Albuferia old town

On the hunt for peeling paint and ornate stuff, I head to Albuferia old town.

17083_10152739041452353_1422005966520315286_n 10556243_10152739040697353_56529112781550466_n 10985373_10152739040752353_7100526239458355484_n

While it is quite small I still managed to find some details to snap away at. From the ornate tiles that are found on most houses, to beautiful doors and colourful paintwork.

11010559_10152739040812353_5619497128437510096_n 11147065_10152739041507353_2404784198396908337_n 11139351_10152739041037353_2895400736293862770_n

In Roman times Albufeira was known as Baltum and then re-named Al-Buhera by the Moorish settlers in the 8th Century.

It was finally taken from the Moors in the middle of the 13th Century by the ‘Knights of the Order of Santiago’

11039340_10152739040937353_522668800739153007_n 11150902_10152739041422353_9083973952644589667_n 11017489_10152739041192353_8948301293897684567_n

Albufeira was a small fishing village until the arrival of tourism in the 1960s. Substantial developments since then have turned it into a major holiday resort

11129195_10152739040457353_571319790269690320_n 11140272_10152739041137353_1128586189247432428_n 11164181_10152739041117353_5686972153300894210_n

Even with all of the developments, some of Albufeira Old Town still retains the essence of the village it once was, with narrow cobbled streets winding up and around the hillsides.



Next up I’m grabbing a local bus to the capital city of Faro. Somewhat overlooked by tourists in the main who head straight from its airport to their beach resorts.


Around the headland

Having sat on the beach for all of half an hour I was predictably getting itchy explorer feet so decided to strike out for the headland and see what was around the bend!P1030855

I knew that the beach of old town Albuferia could be found via a cliff top walk and it was apparently was only twenty minutes away.

So off I trotted, just me and my trusty camera.

P1030857 P1030867 P1030856

While it wasn’t exactly a gentle stroll (more a a scramble and hike) I got to experience some of the stunning, rugged coast line that the Algarve is famous for.


As it was just me and my camera you get treated to a rare glimpse of me (as the usual photographic human subject AKA the other half, wasn’t on hols with me!)

P1030861 P1030865P1030854

Dramatic ochre cliffs crumble and tumble into the deep blue waters below. The sunny April day was a perfect temperature for the climb.


Along the way I spotted secluded little coves without a tourist in site, eroded rocks created bridges and pools while the sandy cliff path kept on winding its way ahead of me.

P1030870 P1030875 P1030877

It really was a beautiful walk.

11138095_10152731584612353_2555583089341217235_n 11156325_10152731584407353_609911373356430701_n 10641126_10152731584252353_7470095257816415958_n

I barely passed a soul as I trekked along the cliff top. It felt like I had the Algarve to myself.


It got a bit hairy in some places where the path had literally dropped into the sea, leaving just a tiny section to inch your way along.


But before long I had sight of the populated Albuferia town beach. A huge stretch of sand that is accessed via a tunnel from the old town. Here’s the steps down from the cliff I had just crossed.


It was back to civilisation and goodbye to the empty rugged glories of the lonely cliff top.


My destination was the old town of Albuferia.


On the look out for my favourite snaps of peeling paint, old doors and architecture. The town perches on top of the cliff, all white cubes and parasols.


Next up, some snaps from the old town!

Algarve memories

Fresh from a week’s break with family in Albuferia, a bustling part of Portugal’s Algarve. Ten of us rocked up to the very swish Villa Bosque with its own private pool and spacious living quarters.


Set down a quiet residential street it is just minutes from the main drag of Praia d’Oura with all its restaurants, supermarkets and “The Strip” the long street of bars.

It was ideally placed for the beach too, about 15 minutes walk. Perfect!!

With tiny nippers in tow it was ideal for youngsters with a heated pool and lots of garden space to whizz around in.

P1030807 P1030811 P1030813

Here is a rare glimpse of my younger sister taking to the water!!


Meanwhile I take it easy and put my feet up! (Fear not, it was only for arrival day – I was soon on the touring rampage, camera in hand)


We took a stroll down to Praia D’Oura beach, a pleasant crescent of sand with some of the Algarve’s trade mark yellow ochre cliffs tumbling down to the sea.


Later on in the holiday I take a hike around the cliff headland in the distance to Albuferia old town and its huge beach.


But just for the first day we take a well earned rest (or I do – grandma has her hands full!)

P1030846 P1030844 P1030851

Beautiful Brixham

Our cosy caravan home from home was situated just above the lovely little town of Brixham.


It is thought that the name ‘Brixham’ came from Brioc’s village. ‘Brioc’ was an old English or Brythonic personal name and ‘-ham’ is an ancient term for village.

P1030750 P1030744 P1030741

The sunshine came out in force for our trot around the little village. Flotilla’s of boats bobbed on the water and my favourite little turnstones were flocking around looking for easy snacks.


In the Middle Ages, Brixham was the largest fishing port in the south west of England. Known as the ‘Mother of Deep-Sea Fisheries’, its boats helped to establish the fishing industries of Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft.

P1030757 P1030753 P1030756

According to random fact manufacturer Wikipedia, in the 1890s, there were about 300 trawling vessels in Brixham, most of which were individually owned.


Its harbour is still a bustling place with plenty of activity.

P1030770 P1030761 P1030766

One of the main tourist attractions is the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship the Golden Hind that is permanently moored there.


You can take a little tour around the ship if you fancy yourself as a bit of a mariner.

P1030774 P1030775 P1030777

Alternatively you can just take a stroll along the habour and enjoy the fishing tackle, or take a ferry over to Torquay for the day.

P1030790 P1030787 P1030789

That’s it for Devon folks. Next up I’ll be detailing my latest trip, a family holiday to the sunny Algarve.


On route back to the caravan we took in the sights of pretty Teignmouth. The first record of Teignmouth, Tengemuða, meaning mouth of the stream, was in 1044 (according to Wikipedia!! – warning most of the “facts” in this post are mainly nicked from it as I am in hurry!!)


There were originally two villages, East and West Teignmouth, separated by a stream called the Tame, which emptied into the Teign through marshland by the current fish quay

P1030727 P1030722 P1030723

During the 17th century, in common with other Channel ports, Teignmouth ships suffered from raids from Dunkirkers which operated as privateers from Flemish ports.

It is possible that smuggling was the town’s most significant trade at this time, though cod fishing in Newfoundland was also of great importance.

Short and sweet post! Catch you later readers!

Slapton sands and naturists


After the hustle and bustle of touristy Dartmouth we had a complete change of scene at the wild and empty beach at Slapton Sands.

P1030700 P1030705 P1030699

I found an impressively huge piece of sculptural driftwood on the beach. More of a drift truck really!

P1030708 P1030709 P1030711

Cue a lot of pictures of the tree from a varity of angles . . .

P1030712 P1030713 P1030714

We had the expanse of beach virtually to ourselves. Very serene and peaceful.


Word of warning, Slapton does have a spot for naturists! So don’t be too alarmed if you see people letting it all hang out . . . thankfully it was a little too cold for anyone to be nude when we visited (I wouldn’t know where to look!!)



Dartmouth is set on the western bank of the estuary of the River Dart and is a picturesque, colourful harbour town.


Dartmouth was of strategic importance as a deep-water port for sailing vessels. The port was used as the sailing point for the Crusades of 1147 and 1190.


These days it still attracts vessels of all sizes but more important, to the economy, are the hordes of tourists that descend into the winding little streets every day.

P1030693 P1030689 P1030673

Away from the consumer hordes you can still find a little oasis of calm such as this back street church. Its slumbering inhabitants rest unperturbed by the bank holidaymakers above ground.

P1030681 P1030680 P1030686

The headstones seem to be make of slate and are delicately weathered by the decades since their namesakes passed on.

P1030685 P1030684 P1030682

Back on the water a flotilla of boats are preparing to take part in an energetic race.


Their names evoke speed, ferocity and steely determination to win at all costs!


Regardless of who wins, I love the spectacle of the sleek boats nestled up in a line, ready to go.


From boats to heraldic crests, there is a weathy of little details dotted all over Dartmouth for the happy snapper to grab shots of!

P1030668 P1030669 P1030678

The habour side is awash with candy coloured houses. A pretty postcard scene.


Here are a few more of the vivid homesteads. All offering a nice shot of colour against a grey day.


Next up we’re off to see some lovely wild beaches at Slapton Sands.


Quaint little Cockington

Back to the Easter break catch up! On-route to the caravan in Brixham we take a little detour to the delightful little village of Cockington. It’s a place that I remember fondly from when I was a nipper.


It’s just a handful of buildings but each of the dwellings are delicious little confections topped with thatch.


According to Wikipedia the village was probably founded 2,500 years ago during the Iron age with evidence of two hill forts on either side of Cockington valley.


The first official documentation of the village was in the 10th century.

The manor was owned by Alric the Saxon, before William Hostiarus, William de Falesia and Robery FitzMartin, who passed it down to his son Roger, who renounced his name to become Roger de Cockington.


I love the little marshmallow houses with their intricate thatched tops. Combined with the presence of palm trees it makes for an oddly surreal scene.

P1030601 P1030631 P1030605

Below you can see the traditional stocks being put to good use with a variety of troublesome rabble rousers.

P1030630 P1030614 P1030626

Here we are in a rare coupled up moment!! Admittedly we had to be put in the stocks to get us together. . .


And for comparison’s sake, here is the last time I sat in those stocks! With the little sister barely able to see over the top! Probably taken in about 1987. Loving our matching knitwear (thanks grandma!)


A few final glimpses of the fairy tale cottages before we head off to the caravan.

P1030640 P1030636 P1030637

Grey Torbay days

Easter break means extra days off! Whoopie! So which part of the globe did we whizz off to this time? A sunny beach? A chic city? Nope – Torbay!!

Torbay spans the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham located around an east-facing natural harbour (Tor bay) on the English Channel.

P1030474 P1030479 P1030475

Not quite the most glamourous of destinations it has to be said but I have lots of happy memories of the area, especially Torquay as I spent every summer holiday here for several years.

P1030480 P1030481 P1030486

In the twenty years since I have been to Torquay it has seen many changes including a giant wheel over looking the harbour, but many things have stayed the same.

Here’s a multitude of colourful fishing nets and lobster pots. I love the variations that can be found in even the most mundane of everyday items.

P1030492 P1030487 P1030489

It might not rival the more glamorous harbours of the world that I have seen such as Cannes, Portifino and others, but Torquay still shares the same sense of hustle and bustle.


Here’s the Torquay eye giving a panoramic view over the whole spectacle.


Here’s the Western Lady, the little ferry boat that plies its trade between Torquay and Brixham. It’s a steal at £1 each way and takes a leisurely half hour to travel between the two places.


Few more floaty boaties in the harbour here.


And here’s a few more glimpses of the huge wheel.

P1030506 P1030496 P1030543

Then we have a quick potter around the little French market that has set itself up along the harbour edge. It’s a tiny little taste of the continent.


Some of my favourite things ever are the array of colourful soaps. I’ve got very similar photos from Nice market in the South of France.


The variety on offer is staggering with every flavour and perfume.


However by far the most typical perfume from the region is lavender. Whether in soap or in cute little bags.


Here’s a few more snaps from the market. Delicious doughnuts from cake stall and mountains of revolting olives!!!

P1030516 P1030519 P1030530

I have tried to like the vile little blobs of grimness. Heaven knows I have tried!! But they are too slippery, too salty and just too darn yucky! However they are very photogenic.


Even if they flavour them with peri peri or any other spice. They still look look like balls of unpleasantness to me ..  .


Here’s garlic prawns. I wonder if they were hauled out of the local sea? Somehow I very much doubt it.


And finally from the market some sculptural artichokes.


Then it’s off for a bracing walk around the harbour. Even though it’s a cold, grey day there are still a few flashes of colour.

P1030537 P1030541 P1030542

Boats and rope and wheels and sharp angles galore!!

P1030543 P1030545 P1030549

Not all the boats are quite as glamourous however. The Mary Anne has probably seen better days but has a wealth of interesting, rusty features.

P1030552 P1030566 P1030572

The underbelly of the pier also looks like it’s seen better days. How it holds up the tourists I am not entirely certain.

P1030558Finally we finish up with a trip back in time as Neil finds himself in a perilous situation . . .


Next up we head to our home for three days. Four adults in a caravan in Brixham . . . ah the glamour!!!