Day 12: Lisbon, Portugal

Posted on Mon 14 May 2012 in Transatlantic Cruise and Europe • 9 min read

Sumner:
Today started out at ten thirty when we woke up. Mom, Oma and I went to the Vista Lounge to listen to a talk about the architecture of Rome and then I went to the Lido Deck to see if anyone was there to play ping-pong. Nobody was so I started back down to the room. On the way, I saw someone who had just come from the bow, which was opened so that people could watch as we went under a bridge that spans the river that Lisbon was built by. By this time it was about time to go to lunch do I went down to the room to go with the est of my family. They also wanted to go to the bow to get a view of the bridge so we went to the Lido deck for some food. The Baldersons (Colton's family) came with us and we sat together for our meal. After lunch we went back down to the room and got ready to go into Lisbon. We have a guide for Lisbon for this afternoon and tomorrow. We met this guide outside of the dock station. Her name is Susanna. The first thing that we did is drive up to a place where you could get a good view of the city of Lisbon. At this point there was a monument to the Revolution in which the Portuguese threw off their dictator. There was also, on either side of the monument, a pillar the two together symbolized the treaty/alliance between Great Britain and Portugal. This treaty is the oldest in he world. The view from the monument was very comprehensive of the day. You could see the old Muslim quarter as well as a valley and another hill that was part of the city. Much of the city had been destroyed in the earthquake of 1755, this earthquake was a major event in he history of Lisbon. The next destination was the old Muslim quarter. On the way to that quarter, we stopped at a park with all sorts of nice plants and it was really pretty. Anyway, when we got to the old quarter, we went to a cathedral. Outside, before we went in Susanna told us that we should watch our things. There are lots of pickpockets she said, as she was saying so she said, "See there, they've been robbed already." She said this pointing to a police car that some tourists were getting into. They had obviously not heeded he warnings on every Internet site that knows anything about Lisbon or about most of Europe for that matter. I thought that it was rather iconic that, even though it is a cathedral where things are supposed to be holy, the pickpockets play the part of a tourist and, as they are professionals, you don't realize that you've been robbed until you try to pay for something. Besides the pickpockets there was another interesting thing that you don't see much of in America. Tram cars. They were all over the place, two of the lines went right in front of the cathedral. We got to saw some go past as we were standing outside of the building. The cathedrals construction was interesting because it was in two styles. Romanesque and Gothic  Romanesque churches have the same design as a Roman basilica, or law court. This means that enemy have a large nave in the center and small hallways on either side. It is also characterized by semicircular arches where the height of he arch is half he width, it has to be or else it isn't be a semicircle. He main body of the church was made in this style but, as the cathedral was built over a few centuries, the old style went out of he fad so they changed styles to the Gothic style for the back of the church behind the part where people go to mass. This area was for people to go pray to the relics and such. To get to this area there's a Gothic arch it is interesting because you can also see the Romanesque arch which the Gothic arch was built into. Then we walked around the area and saw lots of facades with glazed tiles covering them as well as many other charming sights. As we were walking we went down a street where people were decorating he streets, our guide said that they were preparing for a celebration. It was still a month away but, like us in America preparing for Christmas, they start decorating early. The celebration is because some children had sworn that they had seen visions of the Virgin Mary and in doing so they made this area a big pilgrimage area for he Catholics. Then we kept on walking and we passed a few fadu (fahd-zoo) restaurants. In these restaurants you go and eat while people sing to you. Hen we went through a neighborhood which was really nice but the buildings weren't in good shape because the owners didn't have enough capital to restore the buildings. Part of this is that they can't raise the rent if the owner stays the same and the rent is sometimes less than 50€. One € (Euro) is about 1.4 dollars, the exchange rate though makes it more like 1.5 dollars. Therefore 50€=\$75. Sort of there was a nice hotel that was really nice one of the nicest in the city, a five star. It was investing however that nowhere on the building did it say that it was a hotel. In the front of the hotel on the street side was a fountain that used to be a public fountain with water from the aqueducts coming into the city. After that we got back in the ban and went to the monumental area. We were planning to go to the cathedral but as it was closed for a funeral, we walked to a bakery first. We had seen the bakery in a video from Rick Steve's it was called Pastries de Beliem or something like that. The pastures are very popular and secret. There are only four people who know the secret receipt and, though they try, anywhere else but this restaurant that serves the pastry just can't do it right. I have no other words to describe the desert other than it was extremely delicious. After we ate our pastries we walked back to the cathedral and went inside. This one, like the one in the old quarter, is in two styles, Manueline and renaissance. Most of he building was in he Manueline style but the front altar is in the renaissance style. Manueline is a style unique to this area and it was named after Manuel, the king of Portugal when this style was popular. The actual structure is much the same as the Gothic style but the major difference between them is the decoration. In the Manueline style there are lots of decorations with a seaward theme. By this I mean ropes, ships, oriental leaves, etc. Because people couldn't just learn about what their explorers were finding on tv, they carved it into their cathedrals, creating the Manueline style. He renaissance style is much like the Romanesque because the renaissance is characterized by the romantification of the classical Roman arts. After we went to the cathedral we drove to another site where there is a fortress that was used for the defense of he river in the times when pirates would sometimes come to rob the people of Lisbon. It had a tower and then on he side of the tower toward the river there was a platform that was lower down from the tower for cannon possibly. This tower used to be in the middle of the water but when the earthquake of 1755 happened, the water level for the river went down making this tower become the side of the river. After this tower we went to the Explorers monument this monument was to all of the great explorers from Portugal. It was kinda neat because it showed some of the people who where important in the development of world history. After going to this monument we went back to the boat and because we did nothing of note, I will not bother describing the rest of the day because I think that you can piece together the rest of he day from my earlier posts.
    \~Sumner

Hannah:

Got up at 9:30. BUT went to bed this morning. (at 1:00AM)All of us did not have breakfast AGAIN.Went back to the room.

Had a little free timetried to exchange US dollars for Euros. Was too young and needed and adult. Decided to go to the talk about Roman Architecture.was REALLY boring, so I went to Club HALthey were making lizard charm bead things. It was fun. I made a lizard out of white and pink beadsAfter club HAL. we went to watch the cruise ship go under the twin of the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, it is smaller thatn the Golden gate Bridge. Only a litter smaller. After that, went to have lunch. ended up having lunch with Sebastian, Nathan, Coltan, and their mom. It was fun. Also Gede (guh-day) (and our REALLY friendly guy) "served" us. He is funnyAfter lunch, we had a hectic time trying to get ready to get off the boat and to our tour. When we FINALLY were off the boat, we met our tour guide. Her name is Susanna. (Sue-zan-uh)She speaks English perfectly. And she only learned by watching English movies/TV and learning a little in school1st stop was going around, in our van, around the city of Lisbon, Portugal We ended up parking around the Moorish area. We walked around, listening and learning about the architecture, history, and MUCH more. There were plastic garland things being put up from apartment to apartment. Susanna told us that they are getting ready for the St. Anthony parade/festival. (Even though the festival is June 13. Almost a month from now!) There is also a type of song called a Fado (fad-oo) Some people say it came from north Africa and then came to Italy, then came to Protugal. Others say it came from an ethnic group in Middle Africa. No one knows for sure.Our 2nd stop brought us to a lovely park.But it wasn't just the park we were going to see. We went to see a HUGE cathdrel. The whole thing is made out of Limestone. (Although, there have been a few renavations)We looked at the beautiful architecture on the outside. It was quite crowded when we went, so we dicided to go to the famous resteraunt where the famous Belem Cakes are made. (Also known as egg custard. Though it is not regualar custard.) Why is it so special? Because only 4 people in the ENTIRE world know the recipe for how to make these egg custards. Only 4 people in the world! Other places have tried to copy the custard, but it is DEFINETLY not the same. The custards were REALLY good. yumAfter that, we went back to the catedral. we got to go inside this time. Inside this particular cathedral, we got to see the tombs of Royal Poets. Strange huh? Not really. If you know who King Henry the Navigator is, you might know why poets were so important. The cathedral is absolutely stunning. It is built in the Romanesque Style. and the pillars can remind you of palm trees. Also, some of the decorations look like rope. (I will hopefully post pictures.) Our 3rd stop and last stop took us back near the boat, but still far from it. And we got to see 2 monuments. The first one was of a tower like fortress. It was amazing. A cool fact that I learned was, was that if you were put into the prison, the prison was UNDERWATER!!! I thought that would be absolutely TERRIFYING.Our last stop was a monument dedicated to King Henry the Navigator. It was MASSIVE!!! I mean it. An average hieght woman qouls only come up close to the bottom of the structure. I will post pictures of it.AFter that, we went back to the boat. We were late for our asigned seats, so we just got antoher table. It was cool. After dinne I went to Club HAL again. The other kids were playing Gaga ball. I played for a while, then decided to color a picture instead. After that the kids went for ice cream. (Even though it WAS 9:00PM) YOu see, tonight was called I'm the boss which meant that the kids got to chose what to do.

Adeus!! (a-de-oosh!!) That is goodbye in Portugese.

Soory it is a little choppy. I was in a rush.

-Hannah- :D