Never go back, they say. And in fact, I rarely do. We do tend to go again and again to Paris, which is pretty much on our doorstep. And there are a couple of other places we’ve visited more than once, such as New York City and Berlin. On the whole, however, each trip we go on will take me to somewhere new.
But occasionally I make an exception; especially if I have fallen for a place while visiting without my husband and want to introduce him to it. Riga and Tallinn were in the past such places, and now Faro, on Portugal’s Algarve coast, has joined them.
For most visitors to the Algarve, Faro is a place to fly to, not to visit. But they are missing out. It is very close to the airport and during the day planes fly overhead and land almost constantly; yet few of the alighting passengers linger longer than it takes to grab their bags and find the bus that will take them to their resort along the coast.
Those that do stop, however, will find that Faro is much more than an airport. It has a small but picturesque old town, some characterful architecture, a lovely cathedral and a natural park of some ecological significance just offshore. There are good seafood restaurants and a busy marina, although for beaches you must travel out of town.
I spent two very pleasant days here in the company of VT friends back in 2016 and could happily have lingered longer. So when we were looking for somewhere to spend a few days recently, with the likelihood of early spring sunshine, Faro was an obvious choice.
Street art in Faro
I’ll be sharing our explorations of this likeable town over the next few weeks, no doubt. To start with, here are some examples of its street art for the Photographing Public Art challenge. I should mention that street art in Faro is somewhat gritty. A lot of the graffiti is just that, graffiti. There are tags and slogans everywhere, often over the more sophisticated art pieces. I like this unpretentious roughness, but it won’t appeal to everyone!
I’ll finish with a couple of rather different images:
This sculpture of a water nymph sits on the steps of the marina. It was the work of José Luís Costa, created in the 1980s for an exhibition. For some years afterwards it was stored in a council warehouse until someone had the idea to take it out and display it here. At low tide, when I took this photo, the sculpture is completely exposed, but at high tide the nymph is immersed in the water. The sculptor’s widow has been quoted as saying the location is unsuitable as the water will corrode the copper, but I have to say that I rather like it!
This isn’t exactly public art, since the pieces are for sale, but while they are displayed on the artist’s stall they are for a short while free to view!
I visited Faro in April 2022