Astonishingly, we clocked up the entire checklist in less than two hours wandering around Tavira. Perhaps you suspect that I too am exaggerating, but I have the photographs to prove it. However, before we reveal the delights of instant Portugal a note about transport.
Now the much anticipated express was not merely a tad late, but somewhat delayed. The handsome surveyors moved on, boredom set in and we both started taking random photos of interesting design features to be found in rural Portuguese railway halts.
The settlement itself is even older. Archaeological evidence from the castle area suggests that this hill above the estuary of the river Gilão has been occupied continuously since the Neolithic era. People have lived a continuous settled existence here for more than 6000 years, an astonishing statistic.
1. Palm Shaded Squares
This particular palm shaded square by the river out-hipstered our Lonely Planet by having cool live Bossa Nova drifting across it from a mysterious source.
Well, not wholly mysterious as it turned out, the guitarist was hidden behind a kiosk...he was very good.
2. Tangled Alleys
3. Terracotta tiled roofscapes
The best place to admire the undulating roofscapes is from the vantage point of Tavira's ruined castle. A couple of added bonuses thrown-in. Firstly, entry is free. Secondly it has a pretty garden full of exotic plants.
Including this one from Central America called Angel's Trumpet. It's deadly poisonous apparently and should have warning notices next to it.
4. Tile-clad Pasteleria...
OK, point taken, our venerable pasteleria lacked tiles, but crispy almond cake was a divine concotion and solace enough for any weary traveller pining for azulejo.
5. 'the haunting sound of fado drifting from a shadowy café.
It's true, the haunting sound of Fado did fill this flower decked street as we walked through.
6. 'gleaming white palacios with rococo facades piped like sugar craft'