The Hidden Well

2018 1

(The neighbours across the road from the motorhome park. Can you see the baby stork?)

We stayed in the town of Silves this week. It has a beautiful Moorish sandstone castle and the old town is surrounded by sandstone red walls. I went to visit the castle on Thursdays morning. It was uphill from the motorhome park.

2018 2

(Uphill over cobblestones)

Actually it’s worth noting the motorhome park in Silves has the best washing machines and dryer in all of Portugal… in my opinion. Probably the best washing machines and dryer in the world. (Miele made them not Carlsberg) I washed and dried everything. It’s the simple things.

2018 8

(View from the cafe)

Thursday was a beautiful day to amble around and consider this lovely life again… I walked on the walls and sat in the cafe and went underground into the cistern. The cistern was used to store water, enough to supply 1,200 men for a year. There was no water in it when I was there just an exhibition about the endangered species of wild cat called the Iberian Lynx. It was very interesting. They have introduced a breeding program and there were videos of the adult mother cats with their kittens. I don’t know if they are called kittens but they looked very like domesticated kittens.

2018 13

(I’m standing at one of the openings (there’s my shoes on the right) of the well, looking into the water)

Then I went to visit the archaeological museum. It’s down the road and around the corner from the castle but still inside the old walls. It’s full of artefacts from prehistoric times to the 18th century, found in Silves. But the center piece of the museum is a well. In fact the museum would never have existed if it wasn’t for the well. Back in the 80’s the municipality (the council, I think) was building a canteen until… the builders came across the well. Everything stopped and they had a new idea. They built the museum around the well. It’s actually a very impressive well with steps going down underground around the well and openings that look into the well. None of my pictures do it justice. I’m not sure my words are helping either…

2018 12

(Here’s the opening I was standing in and there’s another opposite)

This reminded me of the mosaics near Soure and all the mosaics that must be still buried under the old houses of Portugal. Again, here in Silves people have been living and dying and working and dreaming for thousands of years. Apart from the history we can see there’s so much hidden.

Waves from the Algarve, Mairead.