filling station. Vans coming from all directions, every time one joins the queue then the queue order has to be reestablished with much arm waving taking place!
This scene is relatively calm compared to one yesterday evening when a large number of French vans arrived in a convoy, parking too close to another French van for his liking! We watched in amazement as we witnessed what appeared at first to be a joke fight, with a small round Frenchman flinging punches (hitting nothing but aiming at a fellow French man). However, we soon realised he was being serious… and all the vans that had parked up suddenly all took off again and moved away from him. Total nutter!
Walking past his van this morning there are no neighbours at all – hardly a huge surprise if that’s the way he greets new neighbours!

A Naughty Breakfast

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Sunday morning in Seville and a treat of two markets…. One rastro/car boot sale (extremely pikey but lots of free puppies to ‘aaaah’ over) & one normal enormous market (with a huge amount of textile stalls for dress, curtains and upholstery). But in between the two we (myself,hubby Bruce, & his brother and sister in law) needed something to boost us along.
So we found a cafe to stop at which actually specialised in breakfasts…and do chocolate and churros was my order!!
For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of this…the Spanish hot chocolate is normally thick enough to stand your spoon up in, served with churros…. imagine strands of donut dough cooked in hot oil and then served with sugar to sweeten them before you dunk a bit in your hot chocolate!! All fat free of course…. but a nice treat once in a while!
But this cafe was heaving with Spanish families and friends chattering very loudly, and a strange payment system where you order want at a special cash desk and pay and then take your itemised receipt to the main  serving area where the staff then prepared all of your order and shout across to the churros man who then cooks your order for you. All in all a great experience!!

Shopping in Seville.

We’ve been wandering today around the morning indoor food market in the Triana area of Seville – and delighting in the wonderful choice of fresh fruit and vegetables on sale.

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With seafood being very abundant here in Spain, we often enjoy fresh mussels in one of our favourite restaurants – La Piscina Italian pizza restaurant in Orba, just 5 minutes from our house.
At these markets you do see a wider range…..including sea urchins and other strange and spiky delights!

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After the market we went into the main part of the city to a small cafe that we stumbled across yesterday – Boca a Bocadillo, so a replenishing coffee before loosing ourselves in the maze of streets.

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These lovely streets are full of shops selling all types of fans, flamenco dresses and also lots of fabrics and haberdashery. This is mainly due to the Seville Feria which takes place in April and almost the whole city dresses up in traditional costume.

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Sunny Seville

We have moved north west of Mijas now and are in the oven of Spain… Seville.
This really is a great city, with magnificent old architecture and lovely wide streets which reflect the majestic feel that you get. We’re on our third visit here and always enjoy wandering around and finding new parts of it.

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This time we visited the Alcazar – Palace of Pedro 1st. While not a cheap attraction it was worth the money (9.5€ each) as you can take your time meandering around the maze of palace rooms and gardens which rival the Alhambra in Granada but on a slightly smaller scale.

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