Lisbon – the cheapest capital in Europe and home of Vasco De Gama (2/2).

street We wander back through this enormous shopping arcade street.As we stop for lunch and drinks, I’m still struck by how competitively priced this is, compared to London, Paris or Rome.
 An innovative approach to policing, they had Segway’s.  police
 elev_santa_justa  The Santa Justa lift.
We decide to visit Belem.Its a bit away from where we are (Lisbon is quite fragmented) so we get a taxi.

This is a statue of Vasco de Gama we passed on the way.


 disc Monument to the discoveries.A major attraction of Lisbon, was Vasco de Gama.

Although circumstances could be more different, I really identified with his thirst for adventure.

On the waterfront, this structure, is the Monument to the discoveries, and features all of Portugals famous explorers including VDG and Henry the Navigator.

 There’s an African connection.De Gama navigated to the Cape of Good Hope.

Next to the monument is a large round are showing an enormous compass and places around the world.

It was a gift from South Africa.

 botgarden It’s a nice day, and we wander into the Botanical gardens.There’s a sign saying the bank that was sponsoring the Gardens has gone bankrupt, so the place is a bit overgrown and there looking for volunteers.

I wandered down this avenue with these beautiful tree’s.

 This greenhouse was closed, but otherwise a genuinely lovely spot and amazingly quiet considering just outside were most of Lisbons major tourist attractions.  bot_gard_building
 bot_gard99  I wander deeper into the interior and find these trails where I stop, rest and contemplate thing (like why cant the price of beer be cheaper everywhere in Europe).
Archaeological museum and nearby the Maritime museum, the thing I really wanted to see.  museum2
 church  People queuing to go into Jeronimo’s Monastery.
Everyone else wanted to stay outside and enjoy the weather, so I went into the Archaeological museum on my own.There were some interesting things inside, and it only cost about £2.  mus_art2
 chapel The entrance to the Maritime museum.The site was previously a chapel where sailors went to be blessed before embarking and an uncertain future.

Walking through these doors was an enchanting experience, I imagined what it must have been like 500 years earlier.

A statue of Vasco De Gama inside the maritime museum.  vasco
 map People I go walking with sometimes say Ordnance Survey maps are no good and lack detail.De Gama would have navigated with a map like this one !.
None of the original boats still exist so there were modern models to look at.There was a section showing how “discovery” boat changed over time.

Initially with triangular sales of the fishing boat kind.

Then the same kind of boat and sail but “square rigged” at the front and finaly this kind of Gallon, which is fully “square rigged”.

 sam_sword One thing I hadn’t realised, was as far back as the 1500’s, the Portuguese were trading with the Japanese.Here, a Samurai sword they brought back.
And just for fun, a Royal Barge.  barge
 dan_waterfront Dan sits out on the waterfront.In the centre of the photo is the enormous Christ the King statue.

To the left the Vasco De Gama bridge. 6 road lanes and 10 miles long. The longest suspension bridge in the world.

There was a nice Marina there, so we stopped and had some lunch and a couple of drinks.  mariner
 tdb Torre de Belem. Originally, would have been a quarter of a mile out to see, but the land has been reclaimed.Probably the site most people associate with Lisbon.

And off home, until the next adventure.

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