Blogs from Lisboa, Portugal, Europe - page 6

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Europe » Portugal » Lisboa October 6th 2017

In trying to be mindful of staying cool in this unusual heat wave, we started our day with a trip via subway to the fantastic Callouste Gulbenkian Museum. Gulbenkian made his money in oil, and amassed a wide ranging art and artifact collection which is now housed in a well-laid out museum in the middle of an exquisite park, complete with ducks, waterfalls, and sun bathing turtles. Seniors get half price at every venue we've been to, so it was a bargain at 5 euros each. We then took the subway back to the waterfront, where Rick Steves let us down for the first time (and not the last time today) by suggesting a streetcar ride to Belem, instead of the train. The street cars were packed, and hot. We visited the Convent of San Geronimo, ... read more
Pigeons occupy the top floor of the building across from our apartment
An older building being gutted and prepared for high end reconstruction
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Europe » Portugal » Lisboa October 5th 2017

As it was to be very warm again today we decided to go to Cascais, a town about 20 miles from Lisboa, and 40 minute scenic train ride away. We had thought we would avoid the crowds since it was Thursday, but after seeing so many families heading to the beach, we realized that it must be a holiday, and it was! We walked about 15 minutes from our apartment to the Gloria Elevator, which carries people up and down a very steep hill. Since the fare was about $4.00/each, we decided to walk down; a good decision! We then went to the subway, where we bought cards that can have money added to them (it's called "zapping" here) that give you a lower fare on public transportation. We successfully took the correct subways to the ... read more
I saw Chris and his wife!
Sidewalk paving stones
Elevator de Gloria

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa October 4th 2017

Well, we didn't get our hoped for sleep last night... At 2:30 am, a young man named Chris came home to the apartment above us and his wife proceeded to yell at him for the next four hours! What we learned from the shouting: They are Americans and about 32 years old, and use the F word frequently. Apparently Chris had contact with an girl from high school (whom his wife has never heard about until last night), and is his "best friend"...she may be in Lisbon; hard to tell from the accusations...We do know that Chris loves his wife (or least that he yelled that about 20 times over the four hours) and that his wife is having none of it. He finally told her to go to bed around 5:00 am and things quieted ... read more
The Igreja de São Roque
The Igreja de São Roque: Chapel of St. John the Baptist
The Igreja de São Roque

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa October 3rd 2017

We arrived in Lisboa this afternoon, after a long, 24 hour voyage that started at 7:00 am Monday morning (and we had not slept well, having heard of the Las Vegas shootings just before we went to sleep...) It began with a drive to Kirkland (complete with a blocking accident on I-5), to leave our car with with my son. He drove us to the airport after we dropped my daughter-in-law off at work in Seattle. At 1:45 Seattle time, we took a crowded Norwegian Air flight to London (Gatwick). There were at least 3 screaming toddlers on the flight and they screamed intermittently all night... Everything was a la carte on the flight and we had to request water! It was about 11:00 pm our time once we cleared immigration and began our 3 hour ... read more
Sunrise over the Skagit Valley on Monday
I indulged in my favorite English confection while at Gatwick
One of the many lines we waited in during the past 24 hours...

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa September 25th 2017

Today we were in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a lovely 27 degrees Celsius. The other shore excursion I had booked had got cancelled, so the other night, I had to work out an alternative. I decided on ‘Lisbon by land and water’. Pretty much it was a tour that lasted a couple of hours in an amphibious vehicle. We got on the ‘bus/boat’ at the dock where MSC Magnifica was berthed. We drove through the heart of Lisbon before stopping at Belem which is on the bank of the Tagus River that joins Lisbon to the Atlantic Ocean. The Gothic Jeronimos Monastery is surrounded by beautiful gardens and water features, including an impressive fountain. The famed custard tarts (pasteis de nata; link to recipe is below) of Lisbon also originate from here. Belem is also home ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Lisboa » Alcochete July 26th 2017

It has been a while since our last entrée but bad internet and face book take the blame for that. .We arrived late in Alcobacal but we found the small hotel easy. We quickly installed and being so long light we went for a walk to inspect the place. It has an enormous monastery with a large square in front that is ringed by lots of little restaurants and cafe's . Most were closed for they eat late here in Portugal. We had time to have a shower and go out again for a meal. Next day we visited the Monastery. Very interesting building. It was build in 1138 and consecrated in 1250. We also went to the museum that is separate of the Monastery. It is an impressive building but not as nice as some ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Lisboa May 31st 2017

. Our little 'sojourn' in Lisbon. The collective ‘episodes’ (this being the second) describe our journey from our departure from Oz, our arrival in London from the 3rd week of May and onto to Portugal for a journey into the Portuguese culture and landscape. In the few weeks available to us, we cannot experience 'everything'. Even so, we'll do our best to enjoy all that is available. This 'episode' describes our Lisbon 'experience. We attach a few pics to give a flavour of our journey, and some may 'flow over' past the dialogue. If we do this, you may need to manually go to the 'spillover' page to see them. As always, if you want to 'see' more detail in an accompanying picture, click it to enlarge. . Monday 29th May 2017. . Today we flew ... read more
Lisbon Character
Fenicular - Lisbon
Palatio Quelez

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa May 7th 2017

It was a beautiful day in Lisbon today and lots of people were out enjoying the nice weather. This morning I took a taxi to the National Tile Museum to learn a bit about how decorative tiles are made and see some historical examples. Tiles are a sort of national obsession here in Portugal. One sees them on exteriors and interiors of many buildings, especially churches. The museum is housed in a former convent and there are quite a number of religious-themed tiles. I was particularly struck by the tile altarpiece (see photo). While I was there, a choir was singing polyphonic music in Latin (see photo). They seemed to be doing it for their own pleasure, i.e. it was not a performance nor a mass. It reminded me of when Cantores in Ecclesia toured in ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Lisboa May 6th 2017

This morning I took a taxi out to Belem, a suburb of Lisbon that is near the mouth of the river and is the site from which Portuguese explorers set out on their voyages of discovery. Back in the 1500’s Portugal was an economic powerhouse because of its worldwide empire which included Brazil, holdings in India, Macao, and many others. In gratitude to God for the many successful voyages, King Manuel I built the St. Jerome Monastery in Belem. The cloisters are ornate (see photo) and I liked the carvings of plants and animals (see photo). Nearby is the Monument to the Discoveries, a much more recent construction, that has larger-than-life-size figures gazing bravely out to sea (see photo). Also nearby is the Coach Museum which contains many of the horse-drawn carriages from the royal collection. ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Lisboa May 5th 2017

I spent the morning at Sintra, a town located about 40 minutes outside of Lisbon. Sintra has several sights of historical interest, including the last royal palace of the Portuguese monarchy before it was replaced by a republic in 1910. The Pena Palace was built by a romantic monarch who mixed several different styles - Gothic, Moorish, Disney - to create an architectural confection that is fun to view from the exterior (see photo). Unfortunately the interior is soley viewable as a very crowded, one-way tour through only mildly interesting rooms. So I enjoyed seeing the outside of the castle, but the slow shuffle through the inside was a disappointment. Fortunately the cafeteria provided great views and a tasty lunch to make up for it!Also in Sintra, I visited the Moorish Castle (see photo). Mostly a ... read more
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