Archive for the ‘Down to Lisbon’ Category

Down to Lisbon: Lisbon!

June 17, 2012

Lisbon from Airplane window

After our one day trip we finally arrived to Lisbon. I think it has a different feel from any other capital in Europe. In one hand there’s of course the good Southern Europe weather and sunlight illuminating it on the other hand there’s historical reasons.

Recent history has been kind in the looks of the city. While other countries were deep into World War II, Portugal remained neutral in the conflict saving monuments from bullet marks, bombing, rebuilding and other tragedies. The last time Lisbon had to undergo a major reconstruction was in the 1755 earthquake. Then it got the shape of a modern city with straight, large parallel streets downtown facing the river.

History also gave the city a cosmopolitan feeling. Lisbon was the center of a maritime Empire with colonies in America, Africa and Asia and you can see influences from distant lands in many landmarks, museums and in trees that don’t seem to belong in Europe.

Due to our errands we didn’t have so much time for sightseeing so I included some photos I took another time I was here in October 2010.

There’s plenty of photos and information on Lisbon in the internet but feel free to check our photos. There’s a photo I took from an airplane window arriving to Lisbon Airport showing the “25th of April” Bridge and the Cristo Redentor (a similar statue to that existing in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil).

Down to Lisbon: 3-A detour to Sintra

May 1, 2012

The plan was never to go straight from Porto to Lisbon. We left with enough time to stop somewhere for lunch (it turned out to be Nazaré) and before arriving to Lisbon we decided to stop again. We turned West to a different highway towards a quite famous tourist location – Sintra.

There are many landmarks concentrated in such a small area: A Moorish Castle, the Pena Palace, the Monserrate Palace… And we only had the time to visit one of them so it was a difficult choice. We went to Monserrate: a beautiful palace and gardens from the eighteen hundreds by a millionaire Englishman.

The gardens were beautiful even if it wasn’t spring yet (29th Feb). There are plants there from many origins around the world and it gives you the feeling you are inside some story or magical fable. There are small water paths everywhere and a lake decorating the landscape and you can see the Atlantic Ocean in the background. You can also find the ruins of a chapel which apparently was engulfed by Nature.

The mansion is quite unique too and is currently under repair works. I can’t imagine living in a house with so much details everywhere, from a simple door to the corridor with a fountain in the middle.

Judge by yourself from our photos:

Down to Lisbon: 2-The Road

March 16, 2012

Óbidos

Map

We left from Porto a bit late considering out schedule. We noticed the progressive landscape change, from the North mountains of Portugal to the Hills of the West. It was a bit unfortunate that we didn’t pick the camera until after Aveiro because we saw interesting stuff on the way. It’s a pity but I can’t show something like 10 consecutive stork nests built on the traffic signs in the highway, it was quite unexpected. I guess there’s a lot of babies there.

But we could get some interesting photos either on the move or on the occasional service area stop. The focus isn’t always right when you travel but I really like some of this photos. There’s the view of Óbidos from the highway; the contrast between the old traditional windmills and the new electric turbines and even some curious mini-camping-houses near Nazaré.


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