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.