Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Olhão, Portugal) was built in the 17th century. This is actually the rear of the church and in my opinion more interesting. The three arches that you see are secured with an iron grille which protects the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos, where townswomen traditionally gathered to pray for their menfolk when there was a storm out at sea. Nowadays wax models of children and limbs sit amid candles as ex voto offerings for fertility and to cure ailments.
Do I come here to listen to Fado? No.
Do I like Teresa Salguiero? Yes.
Do I come here to fish? No.
Do I come here to eat fish? Yes.
Do I eat fish today? Not yet.
I do not have the skill for writing and photographing a travel blog yet. I was too excited at meeting my dear friend Rachel to take photos at the airport taxi rank. We chatted all the way in the taxi to her apartment. Rachel felt cold and I was wilting, unaccustomed as I am to temperatures of 20°C in March!
The trip seemed very brief, then up the elevator, kettle boiled, coffee in the cafetière and five minutes later I was presented with two Portuguese custard tarts. Sorry no photo’s but they really are my favourites so they just didn’t last long enough to record for posterity!
Then out to explore but as many of you will know it’s difficult taking shots when you’re with an old friend. So the first day is rather mean with the photo’s. We went for a tosta mista (toasted ham and cheese sandwich) and coffee and got stuck as the storm that had been threatening finally arrived. Provided nice dark clouds though and here they are.
p.s. click pic for bigger version (new tab/window depending on device).
It’s the 1st of March at 06:47 a.m. I’d taken the bus from Brighton at 03:30 in the morning, I can’t remember my time of arrival at Gatwick, everything passed by really quickly, even the tiresome yet necessary security checks. I have soft dried apricots and almonds in my bag for breakfast, all that I buy in flight is a bottle of water. Had to ask for ice, hey ho….it is Easyjet after all. I am finally on my way to Olhão, Faro, Portugal.
This break is long overdue and I’m hoping for good weather.
I boarded third from last as I like to sit as far away from disruptive noise as possible and in doing this I am able to avoid small children (no offence intended). I’m lucky that there is an empty overhead locker to accommodate my camera-bag and equipment, with a kindly couple of about my age sitting next to an empty window seat beneath it. I grab my opportunity and sit down and wait.
The plane took off at 6:30 and before too long we were approaching the south coast of England, that green and pleasant land. This is what I saw.
Taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note GT – N7000 at 06:47 on March 1st, 2012.
F-stop: f/2.6 Exp: 1/132 sec. ISO: ISO-32 Focal length: 4mm Max aperture: 2.81 Metering mode: Average
A lot of the Blogs that I come across tend to be inward looking and all about the writer and without much reference to other people but today it’s all about somebody else.
In little under a week I shall be visiting a very dear friend that I first met thirty years ago. Rachel was with Gerry and I was living with his brother, Graham. Neither relationship was very long lived, just a few years (a little under three for my dalliance). Looking back with great fondness on those times I guess Rachel was the little sister I never had and I the elder ‘gay’ brother that she never had (her biological brother, Karl, is straight). We were often at each others homes and going out and getting drunk together, talking about art, boys, fashion and music and all the other stuff that interests you when you’re young. We both moved away from our home towns. Rachel from Lowestoft, famed for being the most easterly point on the English mainland and I from Norwich, famed for…well, actually I’m not sure, Colman’s mustard I guess. Rachel went to London Central St. Martins College and the Royal College of Art via Japan and Germany. I ended up in Brighton stuck at American Express as a very pressurised financial analyst and feeling rather miserable.
So fast forward to now and Rachel is in Portugal and doing a doctorate at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto while I’m still in dear old Blighty but looking forward to seeing her later this week at her home and printers studio in Olhão.Surrounded no doubt by sardines and sailors! Her specialisation is in Gyotaku printmaking with mainly marine life and has been exhibited internationally many times. Click on her art below for more info:
I will be looking for typical Portuguese architecture, graffiti and anything that takes my fancy. There will no doubt be endless opportunities all along the Ria Formosa and the surrounding towns and villages so check back during the middle of March to see if I found anything to share.
Auditorio de Tenerife “Adán Martín” (often referred to as Auditorio de Santa Cruz) was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava Valls and is located on the coast at Santa Cruz the capital of Tenerife. The construction took six years and was completed in 2003. I visited the island in May of 2006.
There are definitely some better pictures out there of this amazing building however many rely on aerial shots to impress the viewer rather than inform as to the decoration of the exterior. In interview Calatrava Valls has said that one of his icons of architecture is Antoni Gaudí, a fellow Spaniard and a leader in Catalan Modernism, and this building is covered with ceramic shards that as you will see results in giving the elevations an increased fluidity and lightness very similar to Gaudí. This is not plagiarism but an honest reference to a master of style in architecture. It is both form and function.
The structure reminds me variously of molluscs, the frightening maw of a giant sea creature, the wings of sea birds, millionaires yachts, harbour quay-sides and nuns wimples (maybe that should be mantillas). All these references for me help to seat the building comfortably in its environment. As can be seen elsewhere, it appears as though it has been surrounded by an ‘ice floe’ of crazy paving and is desperate to get into the wider ocean of the Atlantic.
Some casual observers have seen similarities between this construction and the Sydney Opera House by architect Jorn Utzon and comparison is understandable even if misguided. Each are great works and to compare them is akin to comparing Jean Paul Gaultier to John Galliano because they design nice frocks! Each are unique in their own way but can not avoid similarities because of the shared vocation and similar inspirational locations. Whatever your opinion it demands your attention.
Click on any thumbnail for gallery.
Adán Martín Menis (19 October 1943 – 10 October 2010) was president of the Canary Islands (Spain) from July 2003 until 2007. Menis was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He was an industrial engineer and represented the Canarian Coalition party. Menis was elected president in the autonomous elections of 2003. He has also served as mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife from 1979 to 1987, the minister of public works in the island council of Tenerife from 1982 to 1986, a national deputy from 1993 to 1996, vice-president of the Canary Islands and president of the island of Tenerife from 1987 to 1999.
Just a little video I did today with that good old freebie “Windows Live Movie Maker”. Photo’s were all taken this month with my Samsung Galaxy Note around the Brighton North Laines area (UK). I think android phones are really good for stuff like this and I hope you enjoy the music.
Disconnected is by The Creatures (ex Siouxsie & The Banshees. A U.K. group that formed from the emergent Phoenix that was Punk).
Always one of my favourite performers she’s still “looking good, not too shabby”.