Olhão – Bom Sucesso

So, I spent about a week in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve region. I was invited by friends who live part of the year in the little town of Olhão. Yes, it was a “bom sucesso” – I will come back to the “Bom Sucesso” matter!

If you arrive by air, you will land at Faro. The sea, the lagoon, in front of Faro and Olhão is referred to as Rio Formosa. The coastline west of Faro is to a large part occupied by golf courses, splendid villas with swimming pools… but if you go east, towards the Spanish border, you will still find a number of more authentic and charming towns and villages. Olhão is one of them. The town has always been linked to fishing and related industries.

Today along the seafront you can walk along a nicely arranged park-like promenade. 

This is also where you can find a number of "azulejo"-decorated illustrations of the town history, more particularly referring to the local revolt against the Napoleonic occupants in 1808, which led to the liberation of the Algarve region. “Bom Sucesso” refers to a “caique” which left for Brazil to inform the Portuguese King who had taken refuge there about the successful uprising. What we see here (and also as top picture) is a copy of this little ship, "caique".

This is furthermore where you can find two identical market buildings (by Gustave Eiffel!!), one for fish and seafood, one for fruits and vegetables.

Especially on a Saturday, even if the high season is over, the market and its surroundings, including the cafés and restaurants, are crowded.

The centre of the town has conserved its original charm, with beautifully decorated facades, often covered with "azulejos".

Most of these buildings have a number of terraces, the same house often with several on different levels.

Some buildings are in need of restoration - there is a lot of activity ongoing.   

Typical for the town and the region are the cobble-stones, the “knocking hands”, the "azulejo" street names … 

A quick look on the “Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Rosário”.

I will come back to the lagoon and the small islands, but here are some photos to remind us of the nearby sea, the birds…

The Christmas season decorations were just ready.   


Off again...

A little break... back soon with some news from the south of Portugal.



The Château de Chantilly is located north of Paris - about half an hour by train. The oldest parts of the castle date from the 16th century, but having suffered seriously from the Revolution, the major parts were rebuilt during the 19th century. Its history is linked to the Montmorency family, later to the Princes of Condé…  and during the latter part of the 19th century to one of the sons of King Louis-Philippe, the Duke of Aumale. The castle was bequeathed to the French State ((Institut de France) at his death in 1897.

Molière sits in front of the castle on the top picture. This is because his play “Les Précieuses Ridicules” was performed here for the first time in 1659. The man on the horse is Anne, Duke of Montmorency. 

Another name linked to the castle is François Vatel. He was “maître d’hôtel” to the Condé family but had also worked for Nicolas Fouquet and others. He committed suicide because of a delayed delivery of some fish for a royal meal at the castle. The famous Chantilly cream seems however not to be linked to him – created earlier. 
The art gallery, referred to as the “Musée Condé”, houses one of the finest collections of paitings in France – Botticelli, Raphael, Mignard, Watteau, Corot, Fra Angelico, Lippi, Veronese, Carracci, Poussin, Holbein, Champaigne, Van Dyck, Greuze, Delacroix, Ingres, Gericault… .

The library contains some 1.500 manuscripts, some 17.500 printed volumes, medieval manuscripts…

Other parts of the castle, the Chapel...

The Garden was laid out by André Le Nôtre (Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Fontainebleau, Tuileries…).

The castle is close to the Chantilly Racecourse and the Great Stables (to be visited another time).

The days in November are short… the darkness arrived.  



Even birds can be coquettish...

Even birds can be coquettish – this one prepared itself for a minute or so, before taking the pose.

The last couple of days I have had the pleasure to accompany blogger friend Virginia KelserJones during her walks and photographing in Paris, partly joined by our common friend Mary Ruhling Gilbert.  

Here are just some photos I took during our walks. (The ladies took many more.)  


Christmas show windows again and again...

The years go by… For a few years I have been showing you the Christmas show windows of the department stores, "Galeries Lafayette" and "Au Printemps" and now it’s time again. (You can compare this year with 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009… )

The windows of "Au Printemps" could already be seen for a couple of days when "Galeries Lafayette" made their windows visible November 8 in the evening. They made an event of it. The curtains were opened in the presence of an actress - hopefully at least some Francophiles will recognize her. It’s not easy to get a decent photo when all the professional photographers are there in front of you. There was even music by the group “The Shoes”.

Time to have a look…

… first on the "Galeries Lafayette" windows where “paper” this year has been the major material used – see also top picture.

Playing with the lights...

The tree, all in paper, may seem less spectacular this year, but there are some shows and also virtual applications linked to it this year…  

The "Au Printemps" windows may seem more traditional and less brand sponsored than the last  few years.

Well, if you don’t find any better ideas for your Christmas gifts, here is a selection of scent-bottles.