An afternoon in Faro
I went to Faro on Wednesday afternoon to watch a football match. Before the game I took a few pictures around the town as it was a nice sunny afternoon. Ignore the first four, unless you are into the construction of bus stations!
If you really want to see what Portuguese Second Division football looks like, click this http://1drv.ms/1F24xEv
Attendance officially 862, I doubt there were that many. It was 7 Euros admission, on the sunny side. Result Farense 1 – 1 Feirense.
I almost forgot these couple of pictures.
I was out cycling while in the Médoc and came across this monument to the near legendary Second War exploit of Operation Frankton – the seaborne Commando raid on Bordeaux docks.
This one is at St Vivien Plage, in what is now a car park opposite a restaurant called Guinguette de la Plage – map
I took this picture of the river on the same SUMMER day. I dread to think what it must have been like in December when the raid took place. Horribly bleak even when I was there. In the distance are the cranes of the rarely used docks at Le Verdon – sur – mer
The bleak Gironde
There are other memorials at the Pointe de Grave near Le Verdon and across the river near St Georges de Didonne. This large recent addition was dedicated at Pointe de Grave in March 2011 – thanks to www.combinedops.com
Albufeira in the arid zone
Back a week now. it hasn’t been as hot as it normally is at this time of year, though it hasn’t rained. There has been no rain for weeks and weeks. We did have very thick fog for a couple of days last week.
Here are a few pictures of the dry fields here. The trees with deep roots seem to be doing ok but the grass and small plants have long died. Click to see in a larger size.
A wet and windy day in Soulac-sur-mer – edited with correct link to pictures.
Friday 14th August and it was a very wet and windy day in Soulac, my last day in the Médoc. The wind was blowing at 50mph / 80kph straight off the sea, driving the rain before it.
Holidaymakers struggled to keep their feet, the beach was closed and the Gastronomic Fair outside the church was almost blown away.
A few pictures http://1drv.ms/1hMsYk2
So now I am back in Bordeaux, before heading back to Albufeira.
Le Verdon – trains and trees
The railway line between Le Verdon and Pointe de Grave is only used for eight weeks of the year. Five trains each day provide a little known service between the ferry terminal at Pointe de Grave and the summer holiday destinations of Soulac-sur-mer, Lesparre and Pauillac. The line eventually arrives in Bordeaux.
Click each picture below to see in a larger size.
In contrast with the almost new modern electric trains
(the line was electrified in the 1930’s) this level crossing is manually controlled by an unfortunate whose working day is spent in that little shed.
He emerges ten times a day to lower and raise the barriers.
The woodland nearby is typical of much the area, densely forested and green.
I am coming to the end of my stay in France for this year. There may be a chance for some more pictures in Bordeaux over the weekend, if the weather is kind!
Soulac sur Mer Festival of the sea
Sunday 9th August was the annual Soulac sur Mer festival of the sea. The great and good, plus many others, gather for a morning service in the historic 11th century church. After that they proceed, escorted by a band and a general throng, through the town to the seafront. There various speeches are made, blessing the sea and all who sail on her, remembering those who have died etc.
There were only a few boats out to sea, I had somehow expected more. But the weather had been poor that morning, with a lot of wind and rain. There was some skydiving and a flypast by four or five aircraft from the local aerodrome.
The great and good no doubt head off for a good lunch, the band plays on and various other little events go on throughout the day. All in all a good example of a local tradition being maintained.
It’s a bit difficult to take pictures because of the crowds, but there are some here.
Soulac sur Mer August 2015
It’s been a mixture of sunny but windy days, then like today, cloudy and fairly dull days. It’s not cold though, averaging 22C on even the cloudy days. Today, Saturday, it is grey and cloudy once again with occasional light showers.
A few pictures.
Only in France would I expect to see people queuing at a bakery shop at 830am. Soulac is a small town, but with thousands of campers in the nearby sites, it supports five bakery shops. This one seems to be particularly popular.
Elsewhere, to the south of the town, the effects of the sea can be seen. Erosion of the sandy cliffs continues. Some say it might be a soon as 30 years when the sea breaks through somewhere and changes the landscape completely.
This picture shows a camping and caravan site now right on the edge of the dune, protected only by a layer of rocks. A little further south, the once popular beach of L’Amélie has partly disappeared.
The sandy cliff nearby is 40 metres or so further back and losing ground every year.
The black lump is the remains of a Second World gun emplacement, which 70 years ago was safe on the beach.
The apartment block top centre was evacuated and slated for demolition last year but it is still there. Former residents are continuing their protests. The sea is now within a few feet.
The inexorable march of the sea is demonstrated by this water pipe protruding from the sand. The building it supplied has gone.