WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Boxes and Badajoz.

Tuesday this week around 1.30pm.. I received a phone call from my dear friend Dita. 
She had closed the restaurant a few days before and taken a week's holiday at her daughter's home in Arronches.   She wanted me to join them for a few days there as it was her two young grandsons birthday's  I accepted.   
 Another excuse to take a trip away and visit Arronches and Spain again.
I have blogged about Arronches and Badajoz  before.  Its a very charming village about 45 min from the Spanish border.  I think , I can see myself going there now and again.  Last time for this year.
Maybe next time an historical visit!

I have been looking for small boxes where the lid opens.  Pretty fancy boxes with a christmas look about them.  Not like the shoe box type  where  the top has to be taken off, but with a flap that opens with two little ribbons at the front. I bought a lovely one for my apartment about 2 years ago.  That's where i got the idea from .  Boxes  for a christmas project that i want to do.

With this in mind, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and go see my friends and then go with them to Badajoz in Spain the following day.   Thinking  I might find the boxes there , at the new Mall  "El Faro" that was opened last month.  

                                                                The landmark for "El Faro" shopping mall in Badajoz.

A very impressive Mall.   I am not partial to shopping in big centers  but, as my friends like to shop there .. I went along.
 El Faro is big, not as big as I thought it was going to be.  On our last visit there , we saw it being finished off. It looked much bigger.    I think there are about 100 shops in total.
 The usual .. Zara, C & A, Primark (new shop for us all)  shoe shops, boutiques, perfume shops. candy shops,  well, as you can imagine, nothing that many of you have not seen. Only difference- people were talking Spanish.!
I spoilt myself in C & A . buying a few clothes for christmas.    By this time, and after going into a few home boutiques.. still no boxes.  I was getting disheartened.! Time to rest.

After a few hours of walking around, I had had enough!   So, a meeting point was suggested  for all of us, in case we lost each other , and off I went to sit down and take a break.

This is where I sat. -  Opposite the most intriguing fountain.
 Instead of the water spurting out of the bottom .. It spurted out of the top. Iluminous jets of  coloured water in quick jet spurts fell  from the cone like shape hung from the ceiling above.  The designs  of the water   changed  simultaneously as the lights changed.
I have never seen anything quiet like it.!
People were fascinated by it, and so was I.    It was hypnotizing and at the same time calming.
The lights, changed to hues of , blue ,green, pink, red, and purple.   The shapes of the water as they fell onto the pond and lights below were incredible.

lilac shapes zig zag design

green shapes with a full round drop.

the fountain changing its colours ..here its individual spurts deep midnight blue

Also spurts of colour after the drop from the bottom part. The whole bottom part of the fountain is made from white marble.  very effective.

A little retail.. should I ! Do I need it.  - No

 two crochets pillow covers. just caught my eye. (china I presume) I like them.

Couldn't resist this new diary for 2013.  Designed and written with quotes of Paulo Coelho. A favorite author of mine.  Its beautiful.
Inside intricate   kaleiederscope drawings and designs  on different pages, 

You can see the different designs jetting out from above.  If any one got close  one could feel the spray 

A small break before starting again.

This is my box where i keep a few things during the week. I tidy it up once a month and use it for other things. Its this style of box that I would like ..but smaller. in gold and black design.
My last photo.

We all then met up, taking our last look at the fountain .. by this time the Mall was full,  (we all wondered where the crisis was at!) People spending like there was no tomorrow. Ourselves included.
With ice creams in hand, we headed back to the car and to Arronches.
I arrived home yesterday afternoon. As always Its great to get away sometimes!

Arriving home to my family (4 legged)
After taking many photos of the fountain, I came out of my hypnotic state and told myself to stay focused get back to the boutiques "Val" to see if you can find the boxes. ..maybe another shop or another.
Alas!   No boxes.. Where have all the boxes gone!
                                                          Jeffrey-Cassidy euphoric with his little teddy and showing off rolling over and showing me how clever he is.   Hardy and Bonita ran out and disappeared and appeared later . Isaa below waiting for my hug too.
                                                     Oh its  great to be home.

  Wishing you all a very happy October weekend.



  1. My favorite part is always coming back home. :)
    The landmark for El Faro is very impressive indeed.

    That fountain is spectacular, Val. It reminded me of one they have in Epcot (Disney World). I would have sat with you to watch it for hours. :) I like shopping, but I no longer go to the big malls, they just overwhelm me too much. Actually, now even the small stores I go to are too noisy for me at times so I've been going really early before the majority of shoppers arrive.

    I see those types of boxes in some of the stores I visit all the time, such as Michael's, JoAnn Fabrics, Home Goods, Marshalls, etc. What dimensions are you looking for?

    Have a lovely Saturday.

    1. Ola Marcia,
      After this visit to El Faro, It will be a long time before i go again. I am past that type of shopping really. it was nice to be with friends.
      Watching the fountain was better than it all.
      I will take a look on the internet for the boxes..
      I do not know those stores in UK: I am going to Lisbon next week.
      Talvez encotrarei ai..

  2. Hello Val,

    Sounds like you had a lovely visit to the mall.

    It looks very impressive.

    I like the crochet cushions and the diary you bought is very pretty (wow - you are organised, thinking of 2013 already)!!

    The sculpture at the mall is wonderful as are the coloured jets.

    Pity you didn't get the boxes but there is always a next time.

    Bet your furry friends were delighted to have you home.

    Have a good week.

    x Fiona

    1. Hi Fiona,
      Thank you for your comments.
      It was impressive. Although seen bigger in the states.. but it was different.
      I was glad to get home, to my "babies"!):

  3. You had wonderful day with your friend !
    These kind of big shop is interesting , you can look all the shops
    you save time , but for me is no good !Many people , noise , no , I prefer the shops at the centre or near my neighbour .
    This fountain is really impressive !

    1. Hello Olympia,
      I too found it too much. So I enjoyed sitting and watching the fountain.
      It was different, and i had a change of scenery.
      I use my little shops here too.
      best wishes , thank you Olympia

  4. Dear Val - very impressive photos of the fountain showing all its different hues. Shopping is tiring, not something that I particularly like doing, but with Christmas in mind it is something we all have to do. I try to do as much of it on the internet as possible.
    I am pleased that you had a little break with your friends, and then to have all of your little furry friends awaiting you on your return.
    You could probably find those boxes on the internet which would save you lots of time going around the shops.

    1. Dear Rosemary,
      I do believe it will be the last time that I go to the big shopping mall. I do it really to be sociable with my dear friend. She is a young recent widow, and her daughter likes to go there. As i dont have to drive to Spain, I go along. Gosh though! how tiring .. I can't do it anymore. Like Olympia said. i like my little shops.
      I have never bought through the internet. As I was reading your comment I thought..oh that's what i will do..and there you had written it. I will try the internet.
      I am off to Lisbon on tuesday. So will look at a couple of little special shops near my son's place..
      Thank you for your kind comments Rosemary.
      loved your guessing post.. Amazing how the nobility lived..all over in fact.

  5. Hi Val: I'm glad you got a chance to getaway with your friends, but sorry you couldn't find your boxes. I haven't seen any either but I have in the past now it is mentioned. That mall looks spectacular and the fountain is beautiful. I could see how you would become mesmerized looking at it. How nice to come home to those beautiful little guys. To be welcomed with so much love is a wonderful experience..Happy Weekend..Judy

    1. Hello Judy,
      Yes, it was a chance for me to get away and a change of scenery.
      I hope that i will still have chance to find my boxes.. off to the City next week.
      The fountain was the best part really. It was mesmerizing ..
      It was great to get home to my dogs.. I missed them.

  6. Hello Val

    It sounds like a fun visit and you got to speak another language, lucky you. It is fun to watch shoppers and that fountain is beautiful.

    What a warm welcome upon your return.

    Have a lovely weekend

    1. Thank you Helen,
      Yes, its good to be able to practice Spanish once in a while.
      Sitting next to the fountain, and watching the shoppers go by..was really the best part.

  7. sounds like you had a good time, even if you did not find what you wanted to buy. the fountain is interesting.

    1. It was different and I like to to go to Spain.. Its so different.
      I will find the boxes.. if not there are other options.
      thanks Tex

  8. Hi Val: Thank you so much for commenting to me. I would have invited you to tea but you're not a witch!! But I will look forward to your tea. Your little Issa looks so sweet, just like a little rag doll..Happy Weekend..Judy

    1. Issa was looking good that day.. I had clipped her a few days earlier.. sometimes she looks like the mop.
      Thank you Judy. I just loved your decorations. look forward to tea.

  9. Hi Val! El faro (The Lighthouse?) looks good. I love the fountains... I love all fountains, as I always feel happy near water!

    I cannot believe you have Primark in Portugal! It's a store where you can buy really cheap clothes... cheap, but not good quality, really. I remember a time when my daughter Gabriella wouldn't even be seen by the entrance of this store, then supermodel Kate Moss started shopping there (very occasionally, I should think!) and made it popularamongst young people. Gabriella is still not shopping there, though... my daughter has expensive taste, and why not!

    Do you have Ebay, Val? I buy lots of stuff from there and I know that you would be able to buy any kind of box from there.

    Unlike you and Olympia, I love busy streets and shops. I was born in a big city and, as they say:"You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl!"



    1. The fountain was truly amazing.
      Yes, Primark is now here in Portugal .. I think 3 shops in total, but not sure.
      The quality here is fantastic.. I was amazed at what my friends bought and the prices.
      The people were buying like mad. With the money crisis at the moment, its just what the people need.
      I didnt buy anything there.
      I will look at the shops in Lisbon this week. If i cant find the boxes..never mind
      Thanks for saying hello Anna, and your comments.

  10. Hallo Val!This fountain is really impressive !Pity you didn't get the boxes but there is always a next time!What a warm welcome upon your return!Wish you a nice Sunday my friend!

    1. Hello Dimi,
      Yes the fountain was amazing.
      There are always other things to think about.
      I am happy to be home.. but off to the city tuesday.

  11. Do you have any craft stores there like Micheal's or Hobby Lobby - they would have y our boxes. What a lovely mall. I loved the fountains changing colors. And I am with you - I am always glad to come home.

    1. Thank you Sandie.
      No we dont have anything like that here.. I live in the middle of no where.. Its all country.
      I am going to the city this week..hope to get to a shop there.. if not , will change strategy and idea.
      its great to be home.

  12. Everything there is great.

    Thank you for sharing.

    You know...I'm here in the north...and it's not easy for me to travel and see great things...
    Thanks again.

    1. Yes Bshell.
      You also have these shops in Porto and other areas.. I go along to be with friends.
      Eu vivo sozinha..! e vez em quando e bom.
      Espero que estas melhor..

  13. Wow, that fountain is the most amazing thing - I would love to see it! It sounds like a lovely time with friends, and a super welcome when you came home. xx

  14. What a lovely shopping trip, Val, and what a nice welcome home by your sweet doggies! I'm sad you didn't find the kind of boxes you wanted. I hope you find them in time for Christmas. Take care and have a lovely weekend!


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