Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 29 Aug 2008 23:58
Lisboa or in English, Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. We took the 4.20 euro return ticket, got on the train from Cascais and half an hour later stepped out into a thriving city. Immediately we loved the place.
Bear and King Jaoa I, The first square we got to after a ten minute walk form the train station. The Rua Augusta Arch showing its size. The back right corner of the square was the only place we could buy our tour bus tickets. The tours were divided into four, red, blue, yellow and tram. Joint ticket 30 euros or 14 each. We bought blue tickets as it took in Belem Tower ( own blog ), my personal favourite monument from school days. We walked up to the castle first ( own blog ), not the best plan in 23 degrees and bright sunshine, quite a climb up many steps, through skinny old streets.
The very beautiful Town Hall. The Elevador de Santa Justa or the lift of St Just, built in 1900 and stands 45 meters high. A clock set into the rear of The Rua Augusta archway.
The building on the left is the original Train Station with its horseshoe shaped doorways, the right is the corner of the Town Hall. Each lamp on the side of buildings has a small ship inset, the Portugese are very proud of their sea-going adventurers, especially Vasco da Gama who discovered Brazil and began a trade route with India. The Eden Theatre complete with trees growing in the elaborate frontage.
Bear on a happy street. The national costume of Portugal. One of the many trams seen in the city. There is a rail museum where you can see an original open-topped tram from 1910 ( the oldest surviving in Europe ). There are museums for just about anything, Electricity, the Orient, Gulbenkian ( own blog ) Ancient Art, Religious Art, Marine, Military, Archaeological, National Costume and Tile.
Main street of the city, the pink building is the Hard Rock Cafe showing just how the modern world has been incorporated into the traditional buildings. This water fountain dates back to the early 19th century, each side of the long water feature are tiled walkways in traditional patterns of waves and stars. Tiles are just about everywhere throughout Portugal, they were first used in the 1820s.
One of the Metro entrances with very ornate green metalwork. You can just see a little Smart car at the traffic lights, the main dealer has thriving trade, you see hundreds of these popular little cars.
This fabulous bull fighting arena seats 6,500 for its Thursday night fights. In Portugal the bull is never killed in the ring and all fights are from horse-back, another skill they are famed for. Middle photo shows a landmark building which houses many exhibitions and is the centre for commerce and banking. We jumped off the bus here to walk to the Gulbenkian Museum. When we got back on a tour a tour bus after an hour in the museum we drove past the Aquaduct, didn't get a very good photo of it but it has the largest stone arch in the world being 66 meters high and 40 meters wide. This aquaduct carries water over a distance of 58 kilometers from Belas (Queluz ) as far as Amoreiras by gravity. Its construction took 100 years, but it started operating in 1570. A monumental work. 
All the main buildings along the River Tagus were originally owned by Royalty and the rich and famous, after the country became a Republic the buildings were given over to good causes, this one is a hospital named after Antonio Egas Moniz, born in 1874 in Avanca, Portugal. He was a neurologist who gained fame by being the inventor of the prefrontal leucotomy, later changed by the Americans to lobotomy. He was awarded The Nobel Prize in 1949, jointly with a Swiss neurologist called Walter Rudolf Hess, perhaps not a great name to have????.
The Presidential Palace is another of the buildings along the front, we think the pink is a bit dodgy. St Jeronimos Abbey was founded in 1502 by Dom Manuel I, it marks the epoch of maritime expansion. Erected on the site of the former Restelo Beach, the starting place of the Caravels and Naos boats for the Great Discoveries. Inside the Manueline decoration, the outer Gothic lines. The tombs of Vasco da Gama, Luis de Camoes and Alexandre Herculano can be found here.
The view from the park named after our Edward VII who visited the city often, shows the Portugese fondness of the English. The Castle can be seen in the trees up on the left. We thoroughly enjoyed our day in this most interesting city. It had been my ambition to get off the train with loads of fancy paper carrier bags from some of the major department stores, the biggest shopping centre has three hundred shops and is a landmark building with much celebrated architecture, just didn't have the time - Bear and Visa card very pleased.