Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
I have really come to love “my” Portugal. The people, the soul, the culture of this land, last but not least its beautiful, melodious language, have completely drawn me in. Already in my first article about creative travel in the Algarve region, I have shared with you some alternative travel tips in this sunny southern district of Portugal. Now, the time has come to dive even deeper. We will therefore go on a journey into the interior of the Algarve, the small town of Querenca, also known as “Aldeia da Querenca” in the local language. Even though Loulé too is a small town counting only 30.000 inhabitants, travelling into a historic village located on the nearby hilltops is another experience altogether. I have come here with my local expert guide Susana, who works as part of the “TASA” project developing creative travel in the Algarve through a series of workshops named “Painting with Earth Colours“. Part of this experience includes landscape walks learning more about the history and culture while interacting with the land as a first-time visitor.
Armando is truly mischievous. In the sweetest way possible. He appreciates me taking my first steps in Portuguese – only to talk to me in the fastest way possible during our creative pottery lesson, accrediting my language skills. I take on the challenge of our quick-witted verbal exchange, rising to become even more creative with words, and pottery of course. João & Graca, of ProActiveTur, a company set up to develop creative crafts initiatives in Loulé and in the Algarve, have taken me to meet local ceramic artist Armando Martins. Armando has already worked thousands and thousands of pots in his life time – “since times immemorial, including both my father and grand-father before me”, he laughs, brightly displaying his mischievous smile. All those pots have once played a big part in the local fishing industry, being used by fishermen to catch octopus. According to Armando, one of his pots even made it all the way to Spain, travelling as a shell to an octopus and identified by him again as one of his pots! Stories and stories … 😉
I just love Loulé. What a pretty little town full of light. Perhaps it is the agreeable size, neither too big nor too small for my liking. Its unique Arab heritage, both to be found in places such as the Old Baths as well as the historic market square in the heart of town. And that being in Loulé allows you to meet truly special, local people that all have one thing in common: They are open. Friendly. Welcoming. Full of light, as the city as well as southern Portugal, the Algarve itself.
Disclaimer: I have been invited by João Ministro and his team to discover and explore creative travel in the Algarve region of Portugal. All opinions are my own.
My name is Danielle, my daughter Tenzin and I are currently in Barcelona.( my first time in Europe)
Recently (10 days ago) I met up with my daughter who had been travelling since July abroad from Australia on her gap year.
We have had the unfortunate experience of being in Paris very close to the attacks that took place last week, all too sad for words really.
My reason for contacting you is that I was very close to,returning to Australia (2 1/2 weeks early) but really didn’t want to waste the opportunity and $ when I could instead head south to the Algarve possibly Loule and calm down with a pottery course beforehand? I’ve read with joy what you have said about this region and would ask if you had a contact that I might speak to about this?? The hostel looks a treat so maybe that’s where I start and go from there?
Great article! If you ever find yourself in Portugal again, be sure to visit Barcelos as soon as you can, it’s a small town but really lovely with a huge history 🙂 If you’d like to see and learn more about pottery it’s definitely the right town to do so!
The Rooster of Barcelos is one of the most common symbols of Portugal, therefore pottery has been a popular handicraft activity in Barcelos.
For anyone who appreciates this kind of activity I recommend you to visit the The Pottery Museum in Barcelos where you’ll find excellent examples of pottery from almost every regional styles of Portugal. It’s definitely worth to check it out!