Wednesday, June 8, 2016
This was truly a jam-packed day with a wide variety of sights and experiences.
We started the day at nearby Edward VII park, named for the British Monarch when he visited the city in 1902. Apparently the two countries have enjoyed a long friendship dating to the 1300's. I think a lot of it had to do with the English's affection for port wine. The park provided us with a great view of the Tejo (Tagus) River.
We visited the church with its 75 ft. ceilings,
Then we took a break in the park and Robert treated us to a Pasteis de Belem, a little round custard tart in a puff pastry shell that is a trademark of the area. Although there are similar tarts sold throughout Portugal, these are special and only 3 people know the recipe. (Like the KFC recipe). They were still warm and they did melt in our mouths.
Across from monastery, we walked through a park to the river. There we saw the Monument to the Discoveries.
son of King John I and was the brains behind the expeditions, although he never sailed himself. The 170 ft. concrete structure features Henry in front, and on both sides, depicts the various people and professions involved in the explorations --from royalty and financiers to sailors, soldiers, clergy and poets. I have views from yesterday's boat trip of this monument, too.
Although we didn't have time, we were near the Belem Tower, which I saw yesterday from the boat. It was built from 1525-1520 in the Manueline style.
Then we went to the Gulbenkian Museum where we had lunch in the cafeteria. Afterwards we took a 1-1/2 hour tour of the collections. The Museum was a gift to Portugal by Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955), an Armenian oil tycoon, who collected over 5,000 art pieces (only 1500 on display) representing artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Turkey as well as 19th and 20th century paintings. One of the special features is his collection of Lalique glass and enamel jewelry. Love this dragonfly.
His gift was an act of gratitude for hospitable asylum granted him during WWII.
We still had some of the day left, so I took the metro back to one of the squares where I caught this cute little funicular to the Barrio Alto
I retraced some of our steps from yesterday and ended up at the Elevador de Santa Justa.
Turned in early. Had to pack and regroup for a big day tomorrow - heading out of Lisbon to the countryside.