Saturday, May 04, 2013

Lisbon, Portugal: Museum, Cintra, Cascais, Cabo De Roca

This morning, Rosa and Augusta went to a church we found last night not far from the hotel called Our Lady of Fatima. The mass was supposed to be at 9am and we were to meet at 10 to go to the museum but when I got there, mass was actually starting at 10:30 so Augusta went for a coffee and visit with her niece and Rosa and I went to a fabulous museum. There were some amazing coins, paintings, carvings, sculptures, furniture, murals, tiles and just about everything beautiful.

 We had another great lunch courtesy of SATA Airlines (covering our meals and accommodations while their staff is on strike). Then it was off at 2pm with our guide from yesterday - Teresa. We decided last night that we should take advantage of the time we are in Lisbon (instead of the Azores) and do some sightseeing. Today was not on the original itinerary but it was a good day, nevertheless.
We went to Cintra which is a small town about 45 minutes North of Lisbon. There was a palace tour but I didn't go. Instead, I spent a good hour and a half hiking up the mountain and down in the valley where there is a lush garden and about 200 stairs to go down. As I was descending, I thought how easy it was and it occurred to me that eventually I would have to go up the same two hundred stairs. It was not as bad as I imagined it to be; must have been all those 600-800 stairs I am doing each day at lunch. I can imagine that people living in Cintra must be really fit because you cannot go anywhere without having to climb a ramp or stairs. I don't know how people in wheelchairs would manage living in this city.

We left Cintra for Cascais where it is said that there are more millionaires and royalty than there are properties that can accommodate them. Real estate prices are in the millions of Euros - nothing I could afford. It is right on the ocean and the really expensive houses overlook the ocean. Quite stunning really.

Then we went to Cabo de Roca for a picture - just to prove that we were standing on the Western-most point of continental Europe. It's a place with that as it's only claim to fame. 

Then it was back to the hotel for another delicious meal. The chef makes wonderful meals which is a surprise really because you expect hotel restaurants to be not very good. I had red fish for dinner. They always have some fish/seafood and meat (chicken, pork, beef) so it's easy to find something to eat, even for those on special diets. I was tired so I wrote my blog and my frustration with slow Internet connection means that I am going to bed now.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Lisbon: Convent of St Vincent, St. Anthony Church, Liberty Avenue, Rossio Square, Tower of Belem

As you can see from the title, we had a full day of churches, activities, sightseeing and eating. We started off the day with breakfast at the hotel and it was quite a spread - a full American breakfast. Then it was off to the Convent of St, Vincent where there was mass at 9:30am. I stayed for a while to enjoy the peacefulness of the inside of the church. The prayers are all in Portuguese so I can't really follow along but I could enjoy the alters and the architecture of the buildings. I love the carvings on the outside and our guide Teresa is very knowledgeable about the history of Lisbon.

Here are some pictures:

Convent of St Vincent

Sculpture in front of Convent of St Vincent

Another one

Alter of Convent of St Vincent

Alter at Convent of St Vincent

Outside of Convent of St Vincent
Motif on an outside pillar

Neighbourhood outside of St Vincent
Laundry day in Lisbon

Enjoying a fountain drink

Lisbon Trolley

St Anthony's church

In St Anthony's Church

Beautiful ceiling at St Anthony's

Christ and the 12 apostles in stained glass

St Anthony the patron saint of Lisbon

River Tejo

Lovely outdoor cafes everywhere!

Alter at St Anthony's

Decorating for festival of St Anthony
Street of Lisbon
St Jeronimos Monastery
St Jeronimos Monastery 
Stained Glass of Mother and Child
Confessional door

One of the disciples

St Jeronimos

St Jeronimos Monastery

Mother and Child in Stained Glass

Confessional door

Tomb of Vasco da Gama

check back for more....