May 31 and June 1, 2017
Our plan today was to visit with Meg Mann and her husband, Mark. Meg is a coaching colleague who lives in Lisbon but was originally from Florida.
Our sail in was beautiful! Another gorgeous day.
The ship was scheduled to arrive in port at 10 AM and we were just a bit later than that, and as we waited for the authorities to clear the ship so we could disembark, we went out to the deck and we spotted Meg and Mark near the fence at the port!
Last time we were here, Meg was in the US so we didn’t get to see her. We went to their home in the newer area of Lisbon, very close to the river – and it is lovely. They have a huge outdoor deck area that is quite the play place for their 2 dogs – and provides a great view of the river.
We walked along the riverfront, stopped for coffee, then made our way to a wonderful restaurant, Senor Fish, for lunch. We got to pick out our own fish and they grilled it over charcoal for us. A nice white wine, great conversation over several relaxed hours.
Meg had made an appointment for me to have my nails done, so the men went for beers, Meg went shopping and I had a great nail re-do, and for only 23.9 Euros!
Meg took us on the metro close to the historic area which is full of cafes and shops, and Norm and I had dinner there before returning to the ship. What a great day with friends.
Oh, no, it is June already. That means we will be heading home next month! Hard to believe.
Right after breakfast today we headed across the street from the port to take the bus to the Belem tower in an area of the city which we had not explored before.
Our first stop was the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery. It was funded by the treasures collected on Portuguese voyages around the world and was built here to honor the explorer Vasco de Gama’s safe return after his journey to India. It was completed in 1601 after 100 years of construction and is considered to be the most elaborate expression of the Manueline style – a unique form of decoration punctuated with marine symbols such as ropes, shells, coral and all kinds of exotic animals and plants. We saw one carving that looked like an angel at the top but had the legs of a chicken! The monastery was occupied by the Order of St. Jerome for hundreds of years until 1833 when the religious order was dissolved. It is also the final resting place of de Gama and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And it is amazing!
They had an area dedicated to the 500 years of existence of the monastery, and it really was a history of the world. It was so hard to take in the whole display so we bought the book that depicts it. But here is what it looked like and here is one of the descriptions.
We walked next to the Tower of Belem, the first building seen by the early explorers upon their return journeys. It was built originally to protect the harbor but it didn’t really work for that. It is right on the river and is a beautiful structure. We climbed all the way to the top.
Those archways are pretty low for a tall guy!
This is a replica of a rhinoceros that was brought to Portugal from India in 1513. Use your imagination!
The above picture was the apparatus used to raise and lower the original drawbridge.
We enjoyed the tile buildings and some unusual “who knows what” they are:
We had lunch overlooking the water, walked a bit more and then took the bus back to the ship.
How do you like this beer station?? Sardines are a specialty here. I don’t know if the restaurant had beer AND cake, or if there is really a beer cake. We were too full from lunch to find out.
I stopped at a chocolate shop and they had chocolate sardines. Which I did NOT purchase. But I did get the port wine chocolate.
This boat was docked next to ours when we returned to the port. It is the Sea Cloud II. The original Sea Cloud was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post by her husband EF Hutton. It later served as a weather ship for the US Coast Guard.
Bye, Lisbon. See you again soon.