When you’re only having a quick stop and it’s on a very quiet Sunday, there’s not a great deal to be said for Faro, Portugal. Apart from the sharing the obvious benefits of Lagos to the west – that is, tarts and coffee – Faro was sleepy, quick to explore town-wise, and without the views or allure of the beach. Instead, a thick, brown and murky marsh of a landscape was on the outer perimeters of town – not exactly an attractive view.
The sunset was pretty special, though. Helped by the brown landscape and stretching clouds of the evening we were there, the sky turned a great, bloody red as the day turned to night; as rich a colour and contrast to the day it was seeing out as possible. I wouldn’t say visit Faro for the sunset, but it sure made our stay more memorable.
We did discover two new Portuguese gems while we were in Faro. The first was the nesting nature of the stalk. Having not been privy to how stalks nest before visiting Portugal, we found it both impressive and hilarious to see a giant nest (forget what you think you know about bird nests) atop a very tall, lone street light in the middle of a roundabout.
This seemed absolutely brilliant to us, even after we found out that the nesting atop high beams, rather exposed, was just how the stalks rolled; entirely common in this part of the world. On the way out of Faro on the bus, there were plenty more ridiculous bests to be spotted, most plopped right on top of power poles.
Our other discovery was culinary. Following the tip from out Guest House on where to eat, we happened upon Cataplana, a Portuguese seafood dish that was not something we’d usually fork out for. Two semi-spheres (like bowls) are clamped together, trapping inside a variety of seafood, onions, peppers and stock. The result was a fresh, delicate and varied serving for two and despite containing five kinds of seafood it wasn’t at all too fishy. It all went down very well with some local wine, although I don’t know how Tess would have coped had she known what a Monkfish looked like prior to sitting down to a meal of it.
Finally, every time I recall Faro I get this song in my head…