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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Portugal, Lisbon

The entrance of Lisbon, Portugal is really spectacular. When our bus entered Lisbon (Lisboa), we were greeted with a huge statue of Jesus Christ. Known as Cristo-Rei (Christ the King), the statue overlooks Lisbon, capital of Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and inaugurated on May 17, 1959.


After entering Lisbon, we headed to the Navigators Monument, also called the Monument to the Discoveries, and the Tower of Belem. The Torre de Belém (Tower of Belem) was built as a fortified lighthouse late in the reign of Dom Manuel (1515-1520) to guard the entrance to the port at Belém.

Torre de Belém

We could also see the Cristo-Rei from here.

Workers tiling up the pavement.

The pavement.

Nearby is the Navigators Monument. The original monument had been built with perishable materials, but it was rebuilt in concrete in 1960, in time for the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator, the sponsor of the Portuguese Discoveries.

Navigators Monument

Side view

Side View

Next we headed over to the Jeronimos Monastery, which is only a short walk away.

Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery

Entrance of the Jeronimos Monastery
Inside of the Jeronimos Monastery

Inside of the Jeronimos Monastery
Tomb of Vasco da Gama, a Portugese explorer who was the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India.

After visiting the Jeronimos Monastry, we headed on to try the world's most famous and delicious Portugese egg tart. Until the 19th century, monasteries were Portugal's research, trade, horticultural, and confectionary epicenters, around which rose small businesses. Originally, lay bakers made the pastéis behind the Jerónimos walls and sold them to the public. In the early 1800s, Domingo Rafael Alves, an enterprising Portuguese from Brazil, bought the recipe from a desperate out-of-work baker. Casa Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon was the first place outside the convent selling this dessert. The recipe of the Portugese egg tarts from this cafe is a guarded secret for centuries. Only 3 people in the world know the recipe.
The famous cafe.
Bar counter of the cafe where many were lining up to buy egg tarts for take-out.

Our delicious egg tarts and aromatic coffee. You have to sprinkle cinammon powder and sugar if you want, on the tart. And I have to tell you, it is sooooo good! One is not enough. It is so good until I dont know how to describe.

After this, we headed to for lunch, outside of Lisbon, in Sintra.

Grilled sardines. They are mouth-watering..and I'm not even a fan of sardines...
The grilled squid. Yummy!

Grilled chicken...haiz..I'm getting hungry now..

Seafood rice! Abit like seafood porridge.

The streets.

The beach.
We then headed to Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of Europe.
Me and my mum

Both of us again.

Beautiful view of the sea from Cabo da Roca.

The valleys.
Then we headed to the royal Palace.

The Royal Palace
The chimneys!

Interior of the Royal Palace.

Interior of the Royal Palace. There are some oriental looking furniture as they were presents from the East.

Ceiling. Carved wood.

The chapel in the palace.

The bed.
The kitchen. All the huge pots lining up on the stove. And this metal thing is for hanging meet.

The huge oven!

Another view of the kitchen.

The chimney from the inside.

The dining hall.
Yupz, that's about it for Day 7. Till the next time I blog...

~ { 2:37 AM }
reflections @ 2:37 AM 0 comments

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Cobwebs have been growing on this blog I know...sorry for the long absence. Been watching the Olympics. ごめん!

Anyway, to continue my trip that happened so long ago... we walked through the ancient Jewish district of Santa Cruz in the morning. There used to be many Jews living in Seville until the Archdeacon of Ecija, Don Fernando Martinez (Ferrant Martinez), began to go around Seville, preaching and inciting Sevillians against the Jews. In March 1391, the hatred he fomented burst out, provoking a popular movement, in which the populace, always ready for any kind of excess, entered the judería, pillaged the shops and beat the inhabitants. The mob did not stop at plunder, but went looking for the Jews with knives and daggers, pursuing them through the Jewish quarter's narrow streets. This juderia had only two gates which the mob rushed through simultaenously, to prevent the unhappy Jews from leaving. Men, women and children had their throats slit without mercy, in their own homes, and in the synagogues. The massacre lasted an entire day and cost the lives of a huge number of people, 4000 souls. The judería, which had had more than 5000 inhabitants, was reduced to a few dozen. The diminution of the Jewish quarter was so marked that by the end of the 15th century practically no Jews remained in Seville, and for this reason the decree of exulsion of 1492 affected Seville much less than other cities of the kingdom. Almost no one was expelled from Seville, as there were practically no Jews left there.

A monument to Christopher Columbus in the park which we walked through.

Housing in the Jewish district. One house like this is for one family. It's freaking huge!

When you enter, it's a patio with a garden and all that.

Plaza de las Tres Cruces where there are three wrought iron crosses in the middle of a triangular square.

Those things hanging from the ceiling are dried meat. Too strong for my taste.

Walking through the Jewish district.

A typical small provision shop that sells everything under the sun.

After touring the Jewish district, we went to the Cathedral of Seville, where Christopher Colombus was laid to rest. The Cathedral of Seville, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is the largest Gothic cathedral and the fourth largest Christian church in the world. The Cathedral was built to cover the land previously occupied by the Almohad Mosque. The builders reused some columns and elements from the mosque, and most famously the Giralda, originally a minaret, was converted into a bell tower. It is topped with a statue representing Faith. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol.

The Cathedral of Seville.

The Giralda.

One of the horse carriages in the vicinity of The Cathedral of Seville.

Entrance of the Cathedral.

In the Cathedral of Seville.

The organ in the Cathedral.

Stained glass in the Cathedral.

A painting inside the Cathedral.

The tomb of Christopher Columbus.

The bells at the top of the Giralda after climbing 34 ramps to get there.

Another view of the outside of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral's roofs as seen from the Giralda.

After this, we crossed the Tagus River and headed to Lisbon, capital of Portugal.

~ { 10:05 PM }
reflections @ 10:05 PM 0 comments