Posts Tagged ‘bridge’


Visit to Silves 22nd December 2018

In Algarve,Portugal on December 23, 2018 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

I have not been to Silves for a good while, so as my team Imortal of Albufeia was playing there it was a god opportunity to have a look around. Silves was the capital city of the Algarve ‘kingdom’ 1000 or more years ago.It has a cathedral and the remains of the castle on top of the hill above the more modern town. Here they are in the evening light from across the river valley.


Silves is a popular place for a day trip from the coastal resorts, especially in summer. Yesterday it was fairly bright and sunny, a few visitors were about.

The old bridge, it is not Roman as some would have you believe!


The river nearby was very sluggish and was coated with a green algae which the many fish seem to like.


The market hall is the building with the red pointed roof, across the street a more modern consumer venue on the site of a long derelict factory building.


Silves has a maze of small streets up on the hill. Unfortunately as with so many towns here a lot of the buildings are unoccupied and derelict. Some streets of tiny houses are however well kept, like this one.


I will bet that most you don’t have this in mid winter where you live!


The view from the north side of the old castle walls, looking over the orange groves and modern suburbs.


For more pictures please follow this link – Silves 22nd December 2018

And finally, sunset at the railway station while waiting for the train back to Albufeira.




Visit to Portimão 8th May 2018

In Algarve,Portugal on May 9, 2018 by cubsur51 Tagged: , , ,

Visit to Portimão 8th May 2018

Just a short trip for an afternoon out. There was a cruise ship in town, the Seabourne Quest, 32,348 tons. Ship carries 456 passengers in some luxury I should imagine! I was unable to get too close because of the security.


An event was being laid on for the passengers, who seemed mostly French. Local estate agents were occupying some of the tents. Musicians were setting up a stage behind where I was standing.



Also docked was the replica French sailing frigate L’Hermione.

This isn’t my picture. Large crowds waiting to go on board blocked my view. I didn’t have time to spare unfortunately. The vessel is a replica of the frigate of the same name that carried the Marquis Lafayette from France to the not quite USA in 1780, where he joined the War of Independence on the American side. Later in his life he was in command of the National Guard at the time of the French Revolution, but was imprisoned for five years by the radical elements. He was later offered the ‘job’ of dicator, which he declined. As one does.

The ship will be visiting various locations in Spain and France until June 16th.

In a disused part of the dock, a stork has made its next on top of a old crane job.


Nearby is a part of the conveyors that were used to transfer fish from the boats into the factories that once lined the river. All gone now. The Portimão museum is located there now.


View of Portimão from down by the dock.


The railway bridge built in 1915 is 330 metres long, carrying the line across the River Arade.


And finally, a view across the river to Ferragudo.


Visit to Porto area, part two

In Portugal on March 27, 2018 by cubsur51 Tagged: , , ,

These pictures were taken over the course of Tuesday 20th March 2018. It was a windy day, quite cold but mercifully dry. I must learn to take not so many pictures!

I began in the Aliados, Praça da Liberdade area, up to São Bento railway station (cannot resist the interior) a quick poke around some back streets then a tram across the river to Jardim dos Morros in Vila Nova de Gaia. The best views of Porto and the river generally are from the bridge and the ‘other’ side of the river.

I also wanted to try out the fairly recently built cable car that runs down from Jardim dos Morros to the tourist boats and port wine lodges by the river. Strictly for tourists as it does start operation until 10.00am, the one way ticket is a slightly alarming €6, but at a fairly quiet time I had a car to myself so was able to take pictures from all angles. The trip is fairly slow, about 5 minutes from top to bottom.

I then walked for about 4 miles (6km) along the river bank through Vila Nova de Gaia, into the town of São Pedro de Afurada and right out to the mouth of the Douro river to the Atlantic Ocean. There are beaches there, but not inviting on a cold and windy March day!

I took a bus back, which after wending its way around various suburbs, crossed the tall Ponte Arrabida to the Boavista area. Then an easy metro ride back to where I was staying.

For a short visit to Porto, I recommend the Andante Tour ticket. I had the three day version for €15. It’s valid on all the metro lines even right out into the countryside, almost all the buses of all operators in and around the city, but NOT on the old trams and the elevator.

Part 3, more pictures from Porto, to follow within the next couple of days.


Bordeaux Sunday 6th August

In Bordeaux,France on August 7, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

I had never seen the Pont Chaban Delmas being raised before. The presence in the city of the cruise ship Sirena and its planned departure on Sunday evening gave me the chance. Sirena is just over 30,000 tons and a pretty big vessel to be in that river.

Before that I had a chance for a general wander about the city, on what was a very sunny summer day.

A popular attraction is the Water Mirror at Place de la Bourse. As I passed, a misty spray was being made, children and dogs liked it.


Water Mirror spray Bordeaux

As I have mentioned before the tram stop at Place de la Bourse is completely bare of anything remotely tram station like, so as not to spoil the view.


Tram stopped at Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux.

The Sirena is a big vessel, taller than most of the buildings around it.



Just behind the busy tourist-filled streets is the heart of Bordeaux. Buildings well over 200 years old in narrow streets are typical. This is Rue Ducau.


Rue Ducau, Bordeaux

The nearby Jardin Publique has been a feature of city life since 1746. There is very little green space in the old city. As it expanded, well meaning city elders thought it a good idea. Some of the cast iron fences around the park are the originals.

I don’t know the name of the statue or what it represents.


Statue in Jardin Publique, Bordeaux.

Elsewhere, a most elegant boot scraper. Very necessary in times past to scrape mud and worse off your footwear before entering the homes of the great and good. There are still many to be seen. I wonder if anyone makes a study of them or collects them.


Boot scraper, Bordeaux

And so to the main event. The Pont Chaban Delmas was due to raised at 1734hrs (note how precise) to allow the Sirena to leave the port. Quite a few people gathered to watch the raising of the bridge, which starts about an hour before any big ship passes through.


Pont Chaban Delmas lowered.

At the appointed hour, loud announcements in French and English warn that the bridge is about to operate. A squad of functionaries heads out to the the barriers at each end. At a signal, the barriers are lowered, by hand, to close the bridge to traffic and pedestrians. A few minutes pass then slowly the bridge starts to move upwards. There is a control tower on the side opposite the city. The towers house the cables that do the lifting.


Pont Chaban Delmas going up.

The operation is almost silent, at least from where I was about 150 metres away. The river, by the way, really is that colour. Of mud.

After about 20 minutes, the centre section reaches the top.


Pont Chaban Delmas at the top.

Meanwhile, Sirena was moving ever so slowly away from its berth to pass between the towers and under the raised bridge.


Sirena passing through Pont Chaban Delmas

Once clear, the ship goes on its way at not much more than walking speed, down the Garonne and towards the sea, 90km away.


Sirena on its way out to sea.

Some more pictures from Bordeaux tomorrow.

I leave Bordeaux tomorrow after lunch to return to Lisbon by train, only the second time I will have gone that way. Since my previous trip, the trains used have become Spanish ‘hotel trains’ which, according to everything I have read, tells me that it is trip to be enjoyed. Expensive, but will it be a better experience than flying cattle class? I shall report!