March 30, 2012
Thursday 29th March 2010
Today was to be our last in Portugal. We began it by climbing to the Castello de S Jorge. This was designed to be the most difficult access point in Lisbon and it proved to be an exhausting experience. The castle was built during the city’s Moorish period in the mid 11 century to provide a formidable defensive stronghold. The climb to the top was well worth the effort as the views from the top were magnificent. Fortunately the castle courtyard was shaded by trees and had an excellent cafeteria where we were able to admire some beautiful peacocks while enjoying a cup of cappuccino.
The Castelo d Sao Jorge
View from Sao Jorge battlements.
We walked back down to the sea front and along to the Praça do Comércio where stands the striking equestrian statue of King José I. From there we passed through the Arco da Rua towards our hotel where we found a street restaurant to eat our last meal in Lisbon before finally leaving Portugal for the flight home.
Statue of D Jose I and the Arco da Rua
It was a wonderful trip. Lisbon is a city well worth seeing.
March 28, 2012
Wednesday 28th March 2010
Today we decided to see some of the country near Lisbon and took a short tour out of the city. We started at Sintra where we visited the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, a summer pleasure palace built during the 14th and 15th centuries by Dom Jaob and his successor, Dom Manuel. Then we headed up the hill to the Castelo da Pena, a 19th Centuary summer royal residence famous for its glazed tiles and fairy tale towers. From there we continued on to the Cabo da Roca which marks Europe’s most western end. Then we went along the cost to the Boca do Inferno with its striking waves and the small town of Cascais and its harbour.
The Palacio Nacional de Sintra
The Castelo da Pena
Cabo da Roca
Boca do Inferno
March 27, 2012
Tuesday 27th March 2012
Boarded a red open-top bus once more. This time went north as opposed to yesterday when we explored the south and saw more impressive architecture and stunning statues.
Visited the Oceanario, an awesome aquarium – one of the best I have seen.
This evening we dined at a street restaurant near our hotel. My companion was not interested in football. Earlier in the evening we saw passing chanting Chelsea fans. Despite missing most of the game I caught the last half an hour on the hotel’s TV and saw Kalou’s winning goal.
March 26, 2012
Monday 26th March 2012
Flew from London at 6.00 am and got off to a bad start as I discovered that I left my Pentax SLR in the car. I got talking to a young lady journalist and a cameraman who work for BBC News 24 at Heathrow. She told me that they were filming around the Benfica stadium ground during their football match with Chelsea. Part of the filming would be by the statue of the famed Eusébio . They were dubious about the BBC using their footage unless Chelsea won. Probably will not go to the game but hope to watch it on TV.
We found out hotel to be more Spartan then we realised as there was no on-suite bathroom. But undaunted we boarded an open-top red bus and set about exploring the city.
The place near our hotel where we chose to eat
18th Century Aqueduct
View of Monumento ao Cristo Rei from under the Ponte 25 de Abril
Torre de Belem