Lisbon – The Cathedral – Photos

We walked up the narrow streets to the cathedral. Inside it was massive.

We went up into the gallery where we gained an insight to the immensity of the building.

From the top there were views over the city.

Very impressive. These religious people sure do like to show off.

Lisbon – Pastéis de Nata, tiles, fountains, trams and statues -photos

We have been to Portugal a number of times. It is delightful. It is always good to walk around, sample the Pastéis de Nata and beer and enjoy the vibe.

Delicious

 

Pastéis de Nata

I love the tiled buildings.

Blue blossom and trams!

Lisbon – at the top of the Elevador de Santa Justa

Having gone up the Lisbon the Elevador de Santa Justa we had a wander, went into the museum and had a coffee.

There was a ruined church that we could not go in.

I liked the flower in the muzzle.

Outside the museum was a guard and some guy in a cartoon suit. I bet that was hot in summer.

We had a walk back down through the narrow, windy streets.

Lisbon – the gothic Elevador de Santa Justa – photos

The Elevador de Santa Justa is a gothic gem of wrought iron that gives a magnificent view over the city. It is like a lift in a casing of beautiful wrought iron.

Great views over the city.

The ironwork is beautiful.

What an incredible, unique structure the Elevador de Santa Justa is.

Photography – a few of my artistic psychedelic photos of Lisbon at night

P1090650 P1090679 P1090686 P1090650 P1090642

These are a few shots that I have been playing around with to gain some psychedelic effects. I hope you like them as much as I do.

If you are enjoying these little tales from a life and would like to read more then you can purchase them all in my two books of anecdotes.

They are available on Amazon in both paperback and on kindle.

Anecdotes – paperback just £6.95  Kindle – just £1.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459501044&sr=1-7&keywords=opher+goodwin

More Anecdotes – paperback just £7.29  Kindle – just £2.12 or free on Kindle Unlimited

http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Anecdotes-Essays-Beliefs-flotsam/dp/1530770262/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459501044&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+goodwin

My other books are also available. There is some unique to suit most tastes if you like something thought provoking and alternative.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1459501044&sr=1-2-ent

The Voyage – Part 24 – The wonders of Lisbon Portugal

P1080907

The sea was rough. We were trying to outrun the storm that was hard on our heels. We were managing it – although the sea was choppy and the temperature discernibly colder the sky remained bright.

I gave up on the chances of further dolphins and whales. The chances of seeing more were slim. I walked the deck and put in my miles or sat at the stern out of the cool breeze and read. The arc of the stern was a nice little sun trap out of the wind. The temperature there still felt warm but we were, none-the-less, back in jeans and a fleece. It felt as if we were eking the last dregs.

Lisbon was our last stop. I’d heard a lot about it. It was reputed to be a beautiful city and I was eager to see what it was about even though it lacked the allure of Brazil and Argentina. Those more exotic destinations were a little bit more than a short intercity hop away.

P1080865 P1080866 P1080898 P1080887

Before sunrise I was up on the deck. As we glided in up the river Tagus the sun rose behind the headland bathing everything in the most gorgeous golden light and filling the sky with vivid mauves and reds. It felt as if the heavens were conspiring to produce a brilliant show for our finale. We approached the Vasco da Gama Bridge and the companion Christ the Redeemer statue to that we had seen in Rio. They looked spectacular in the glow from the sun. It was surpassing all expectations.

The Belem Castle and Padrao dos Descobrimentos came into view all bathed in fluorescent orange.

P1080902 P1080919 P1080920 P1080924c P1080866

As we approached Lisbon itself the sun was rising above the headland. I was transfixed by the beauty. The whole city was bathed in orange light with glints from the windows and a sky as a backdrop that ranged from orange, through pink to purple. It was spectacular. I watched the Praca do Comercio slowly glide past with a ruddy Arco Triunfal da rua Augusta and knew nobody had ever seen it looking better. This was the epitome of a sunrise. Looking back to the Vasco da Gama bridge with the sun risen it glowed red just like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

P1080941 P1080938 P1080921 P1080924 P1080908 P1080953

We could not have been luckier. It could not have been more beautiful if it had tried. The day before it had been raining and the next day was due to be a stinker as that storm waded in. We had arrived on a window of opportunity.

P1080951 P1080915 P1080919 P1080936

I didn’t car now if it poured with rain for the rest of the day. I had seen Lisbon at its very best. The city looked gorgeous with its red roofs, multi-coloured buildings, cathedrals and castles. A magical scene.

We disembarked and walked along looking up at the brightly tiled and prettily coloured buildings close-up. They were just as beautiful as at a distance even if some were a little tatty.

P1080980

I also liked the murals and graffiti. Some great artists.

P1080975

We walked past the sign reading – Land-sick? Return to the ocean immediately. I thought that was amusing given our fifty odd days at sea and that this was the last leg of our journey.

We took the bus around the city and peered out at the incredible murals on three houses that we passed. There were tree lined avenues, churches, department stores and everywhere the characteristic tiled houses.

P1090029 P1090023 P1090021

The circular bullring with its Arabian style looked magnificent despite the inherent cruelty of its purpose. We were told that bulls were no longer killed here. It did not alter the fact that they were angered, baited and used in a manner that was barbaric. Oh for a more civilized age.

P1090044

The bus took us through a commercial area with an array of modern architecture which looked thoroughly interesting. There were bold primary colours, interesting shapes and glass. One could not help but be impressed. It wasn’t quite a Norman Foster or Zaha Hadid but it was pretty damn good.

P1090048 P1090046 P1090078 P1090076 P1090082

At the Park de Pombal there was a great view down the green park, with its maze like bushes, to the bay below. The day was clouding over but the light was still interesting.

P1090057

We passed the white and yellow painted old prison which looked more like a castle and then back through the city to the river. Our destination was the wonderfully ornate fortress that was the Belem Tower. It was so ornate and embellished that I could not imagine it being primarily a defence fortification. Yet it had served its purpose and repelled invaders. It’s cannons had seen action.

P1090155 P1090146 P1090137 P1090124 P1090118 P1090114

We looked round inside and went up on the ramparts to gain a view over the river and bridge. It was like a fairy-tale castle in miniature. I liked the way it was out a bit in the water which created a reflection and made it even easier on the eye. An incredibly impressive bit of olden architecture.

After refreshment we checked out the Padrao dos Descobrimentos statue which had been erected in memory of all the Portuguese who had emigrated from this dock. It was impressive. I also liked the striped lighthouse!

P1090176

In the other direction the fort of Our Lady of Salvo was a very typical Portuguese structure very similar to what we had already seen in Brazil.

Amazingly the sun was still shining. Our window of opportunity remained open. We headed for the impressive Jeronimos Monastery. We did not have time to go in but the outside was impressive enough.

P1090202 P1090195

Then it was along further coloured tiled houses back to the centre.

P1090223 P1090241

We walked around in the huge square of the Praca do Comercio with its surrounding vaulted buildings and cafes and the central bronze statue of King Jose 1st. The square was huge and commonly known as the palace square because it was constructed on the site of the royal palace that was destroyed in the earthquake, tsunami and fire of 1775 which destroyed most of Lisbon. Talk about bad luck. To have any one of those was bad enough – all three is well beyond a joke.

P1090271 P1090279 P1090273

We walked through the Arco Triunfal into the town beyond and then caught another bus. This time we were heading out to the Expo 98 site. It was an impressive site with the futuristic railway terminal and buildings, monuments and sculptures.

P1090320 P1090333 P1090334 P1090325P1090395

On the way back we passed the Lisbon Mosque and then out past the zoo. I was really impressed with the wonderful tilework of animals on the support structures of the flyover. They were very impressive.

P1090396 P1090419 P1090411 P1090406 P1090403 P1090402

To top off a great day we walked up to St George’s Castle with its great view over Lisbon and the bay.

P1090508

On the way we passed through the poorer areas. The buildings were shabbier, and it may have been my imagination but the denizens looked darker. But this was Europe. There were no shanty towns or even favelas. The inequality was there for all to see but perhaps not to the extremes we had witnessed throughout Brazil. There was hope for a fairer society.

P1090439 P1090438 P1090435

At the top of the hill we eventually, after getting hopelessly lost, discovered St George’s Castle. It was a big castle with majestic walls and ramparts affording great panoramic views over the city. The sun was dipping lower by now and the city was beginning to glow again. We partook of a delicious frozen yoghurt, walked on the ramparts, lost each other, and finally set off to find our way back. It was easier on the way down.

P1090495 P1090524  P1090544 P1090534 P1090530 P1090514

There was time for a beer in the palace square. It was our farewell drink to a spectacular voyage. We still had the notorious Bay of Biscay to negotiate but the storm had not yet caught up with us. We had hopes for a gentler crossing than we’d had at the start.

P1090560

Back on board we stood at the rail as the sun was setting and watched the lights of the city come on. The sky filled with purple cloud and the buildings smoldered again. It wasn’t quite as impressive as on our arrival but it was pretty damn close.

P1090585 P1090658   P1090626 P1090601 P1090598

Our voyage was ending in style! Lisbon had proved to be one of the most impressive stops of the whole trip.

We’d be back.

If you are enjoying these little tales from a life and would like to read more then you can purchase them all in my two books of anecdotes.

They are available on Amazon in both paperback and on kindle.

Anecdotes – paperback just £6.95  Kindle – just £1.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459501044&sr=1-7&keywords=opher+goodwin

More Anecdotes – paperback just £7.29  Kindle – just £2.12 or free on Kindle Unlimited

http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Anecdotes-Essays-Beliefs-flotsam/dp/1530770262/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459501044&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+goodwin

My other books are also available. There is some unique to suit most tastes if you like something thought provoking and alternative.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1459501044&sr=1-2-ent

Photography – Heading into Lisbon in the glorious light of a golden sunrise – Heavenly

I have never seen such wondrous light!

P1080859 P1080865 P1080866 P1080882 P1080902 P1080915 P1080919 P1080920 P1080924c P1080936 P1080938 P1080940 P1080941 P1080953

Wonderful!!

If you are enjoying these little tales from a life and would like to read more then you can purchase them all in my two books of anecdotes.

They are available on Amazon in both paperback and on kindle.

Anecdotes – paperback just £6.95  Kindle – just £1.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459501044&sr=1-7&keywords=opher+goodwin

More Anecdotes – paperback just £7.29  Kindle – just £2.12 or free on Kindle Unlimited

http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Anecdotes-Essays-Beliefs-flotsam/dp/1530770262/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459501044&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+goodwin

My other books are also available. There is some unique to suit most tastes if you like something thought provoking and alternative.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1459501044&sr=1-2-ent

The Voyage Part 23 – Madeira – a tropical jewel of an island.

P1080469

We had two days chugging through the sea a long way off the coast of Africa. There was a distinct feeling that I was leaving all the exotic stuff behind. We only had two stops ahead and they were both easily accessible from home and distinctly European. They did not have quite the same cache as Brazil or the Falklands. But I was determined to squeeze every last drop out of the experience.

I was making the most of the sun. It was cooler and had lost that tropical rawness but there were still plenty of UV rays to transform into Vitamin D. Sunlight is very bad for the skin but it does have a way of lifting the spirit. To get up, thrown on a T-shirt and shorts and step out into the warmth is a pleasant experience. In another week I would be disembarking into the winter chill of England. I was hoping for a miracle. Perhaps March would have an unprecedented tropical heatwave. It was a forlorn hope. I knew that we were more likely to be suffering cold and drizzle for the next couple of months. There could even be snow!

I sat around on deck reading or writing. I took my customary position at the bows, camera in hand, watching for a few last whales or dolphins. Not one showed their face. It seemed to me that the only time dolphins showed up was when I wasn’t around. They then delighted in bouncing out of the water, spinning around and grinning, just to mock me – the bastards.

P1080433 P1080448

Madeira loomed out of the sea bathed in sun with bright blue skies. I quite like Madeira but I prefer a shiraz. At least we were lucky with the weather. We were being chased by a big storm and reputedly Madeira has suffered fourteen days of miserable rain. We were hitting a magic window of opportunity.

Funchal looked good. The town nestled under snow-capped mountains. To have snow on those mountains was unusual. It added a bit to it.

They chose nice places to build ports. I suppose there is a reason for that. All these ports, cosied up in bays under the protection of a circle of mountains, had been established there for a reason. It wasn’t because they thought it might look attractive to pasty tourists. Those ports were set up in the days of those big wooden sailing boats. The bays were selected merely because they afforded a place to berth that was protected from the elements.

Funchal was one of those. It was a good place for Portuguese ships to pop into on their way to more exotic regions. Madeira was a way off from Portugal but was part of Portugal. It was renowned for four things – the brilliant temperature that endured all year through, the picturesque cliffs, the cable car that took you up into the mountains and to the Botanical Gardens, and this weird toboggan ride down the mountain in wicker-basket toboggans. That sounded fun.

Madeira was another of those volcanic islands. You could see that from the rocks and soil. It had that reddish brown volcanic colour. I suppose that all land is really the result of volcanoes or at least tectonic uplifts. It certainly made for interesting landscape and fertile gardens.

P1080478

We headed off to investigate.

There was a nice promenade with Palm trees and lots of statues and artwork. There was one of Christiano Ronaldo! The sun was very pleasant!

P1080479 P1080486 P1080482

We arrived at the cable car and headed up into the rarified atmosphere of the mountains. It was a great ride up with views over the city, cliffs and tropical plants. It was awash with colour. There was a great café at the top with a view over the bay and city below. There were no coconuts to drink but they did a smashing frozen yoghurt with nuts and honey.

P1080509 P1080506

Refreshed with set off to discover the delights of Monte. Up on the hill was a beautiful little chapel with typical Portuguese tilework and painted ceilings.

P1080528 P1080535 P1080534 P1080530

Further along we ran into the toboggan rides. A gang of guys all with a studied Portuguese swagger, wearing white shirts and trousers topped off with boater hats, were carelessly unloading the wicker toboggans off a lorry, standing around posing and smoking before launching tourists off down the street. I watched. We’d been considering having a go but on inspection it looked pretty tame and we decided against. It was an interesting tradition and we ought to support it. But it looked a bit naff. I have an aversion to touristy things.

P1080546 P1080555 P1080550

Up the steps was the cathedral. At least that’s what I suspected it was. I don’t know the difference between a big church and a cathedral. If ‘Our Mother of Monte’ wasn’t a cathedral it ought to be. It was beautiful. If the blue tile-work and painted ceilings of the chapel were delightful the quality of the art in that cathedral was in another dimension. Being an antitheist I often despair at the rituals and superstition of religions but even I have to admit that some of the greatest creative minds have poured their talents into religious buildings around the world. Or is it merely that the churches, mosques and temples had the power and money to employ the best?

P1080568 P1080580 P1080577 P1080573 P1080570

Having filled our spirits with beauty we headed back down to do a hop-on hop-off around the city and up into the mountains. It was a pretty place.

P1080633 P1080687 P1080667 P1080637

In the afternoon we wandered up into the old town, had a look round the fort and through the narrow streets. All of the doors had been painted with different artwork that reflected the personality of the owners. They were extremely colourful and amusing. The whole area was a maze of restaurants all touting delicious foods with enticing smells leaking out into the alleyways. There were art and craft shops and an atmosphere of a bohemian culture. The sort of place I would have liked to have dallied in and investigated more.

P1080731 P1080790 P1080788 P1080785 P1080781 P1080784 P1080770 P1080774 P1080775 P1080777 P1080764 P1080763 P1080768 P1080762

We had a beer and sat around and watched life go by then we bought a couple of bottles of Madeira and headed off.

P1080825

In the town square there was another fort. The whole world is covered in them. Human beings are a war-like species. We love violence and cruelty and seem to operate on the philosophy that instead of growing and making goods it is far easier to wait until somebody else has done all the hard work and then wade in and take it off them. At the same time you can have fun chopping people to bits, raping all the women and burning everything down.

We have a long despicable history behind us. I wonder what lies ahead?

P1080835 P1080833

We settled ourselves in a suitable café lavishly decorated with characteristic blue Portuguese tilework depicting Madeira in the past when it was a small town in the midst of tropical paradise and a few sailing boats in the bay – a bit different to the sprawling city that now exists and the stream of cruise-liners that were constantly passing through. I found myself thinking that I would have loved it even more back in those times – before the world was flooded with the hordes of humanity. Those tiles depicted an ideal looking scene. I also noticed that someone had smashed all the faces in one of the scenes. Was that some demented, intolerant Muslim who had desecrated the faces in the name of Islam?

We ordered a beer and listened to the excellent guitarist who was entertaining us. The temperature was still nice and warm. The beer was cool. The guitarist was brilliant. I discovered that I had enjoyed Madeira much more than I had anticipated. It was a place I wouldn’t mind coming back to for a longer visit. It had a nice feel to it.

P1080852

If you are enjoying these little tales from a life and would like to read more then you can purchase them all in my two books of anecdotes.

They are available on Amazon in both paperback and on kindle.

Anecdotes – paperback just £6.95  Kindle – just £1.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited

More Anecdotes – paperback just £7.29  Kindle – just £2.12 or free on Kindle Unlimited

My other books are also available. There is some unique to suit most tastes if you like something thought provoking and alternative.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1459501044&sr=1-2-ent