It is not often that I strive to post my scrapbook of travel experiences. But there is soo much to share and soo much to write, I am amazed that a mere 2 day trip to Lisbon would put me in such a dilemma. Wouldn’t be any different had I been there for a couple of weeks, I am sure the struggle to pen down would still be colossal.
For starters, we were docked on the Southside of Tejo River, with a few of the monuments visually seen through Marine Binocular we had on-board. At an hourly interval from 0600–2200 Hrs, ferry services run to and fro connecting North and South Shores of the river (The Main attractions listed below, lie on the Northern Banks of the River). If at any moment we missed the ferry, killing time ain’t difficult due to coy coffee shops adjoining the ferry Wharf’s, that also serve Muffin/Cake with a smile
Padrao dos Descobrimentos
The Portuguese discoveries through Navigation and shipping 19th Century greatly influenced the Global History, as well as its History of its colonies. Towards the Northern end of the Tagus River estuary Tejo, lie Padrao dos Descobrimentos (The monument of Discoveries). It was build in 1960 in commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the death of Henrique O Navigante . The monument is dedicated to Maritime discoveries and to the sailing companies that gave tremendous fame to Portugal.
Torre de Belem
The Belem tower is a Manueline style and is a symbol of the city. King Manuel commanded its construction, following a design of Francisco de Arruda. Between 1515 and 1521. It is a large solid hexagonal platform, with thick battlements and projecting towers fixed on different levels of battlements, with small balconies and windows. On the third floor there is an elegant Renaissance style gallery. Its purpose was to control navigation along the length of Tejo estuary and the entrance and exit of city.
Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos
One of the most important monuments of the city, a masterpiece founded in 1502 by king Manual. The construction started according to the project by Boytac, from 1517 the work was directed by Joao do Castilho and Chanterene. Spaniard Diego de Torralva and Frenchmen Jean de Rouen finished the work in 1572. A series of magnificent pillars covered with ornamental statues separates three naves (Nave is the central part of the church extending from main entrance to the Altar) of the temple. The Gothic vaulted ceilings have a fine frame of starred ribs. The transept (In churches a Transept is an area set crosswise to the Nave in a cross shaped building) is a masterpiece and is supported by only 2 pillars which withstood the earthquake in 1755 (Magnitude- 8.5-9.0, resulting in causalities over 10,000)
The Song of Lisboa
Classified as intangiable Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, Fado is the purest expression of Lisboa’s “Soul.” Much more than just a song, Fado is a musical manifestation of felling Portuguese and city’s way of life, always accompanied by the melancholy chords of the Portuguese guitar. Fado has been an inseparable part of the citys heritage for over two centuries now. Overseas influence from various cultures can also be heard in Fado.
There were a series of Fado Houses which is all lit and lively and of course pretty crowded. It is when the light go dim we know that a Fado is about to be sung. And whats surprising is that the guy whom you shared a bench could be a fado singer. They just love mixing with the crowd, and start spontaneous singing.
Praca do comercio
It is the best known and largest of the squares in Portuguese capital commonly called Terrerio do Paco. It occupies a wide flat area surrounded by headquarters of various ministries and government offices. On the North end is a triumphal Arch constructed in 1873. The upper sculpting represent coronation of the Glory to the main virtues: Genius and Courage. The four statues on the lower part represent Viriato, Nuno Alvares, Pombal and Vasco da Gama. The center of the square is presided over by the monument of King Dom Jose I
25th April Bridge
This 2 km long engineering Marvel, constructed of steel and in 1966 sits on two great pillars Above River Tejo.
Livraria Bertrand– Oldest Bookstore in the World
Established in 1732, this Bookstore holds the Guiness world record for ‘oldest operating bookstore’. While the collection primarily is Portuguese books, there were a neat collection of bestsellers in English too. The store would happily stamp its insignia on the cover, thereby making it a priced possession.
Located on the Northern slopes of Serra de Sintra, between cliffs, woods and natural springs, this town is heaven of peace and greenness. This is a town of artist, with a handicraft store every few yards away. The Heart of Vila Velha (Old Town) of Sintra, a declared UNESCO Heritage of Humanity, is primarily dominated by the Royal Palace. The construction was carried out in two stages, first during Reign of King Joao and later during Reign of king Manuel I. The vaulted ceiling is decorated with hunting dogs and paintings of parrots and birds.
Street Art/ Performances:
The streets are always ensuing. Acrobats, cos-play, Sand art, Puppet show, Music, Paintings. Each day have something new to offer. Hop on an E-scooter or a Bicycle and ride at your own pace.
” Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness “-Mark Twain