Three days in Lisbon

Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
1
352
417
Trip End Dec 31, 2014


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Where I stayed
Tiara Park Atlantic Lisboa Lisbon
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
Some repeats and some new stuff

Flag of Portugal  , Lisbon,
Friday, March 29, 2013

PORTUGAL 
Map of Lisbon
 
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SOME INFO ON PORTUGAL:Most of us are familiar with Portugal because of their explorer like Vasco de Gama who rounded the Cape of Good Hope, founded Goa in India, and Brazil in 1500.  On my trip to South India in 2010, I saw Vasco de Gama's tomb in Cochin.  On our visit to his tomb at the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon during our included tour, we were told that his tomb was empty.  I always believed it was the other way around; that Vasco de Gama was entombed in Lisbon, and not in Cochin.   Sometimes, history has a way to correcting itself in one's mind through travel.
 
Lisbon has an interesting history.  The Phoenicians were the first foreign influence around 1200 BC.  The Cartheginians, the Romans, and even the Celts migrated to what now is Portugal.  The Romans had a huge impact to the ancestors of Portugal, because they introduced Latin, Christianity, and the engineering of roads, bridges, and buildings.  Arabs invaded Portugal in the year 711 to spread the message of Prophet Mohammed, and most of the land was controlled by the Moors for 500 years.  Their influence was in the areas of agriculture and architecture.  
Henry the Navigator is a well known countryman.  One of six sons, this remarkable prince became known as Henry the Navigator even though he himself never traveled very far.He mobilized an international team of specialists that included astronomers, geographers, map-makers, mathematicians, and installed them in Algarve – the site of the College of Navigation, the peninsula or “Sagres”.   *Sagres is a beer brand.   They also have Super Bock.There are many sites and street names in Portugal with his name.
 
 
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MARCH 30:Our tour started in Lisbon for three days with some organized tours included on this trip.  We had plenty of free time to explore Lisbon on our own, to find good restaurants, and to learn something about this city – it's history, architecture, food and drink, and their people.
 
The city is divided into six main tourist districts with Baixa or old town at its heart, Barrio Alto with the Elevador de Santa Justa designed by Eiffel:  Belem where Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and Discoverers Monument are located; Bairro Alta, the central district where the main night life happens; Alfama is the oldest district with its curvy-narrow streets that sits at the foot of Castle of Sao Jorge; and Chiado which is considered the intellectual district of the city. Upon our arrival early in the morning the first day to our hotel, the Tiara Park Atlantic, all we were allowed to do was check our bags with the bellboy, and venture out to become familiar with our surroundings and to explore on our own.   I inquired at reception on what I should do on our first day in Lisbon, and they suggested I walk down to the waterfront, about a thirty minute walk from the hotel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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CITY TOUR:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Map of Sintra
 
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SINTRA:
On April 1, we were provided with an optional tour to Sintra, about 16 miles north-west of Lisbon. It used to be the summer home for kings and Moorish rulers, and with it many private mansions, pavilions and botanical gardens spread across this area. 
We visited Pena Nacional Palace which sits 1500 feet above the town.  It is a national monument, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The palace has a profusion of architectural styles with a mixture of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic (Moorish) and Neo-Renaissance.   It is interesting to see the dramatic differences in style from building to building, and even attractive with the contrast in styles.The palace's history started in the Middle Ages when an apparition of the Virgin Mary occurred when the chapel was built on the top of the hill. King Manuel I ordered the construction there of a monastery which was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome.  The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 took the heaviest toll on the monastery, but the marble and alabaster attributed to Nicolau Chanterene (see below for more info on Chanterene) escaped significant damage.  In 1838, prince Ferdinand acquired the old monastery with all the surrounding lands including the nearby Moorish Castle, and transformed it into a palace that would serve as a summer residence for the royal family.   The rebuilding of the castle was given to a much traveled German architect, Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege, and construction took place between 1842-1854.  The King suggested vault arches, Medieval and Islamic elements with ornate windows.  The palace was later sold to King Luis, and in 1889 it was purchased by the Portuguese State.  It was classified as a national monument in 1910 and transformed into a museum. 

Pena Nacional Palace is a place one would expect to find at Disney World.  
 
From Wiki:Nicolau Chanterene (also called Nicolas Chanterenne or Nicolas de Chanterenne) (c.1485 – 1551) was a French sculptor and architect who worked mainly in Portugal and Spain.It is assumed that he was born in Normandy, France. It is not clear whether he got his training in France or Italy. However his style is essentially French, notwithstanding his use of Lombard ornaments.Jerónimos Monastery's Western portal, transition from the Gothic style to Renaissance, by Nicolau Chanterene, 1517.
 
We enjoyed wine tasting at Loja do Vinho, a wine and gourmet shop, in Sintra, and free time to roam the narrow streets with (wine/linen/souvenir) shops, bakeries, and cafes.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
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On our way back to Lisbon   
 
 
 
 
 

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ON OUR WAY TO PORTO:
Winery stop
  

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Nazare: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 


My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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