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Published: April 25th 2018
Saturday: Early morning rain slowed us down but it was the Speicher's first day and we didn't want to waste any more time than necessary. Raincoats and umbrellas in hand, and off we went. To get a lay of the land, Marji and Gary decided to take the Hop-on-hop-off bus for the afternoon. Glen and Karen kicked back for the day. Mike and I headed for the Tile Museum. The plan was to meet up at 4:30 at Ramiro's for dinner.
The line at the Tile Museum was long. Apparently everyone else had the same rainy day idea as we did. This museum, located in a former convent, reviews the history of tile making from the 15th century until present day. It also has ceramics, porcelain, and furniture from the convent. The tile murals and panels lined the walls and staircases in every room. I was especially impressed by the window alcoves and their tiles that worked to draw your eyes up to the light. On the top floor was a panoramic view, in 4x4 tiles, of Lisbon. The 23meters long mural filled the room and dated back to before the 1755 earthquake. This thing is great and has labels
to explain all the buildings and neighborhoods. We kept trying to place the modern day Lisbon within the 1700’s Lisbon on display.
The chapel of St Anthony within the convent, was all glitzy gold and filled with multiple paintings lining the upper walls. I find the unexpected opulence in such a poor neighborhood disturbing. Walking from the outside rain, through the austere convent, then climbing the stairs to enter this bright shining chapel, is breath taking. I’m not sure if it’s in a good way.
Back outside, Mike and I wandered about until we found a place for coffee. Away from the city center, there was no English here but coffee is coffee in any language. While waiting for our Uber, we discovered a beautiful public cemetery with a chapel whose spires could be seen over the stone walls. Mausoleums and mosaic pathways lined the gated entryway. No time for ghost hunting today, though.
Ramiro’s was just as delish as the last time, only now with more people. The downstairs room is fuller and louder and more hectic. We had a great time adding to the din! Met an interesting American couple at the next table. Both
retired, he had been a college football coach and she was a Cuban immigrant raised in Iowa. She was writing a book about her experience.
Deciding to walk off dinner, we headed for home. We happened upon a wine bar that we hadn‘t noticed before. Marji, Gary, Mike, and I decided to have one last toast for our dear friend Jimmy. He will be missed.
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