Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sunday in Portugal

Back to the Faro trip! Last time, we'd gone to bed just before Sunday with various options for Mass in the morning. We woke up at our usual ungodly early hour during a vacation and we were first at the continental breakfast. We ate all the same items we had yesterday, though I tried the passion fruit juice. It was enjoyable but I liked the orange juice better. The day outside was cloudy with intermittent rain. Lucy was still feeling poorly.

We figured out directions to Sao Pedro, the parish church of the city. It is dedicated to Saint Peter, patron of fisherman, a good choice for a seaside town. Arriving five minutes early for 9 a.m. Mass, we found quite a few empty pews. Some of the people in the first few rows were practicing hymns. Mass started. Lucy fussed a lot so my wife took her to the back of the church. Jacob stayed with me for a while but eventually wanted to be with Mom too. The Mass was fairly quick and the language was completely incomprehensible to me. The sermon's delivery was low-key. The other parishioners were very focused so it must have been interesting. The hymns were nice. I did not recognize any of the melodies, even for the parts of the Mass. Luckily, "amen" is the same in every language so I could give a proper response for communion.

After Mass was over, the kids wanted to light candles. The beggar who had been outside before Mass had come in and came up to us as we were lighting candles! We gave her some euros and she expressed her thanks. We then walked around the church a bit to admire the baroque decorations.

Altar featuring Our Lady and several female saints

Madonna and child altar

The tabernacle

Main altar at Sao Pedro

Modest Organ

Amazing azulejos around this altar

Saint Peter

Saint Paul
Back outside, it was raining more steadily so we headed back to the hotel, stopping along the way for some lunchtime supplies. We had a picnic lunch in our room and we all napped since we were all feeling a little under the weather.

After nap time, the children begged and begged and begged to go back to the playground near the mall. We finally acquiesced and took the walk north. We saw some new things on the way.

Horse-drawn cart that didn't look like a tourist-mobile

Motorcycle monument (Jacob's in mid-cough)

This slide brought to you by Renault!

At the mall, we explored the upper floor which had some interesting restaurants and a movie theater. I only recognized one of the films, the new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. We found a nice Italian restaurant for dinner. All were happy there. For dessert, we walked across the way to an ice cream shop for cone. Everyone but Jacob got ice cream. We found a cookie for him, which made him very happy.

Too tired to walk back, we took another cab back to our hotel and we all settled in for the last night's sleep in Faro. More in the next post!

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