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Faro Part IV: Jardim Manuel Bivar Park and Marina

Marina full of boats with a large hotel in the background

When I started making plans to go to Faro, I knew I wanted to spend some of my solo time working on my book. My hotel room had a lovely balcony overlooking the courtyard–the perfect setting for getting some work done.

Writing Heaven

Except that it was December. Even though it was warm enough to go on an adventure without a coat on, my balcony never got full sun and it was always just a taaaaad bit chilly. I don’t like being cold, so I couldn’t quite get into the writing zone unless I moved inside. Ah well.

Anyways, when my creative endeavors had taxed my brain to the point where I could no longer type my own name, I went for a walk down to the Javier Bardem Jardim Manuel Bívar Park. Grand adventures are nice, but sometimes, it’s just as nice to have a nice stroll around a quiet city.

I had actually discovered this little oasis on my way to Faro Cathedral, which was also when I discovered this lovely path that took me past an empty yellow palace and the Ria Formosa Wildlife Refuge.

The whole walkway was decorated with graffiti. I’ve always found graffiti really fascinating. Yes, it’s vandalism and destruction of property and all that–but it’s also art. There are some graffiti artists who are ridiculously talented, and there’s something really thought-provoking about the idea of turning the world into your canvas. I would never do it myself, but I get a sense of satisfaction out of finding these colorful and often subversive expressions of self.

Back toward Javier Bardem Jardim Manuel Bívar, there is a marina full of equally colorful little boats. While I was snapping a few pictures, a guy in a boat thought I was taking a picture of him and blew me a kiss. Haha! Unfortunately, I wasn’t. That would have made a fun photo.

It was a little mind-bending to be walking around in gorgeous sunshine, with a bright blue sky above me, flowers all around me–and Christmas trees lining the street. Now I know how the Southern Hemisphere must experience Christmas.

Christmas Tree Walk

While I explored this festive street, I passed a fancy pants restaurant, where the host stopped me and tried to woo me. He was in his late 40’s/early 50’s, and super short. It wasn’t nearly as enticing as The Faro Cathedral Footballer or even Mr. Algarve Seafaris Guide, but it was entertaining nevertheless. He offered me some roast chestnuts (which I don’t like), and tried to convince me to meet him when he finished his shift at 3 0’clock.

“I will take you to see the parts of Faro only the locals know about,” he said. “You need someone to show you around.” *wink wink*

I conveniently had “plans” (yeah, they’re called “not getting kidnapped”), but he was certain I’d change my mind. No chance, Senhor Chestnut.

There’s nothing quite like fresh air, a leisurely stroll, and some delicious pizza to get my creative juices flowing again. And so it was that I headed back to my cute little hotel and my waiting novel.

For not being entirely sure I even wanted to go, I sure had a great time in Faro. If Portugal isn’t on your list of countries to visit, add it right now. It’s a lovely place, full of kind people, colorful buildings, and beautiful landscapes. Let me know when you’re going and I might even tag along.

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Jess Friedman
Jess is a Canadian-American who’s always ready for the next adventure. She loves all things living, always has a million creative projects in progress, and polishes her nerd badge daily. She is passionate about helping families make and preserve treasured memories that strengthen bonds across generations. You can read more posts by Jess here.

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