Category Archives: Lisbon

Don’t look!!…

If you’ve had your fill of my ‘urban art’ images.  If not, enjoy!

These first 4 were found on buildings in a revived warehouse district named LX Factory.  Lots of unique and creative shops.








This vacant lot looked like a kitty haven, with cat food and water set out along the perimeter.  Nice of her to pose for me!


Seen in Sintra – appropriate.


I didn’t see the ants when I took this photo.


The paper airplanes and thrower are paper, pasted on the wall.



Misc. Lisbon images



I’d visit Lisbon again in a heartbeat.  Here are the last of some random images.

A familiar face in the crowd. IMG_3009 This very moving monument is dedicated to the Portuguese causalities of the Overseas War of 1961 to 1974.   The flame (just in front of the little girl) burns continuously, and the names of soldiers who died in the African conflict are etched into the three walls that surround the memorial.


 Within walking distance is the Discoveries Monument.  Built on the bank of the Tagus River in 1960, it commemorates the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.

It represents a three-sailed ship ready to depart, with sculptures of important historical figures such as King Manuel I, poet Camões, Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Cabral, and several other notable Portuguese, following Prince Henry the Navigator at the prow holding a small vessel. The only female is queen Felipa of Lancaster, mother of Henry the navigator, the brain of the discoveries – who knew. See Wikipedia link for more details of who’s-who, and a photo of the entire monument.


We didn’t go inside to see the exhibits, or to the top for the bird’s eye view, but we did watch a fella with his copter (6 motors and approx. 6 camera lenses hanging from the middle) take flight around the monument.


The copter spent a lot of time in the air and seemed pretty steady in spite of a stiff breeze off the river.


A gem hidden away in the LX Factory neighborhood is a unique bookstore/library  – Ler Devagar,  which translates to “Read Slowly “.   One could drown in the books, new & used, laid out on floor to ceiling shelves – for 3 stories!  The vast building originally housed a printing press whose guts seem to still remain the center of the building – on 2 levels – gears, rollers and controls exposed.  This cool art bike hung from a wire, a small motor moving it’s wings gently.  More memorable than the bike is the memory of exploring the area, and stepping into the store awestruck at the uniqueness and creative use of the building before us.  IMG_3145

When heads roll, them must end up here. IMG_3163



Universal past time. – Laura



A must-see  if you have extra time in Lisbon is to head about 1/2 hour  NW to the city of Sintra.   On the north slope of the Sintra Mountains, it has been the summer haven for nobility, royalty and other rich types.  The draw is it’s cool, moist climate (Seattle?) most of the year, an escape from the summer heat.  Full of royal retreats (castles, palaces, estates), parks and incredible gardens, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.   It’s a popular day-trip, but in one day we could only squeeze in one estate, plus walk around the town a bit .  There’s easily a few days of exploring to do, more if you wanted to hike around the lush hills.

We visited the Quinta da Regaleira, a romantic palace & chapel, and luxurious park that features lakes, grottos,  wells, benches, fountains, and other exquisite constructions. It’s a mystical place, and would be quite a playground for kids with secret tunnels, cave grottos, and two wells used for ceremonial purposes that included tarot  initiation rites.   The floors open on the tour displayed many artifacts pertaining to it’s major reconstruction by a new owner at the turn of the century.

It was a damp day and the mist rolling down from the mountain top added to the mood.


Such craftsmanship.


Wisteria in full bloom.

My rock-solid man!


On the grounds..

The REAL big castle is at the top of the peak in the background.


Yup.  We ALL have wells like this in our yard!   Spiral staircase follows the contour down.


Some interior images.

Quite the place! – Laura



We went to a ‘classic motor’ show today and Dave might share some images with you.  I, however, couldn’t resist this shot of a Sunday outing with dad.  Pretty classic threads!  Even their shoes match. Hopefully Jr. won’t follow dad on the smoking front.


Our home in Lisbon!  It’s only about 12′ wide, but it’s well laid out with a large bedroom & 1/2 bath upstairs, a fireplace in the living room, and a huge sunny courtyard.  Newly remodeled, we were the first to book Carlos’ place.  Though we had very little down time, there are still  museums, palaces, and parts of town that we didn’t have time to visit in our 2 weeks here.  Next time!   Like the Spanish, the Portuguese are very passionate people (yelling discussions are the norm), but they truly are friendly and seem to genuinely care about you.

We’ll take the train to Port (Oporto!) today – a 2.75 hour ride.  We hear nothing but good things about the town (1.4 million in the area).  Home to port wine (hello, Mother) and some nice river countryside. But first you’ll see a couple of tardy Lisbon posts. Be well! Laura


Castelo de Sao Jorge

Always a good day for a hike!  The Castle of St George on the hill is our target.


In 1147 King Henriques, after recapturing Lisbon from the Moors,  transformed their  hilltop citadel into a residence for Portuguese kings.   A major earthquake in 1755 destroyed many of the walls – and much of the rest of the city.  Renovations started in the 1930’s resulted in a wonderful place to wander and get some awesome views of the city.





If everyone gives just a little push…. 🙂  Laura

fun on the funiculars

There are still a couple of funiculars in operation in Lisbon.  They are old trolly cars built specifically to go up and down steep hills.  As such, the one we saw was ‘stepped’ in it’s build to match the angle of the street.  A pair of cars did only straight shots up and down this hill.

Taggers got this one and it’s mate at the bottom of the hill.
There is another one in the yellow building, which is the end of the line.  They will pass in this section with 2 sets of tracks.
See the blue car coming out of the yellow building, which is the end of the line. They will pass in this section with 2 sets of tracks. All we need is a red car and we’ll have a Seuss story.
This mystery man w/sunglasses jumped off the moving car shortly after this shot. He must be a local, and that must be the exit technique, as neither cars made any stops along the way. Yikes!


Misc observations

They apparently don’t have the same laws regarding parking in front of hydrants.


Dave brought my attention to this lovely array of antennas on the house across the street from ours.  They’ve got be picking up everything.


Street cleaners are regularly seen.  They are of all ages, men and women,  and seem to do their job happily.


Cool asymmetrical door, with bonus reflective Dave, statue, and tram.

Some more local art 🙂

As seen in subway station
As seen in subway station
Love how the existing building texture was incorporated.
Well placed security camera
“we are not alone.”


Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Monastery of Jerome: The huge complex (900′ across the front – per measurement in Google earth) includes a church, ginormous courtyard, and a block-long monks dormitory that is now the National Museum of “Arqueologia” – research center and exhibits.  It also houses the Naval  museum noted in a previous post.  Now we see what those monks had to maintain with their tart sales.

Tai chi? No, just a photo op.





Someone trying to get a souvenir out of the deal.

IMG_3209We gave up counting the figures on the façade.  Again, it’s difficult to convey the size of this structure with a pocket camera.    Check out the wide photo in the middle of this Wikipedia site to get a better view. – Laura

maritime museum

We always seek out maritime museums wherever we travel and Lisbon’s is within walking distance.   It has the usual ship models, relics, sea captain portraits, and a little history.  A few noteworthy items:

A couple of actual staterooms from the royal yacht Amelia VI with quite impressive woodworking.  It was built in 1901 in London for the then-king Carlos, who was a serious mariner and quite the artist.   He was assassinated in 1908 and the boat was given to the Navy after the 1910 revolution that overthrew the monarch.   Unfortunately I don’t have any good photos and couldn’t find any on the internet 🙁   Also on display was a lot of his artwork – watercolors and pastels.

A second surprise was a hanger full of  royal barges – long rowing vessels – and two crazy-old float planes.

Forty oars on this baby, two people per oar.  The last time she was used was for Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1957.

This has got to be the simplest aircraft ever.  The copper tank below the upper wing is the fuel tank.   The hand crank is near it.  Plywood with fabric.



This one is a little more complicated, and you’d be less likely to get wet when landing!


Dave sent an inquiry to his expert sailor friend Capt. Joe, asking him to name the sails on this model.  His answer is below, and I believe him! IMG_0675“..I examined the sails very closely, but then I realized that I don’t know any Portuguese, so I can’t tell you the official names of the sails.  In English, however, the big one is the lateen main.  The one at the far end of the bowsprit is the ‘little one out front’.  The one behind it is the ‘little one behind the little one out front”…. and so on.

Ahoy!  Laura

the Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

We visited this royal palace which has a stunning collection of decorative arts dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, including  gold ware, jewelry, textiles, furniture, glass and ceramics, as well as the paintings, prints, sculpture and photographs.

It’s difficult to describe the quality and richness of the art and architecture of this era. To think about the time and talent that it took to create them, and that my eyes see them centuries later.   To see photos (visitors aren’t allowed to take any) , and it’s history, check out Wikipedia.

OK – so I snuck a few shots… Laura

Marble. Queen with one of her sons.
Even the hand rail is marble.
Exterior of the Palace
Tower near the palace – Rooster!