Archive for the ‘Albufeira’ Category

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Still very dry here.

In Albufeira,Algarve on August 30, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

Still very dry here.

It hasn’t rained for months. Although some of the deep rooted trees and evergreen shrubs are still green, the grass has long since turned to straw. I went out for a couple of hours walk this afternoon, just out the back into the one-time sheep and goat territory. Dry thorn leaves cracked underfoot, long scratchy things attacked. Bamboo seems also to be growing quite well. I thought bamboo was a tropical plant.

It’s a mystery why there have not been more fires with all those careless people around. There is a ban on outdoor fires, barbecues, roasts etc anywhere there is grass and trees.

It is still quite warm, 26ºC today, not so hot as it was a couple of weeks ago. Up here 110 metres (330 feet) above sea level it was quite windy. Blue sky overhead, but some fairly large clouds were piling up over the hills to the north. but there seems no danger of any rain any time soon.

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Clouds over the Algarve Hills 30th August 2017

A few pictures of the semi desert of Albufeira, all taken this afternoon 30th August.


Does anyone have a recipe for cactus? It will be all that’s growing here soon!


We always know when it’s election time. The minor roads are suddenly repaired and re-surfaced. But did they run out of money before they finished the centre line? Or was it just they ran out of paint or, more likely I think, it was going home time. And of course they don’t go back to complete unfinished work. Those guiding dots continued for a considerable distance.

On a different topic, I don’t know whether to call this art or not. This grafitti on an abandoned bridgework must have taken a very long time! it’s over 20 feet (6 metres) high at the left hand end.

I have asked elsewhere, but do you know what these plants are? They were very conspicuous among the brown because of their grey / green colour. But I am almost completely ignorant about plants.

Have a nice day.

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Albufeira in the height of summer.

In Albufeira,Algarve,Portugal on August 22, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

Albufeira in the height of summer.

These are not the best pictures I have ever taken. Forgot to put the memory card in!. But I hope they convey some of the ambience of the town beach at the height of summer.

And in contrast, a short distance from that scene, is one of very barren and brown aridity.
We need some rain, a lot, soon.

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Albufeira hot and busy, no fires here!

In Albufeira,Algarve,Portugal on August 21, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , , ,

Many days now of temperatures between 32ºC and 35ºC, beaches and towns are very busy. Here’s a picture taken a few days ago by a friend of Galé beach, about 5km west of Albufeira.

Luckily we have been spared the brushfires and more serious that have badly affected parts of the centre and north of Portugal. There were two small fires a few days ago a about 6 miles west of here, near Armção de Pêra, the smoke from which drifted over our way for a few hours.

Fingers are still crossed. All the grass and small shrubs are brown, trees are still green.

Portugal has an excellent website, updated in real time, showing the status of the fires. It’s only in Portguese but is very easy to understand. Click on a fire and a box will open up telling you how many firefighters are involved, how many appliances, how many aircraft and for the very biggest fires (shown as red flames) the scope of the fire and the location of the command centre and who’s in charge.

It’s www.fogos.pt

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Bordeaux, 14 July 2017. Part 2, a bit later than planned.

The important national holiday in France was commemorated in Bordeaux by a formal military parade on the Quai des Chartons, while the city was out in its tens of thousands. These are a few of the pictures I took. I wasn’t early enough to be at the front of the main event. Many citations were read, medals awarded and not just to the military but to members of the fire service and police.

I wasn’t sure that a picnic was a good idea on the rather threadbare grass possibly coated with who knows what.

A couple of them did succumb to the heat, which was 30ºC during the two hours or so they were standing there. Or, as in the case of those below, sitting in full ceremonial uniform.

After the presentations, there was a kind of drive by and march past.

After the event, local bikers and those in uniform were seen exchanging words on the merits of their various mounts – these were customs men with BMW’s – and they nicely let children sit on them and have their pictures taken by mum and dad.

Bordeaux, 14 July 2017 – Part 2.

Tagged: on July 19, 2017 by cubsur51

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River Garonne Bordeaux 14 July 2017 part 1

In Albufeira on July 15, 2017 by cubsur51

Bordeaux, mostly on the 14th July, which of course is a major public holiday in France. No particular theme here.

However, these first two pictures were taken the previous day. They show the excellently restored roof of the main railway station, the Gare St Jean, which is now all light and air after several years of being shrouded.

I took a walk across the river to the BatCub water bus, which for 2 Euros gives a 38 minute ride along the Garonne to the suburb of Lormont Bas. On weekdays, during rush hours, the boats provide a shuttle across the river for commuters, operating between Stalingrad on the right bank and Quinconces on the left, which at 4 minutes is quicker than the two trams it would require anad a lot less uncomfortable! At off peak times and all day at weekends and on public holidays, the boats do the full trip to and from Lormont Bas.

All the details at https://www.infotbm.com/sites/default/files/depliant_navette_mars2017_web.pdf

and there are different views of several parts of the city to be had from the river.

I took a walk around Lormont, which has a 15th century church and numerous houses from the 17th century. Pictures of Lormont in part 2 tomorrow. Return to Bordeaux was by bus. After an early dinner, it was out into the streets to join the huge crowds out for the day. Along the Quai des Chartons was the military parade, solemn speeches, medals, bands.

Later that night there was a huge fireworks display from the river.

Pictures from the afternoon and early evening will be in part 3, probably Monday.

Tram crossing the Pont de Pierre, opened in 1822.

Bordeaux left bank waterfront, the buildings date from the 1850’s. Sorry about the weather, it wasn’t very nice until the afternoon.

One of 20 identical (?) statues by British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley that are to be found all over the city. His most famous work is the ‘Angel of the North’ statue near Newcastle upn Tyne. I have to confess the meaning, if any, of these statues escapes me!

This tree lined avenue by the river in the Bastide district was until 50 years ago an industrial area.

The Fleche St Michel, constructed in 1493, dominates the city skyline. Unfortunately its ground area is used by vagrants and drinkers, rather spoils it. The neighbouring church looks decidedly neglected.

Another feature of the skyline are the twin towers of Bordeaux Cathedral. They are 81 metres high. The outside of the cathedral as we see it today was built over a period of 400 years. Parts of the interior date from the 11th century, the rest is later.

The Quai des Chartrons is where the long, thin and low river cruise boats are moored between trips. They have to be low to get under the bridges before they head upriver.

Bordeaux’s newest bridge is the Pont Chaban Delmas, opened in 2013. The centre span can be raised to allow ocean going cruise ships to dock in the city itself, although this is possible only at certain states of the tide. Although 60 miles / 90km from the ocean, the river is fiercely tidal here. At the time of my visit it was the colour of mud and there were a lot of trees, logs and other débris to be seen. Not to mention the colour of the sky, but it didn’t actually rain!

From underneath – note the ‘crash barriers’!

On the right bank is an ‘eclectic arts community’ in some old warehouses and industrial units.

A little further are the large flour mills known as the ‘Grandes Moulins de Paris’, one of the few riverside industries remaining in this area.

On the water, another of the water buses passes, with the old warehouses known as ‘Les Hangars’ in the background. These were built along what was then the dockside between 1931 and 1934. They fell out of use in the 1970’s and 1980’s, some were demolished but the remainder are now used for a variety of cultural and entertainment purposes, restored and converted since the plan to rehabilitate the old quays began in 2003. Certainly the vast crowds out for the 14 July events bear witness to their new popularity – see part 3.

At the entrance to the old docks known as the Bassins à Flot, there is a swing bridge which I have never seen opened before. Just as we passed it opened to allow a dredger to leave. The bridge carries tram lines. Is there another tramway anywhere which has to stop to allow a ship the right of way?

And the Bat Boat ends its trip almost underneath the Pont d’Aquitaine at Lormont-Bas. This bridge carries the Bordeaux ring road motorway across the river and dates from 1967. It was 50 years old on May 6th this year. The bridge is almost 400 metres long and at its highest stands 58 metres above the river.

Lormont-Bas will be in part two tomorrow, Bordeaux afternoon and early evening to follow on Monday in part 3, I hope.

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Salgados lagoon is very dry 22nd June 2017

In Albufeira,Algarve on June 23, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

As you know, we have had no rain here now for several weeks. As a result, everywhere is dry and mostly brown. Water levels in the bird sanctuary at Salgados are very low. I took these pictures during the afternoon of Thurday 22nd June. Took the bike, got a flat tyre on the way back which pleased me not!
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I don’t know whether the breach in the sand is intentional or just the action of the sea. It might have been necessary to drain stagnant water from the lagoon. Certainly, about half of it was almost dry, with the birds and some big fish concentrated down at the other end.

This one is looking towards the Salgados golf course

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Albufeira beach 15th June 2017

In Albufeira on June 16, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

It was quite misty yesterday afternoon so several pictures aren’t worth seeing.

Here are a few. The beach was quite busy, it being a public holiday in Portugal. Air temperature was 28ºC.