A musical interlude in Faro

Whilst the vast majority of tourists to the Algarve arrive at Faro airport, very few (fortunately for us!) actually venture into the Algarve’s capital. The old town of Faro, pronounced faroo is rather special, and features highly on our recommended places to explore for visitors joining us for a few days. I was so determined my family would also discover its charms that they found themselves exploring the old town of Faro within hours of their arrival last Christmas! Not really sure why I am telling you all about it after the lengthy debate on ‘plagues of tourists‘ over the past few days but hopefully most of you will simply enjoy its delights as armchair travellers as I am really keen to take you there today for Cee’s O challenge.

Not only is there the O in Faro, but there are also lots of O’s on the trees. My family were delighted to see oranges on the trees, however my sister-in-law soon discovered that it was little bit early to be eating these in December. The one she tried was very sour!

Leaving the oranges behind I took them to Faro’s main presépio hidden away in the fire station. I know Christmas is less than a month away now, but it still feels a little bit early to share those photographs today, so I will keep those for a December day. I cannot resist though sharing their Christmas decorations. Not as unique as last year’s decorations, but they also have an ‘O’ in them and they look lovely against the blue sky.

It wasn’t just boxes though delighting everyone on the streets. there were also a couple of musicians. They were not buskers as they were commissioned by the city council to perform at set times over the festive period. They were both excellent, but the second one caught my attention in particular.

The musical instrument is what is commonly known as a ‘handpan’, a modern instrument that initially I thought was a steelpan but on closer inspection I realised was quite different. The sounds are air resonance in the cavity (Helmholtz resonance), and the musician ascends and descends the scales by alternating using their left and right hands to strike the indentations (tone fields). Rather wonderful I thought, and definitely more difficult than he is making it look and sound!


Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

32 thoughts

    1. There are also beaches within a short bus ride or ferry crossing, and roman ruins less than 20minutes away by car. Only those in the know though seem to take the time to explore the capital.

  1. Haha… yes, you certainly kicked off a very interesting debate! I love old towns and they are usually where I gravitate towards when exploring a city. So, you and Jo will be in Portugal together again. I am thinking there may be a couple of walks and lunches happening 🙂

      1. It is a thought. Not sure I can drag the OH away from home though. He has become very settled. And I am still pondering on New Zealand for my son’s wedding at the end of February.

        1. oh wow NZ . . . it will be lovely in February but is a long way to go isn’t it. There again your son’s wedding. No wonder you are pondering!

    1. It’s in the fire station as many seem to be. Not changed enormously year on year so you’ll get a good look via my post when I get round to writing it!!
      Have you booked your return yet?

  2. Thanks for taking me to the old town of Faro Becky. Another place to add to my list of places to see when we go to Europe hopefully next year

  3. Lovely place. We had too little time for the Algarve on our trip to Portugal. That must make the locals very happy. But we do plan to go back and make good on the miss.

    1. Definitely return, it is wonderful. Just avoid the busy season and tourist hot spots – not only will you love it but you’ll be supporting locals.

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