Nothing really exciting, just a few pictures from the first weeks of my stay in this nice little town. After a stormy couple of days the weather has settled down. Temperatures have been in the high 20’s C. Storms have battered the areas to the the south and west, so far we have missed the worst.
The winter storms have had quite an effect on some stretches of the coastline. Houses and mobile homes that were safely inland are now perched on top of the sandy cliffs and in real danger of soon falling into the sea.
Some fairly desperate measures have been taken in an attempt to, literally’ stem the tide but much more money will need to be spent. The authorities may decide to let nature take its course. I remember reading a few years ago that some scientists believe that the sea will break through within 50 years and the northern tip of the Médoc will then become an island.
This article from the regional news, published in January this year, shows the effects and the measures then being taken here and further down the coast. It’s in French but the video and pictures tell the story well.
My pictures of Soulac and L’Amelie 220714
and Soulac 240724
It’s very humid here, sweating buckets just walking around the village this morning. I am collecting some pictures as I go, plan to sort and upload on Sunday. Meanwhile, here are a couple of shots of the market in Soulac Sur Mer this morning.
I managed to dodge the rain for long enough to get a couple of sets of pictures.
The first are just a few shots around the city, including the new football stadium under construction for the Euro 2016 championships.
The second album is one for the tram and light rail enthusiasts. The expansion of Bordeaux’s tram system continues apace. The northern extension of Ligne C to Berges de la Garonne was opened a couple of months ago. This single track stretch extends the line from the previous terminus at Claveau under the Pont D’Aquitaine to the new terminus at the Bordeaux Nord industrial area.
Ligne B is open as far as Berges du Lac The station was to be called Ginko, after the new housing development but I didn’t like it either! Track is laid all the way to the future terminus at Parc des Expositions, which will also serve the new stadium. Work remains to be done on one bridge with opening scheduled for January 2015. Also, work is well under way on the ‘Tram – Train’ branch of Ligne C, which will take trams to Bruges and Blanquefort in the north western suburbs. UPDATE 21 JULY Opening was scheduled for late 2015. However an announcement today (21 July) speculates that the opening may be delayed by two years!! There is an issue concerning level (grade) crossings which will be shared between trams, SNCF passenger trains and freight trains. Someone has belatedly realised that while trams can operate on ‘line of sight’ in the event of a signal failure, passenger and freight trains cannot. The bureaucrats are off to have their field day. If your French is up to it, read http://www.sudouest.fr/2014/07/21/le-tram-train-du-medoc-prend-deux-ans-de-retard7-2-kilometres-de-voie-nouvelle-1620843-2774.php
All those pictures here.
Other works in progress include a southern extension of Ligne C and westward extensions of Lignes A and B. I hope to visit these when next in Bordeaux in about ten days.
Spending some time in France. Today I am in the seaside resort of Soulac sur Mer, a small town I often visit. The effects of the winter storms eroding the fragile sand dunes can be seen at the Résidence le Signal, to south of the town. The cliff edge is now within ten metres of the building, which is now empty and awaiting demolition.
This overhead view from Google Maps dates from earlier this year.
…where it has been very hot (37C) and humid. There has been a thunderstorm during the night. Nothing on the scale that the weather forecasters had been issuing dire warnings about, but noisy enough.
First instalment of pictures some time over the weekend.
Visit to Boliqueime
I took a short bus ride then a walk around the Boliqueime area yesterday. I took a few pictures of the nicely painted and cleaned little railway station there, which I hope you will like. http://1drv.ms/1rM6pyj
I plan to visit the village soon and will have some more.
Boliqueime is about 10km east of Albufeira. The old village sits on a hill above the N125 road, then there is Fonte de Boliqueime at the crossroads on the N125 a short distance away and the station is about 250 metres further.
There are infrequent buses between Albufeira, Boliqueime and Loulé but I caught a bus to the stop at the well known Kadoc club near Vilamoura, which is a much more frequent service and only 10 minutes walk from Boliqueime station.
A DAY IN FARO
Tuesday 1st July. The main reason for my visit was to be able to take a look at the Portuguese Presidential train, which was in Faro as part of the events to mark the 125th anniversary of the opening of the railway down from Lisbon. The great and good of Faro were given an hour and forty minutes ride from Vila Real de Santo Antoónio back to Faro. In the afternoon the train was open to the public for a visit.
The pictures I took are here.
Some brief history. Three of the vehicles started life in 1890 as a part of the then Portuguese Royal train – Portugal had a King until 1910. These three were built in France, the makers nameplate is clearly visible. One was a dining car, one for ministers and one for the general entourage.
In 1930 a special carriage for the President was added, also a carriage for the press and a baggage car.
Some restoration was carried out in 1940. HM Queen Elizabeth II was accommodated on the train when she visited Portugal in 1957 and the train continued to be used until the early 1970’s. It then fell out of use and languished for many years unloved and falling into ruin.
Restoration work began a few years ago and is now complete. The six vehicles are as faithful a reproduction of the originals as can be managed. No air conditioning in the carriages – open the window!
The train has been visiting several parts of the country. The staff I spoke with said that is intended to make it available to high-end tour groups who may wish to see Portugal by train. Let’s hope that happens!
Before that I took a walk around part of the salt marshes and took a few pictures of birds and planes and things – album here.
And one for any railfans among you, here are some pictures of Faro station and the various trains that came and went during my time there.