Friday, September 16, 2016

Lisboa, Portugal.. :)

Friday Sept. 17th

Dear Family & Friends,

Another fun day on our great adventure.. Today we started to relax the pace a bit. Shorter rides and more site seeing. We left Porto and rode down to Lisbon. (Lisboa, I am not sure why we change the spelling of local names??). The ride was only a few hours and the weather was PERFECT!! Not to hot, not to cold, sunny and no rain.. About time!
Again we were pre-booked to a hotel so it was easy to arrive and be immediately relaxed.
We decided to be complete tourists today and took a two hour tour bus ride of the city.. 
First thing you notice is Lisbon is a very modern city. Not nearly as old looking as most of Europe. It certainly has some old buildings but a lot of avant guard modern architecture. Part of the reason is most European cities have lots of buildings going back 500 to a 1000 years but in Lisbon in 1751 there was a giant earthquake that flattened half the city and the other half caught on fire.. Luckily the fire did not last long because a giant Sanami soon hit and washed away what was left of the city.. :(  A few old building were repaired and survive but 99% of what you see has been built since then. On that day over 15% of the local population was killed, what a horrific event.
We did see an ancient Jewish synagogue that was converted into a Catholic church in 1495. The Inquisition was a fun time..  The building was ancient and beautiful but I am sure the story behind it was not.
I took lots of photos you can see below.

Had a chance to drink some excellent Portuguese wine today.. This is certainly becoming a wine tour.. :) but I have not been able to find a good place to sample one of my favorites, Portuguese sausage..
Tomorrow morning we are having breakfast with a  friend’s son from back home living here doing refugee relief work.. After that we have another relatively short ride back to Spain where we are staying in a small ancient Roman town of Cuenca. Should be another fun site seeing day. there are many of the ancient Roman ruins  that still exist there. I hope to get some great photos there.
That’s all folks!

The national Soccer stadium, our tour guide talked about with almost religious reverence..

An interesting mix of very modern architecture.

A museum dedicated to Christopher Columbus.

The University of Portugal, very modern but several hundred years old. Interestingly at the time Portugal needed to get permission from the Catholic Pope in Italy to build it..

This tower processed sea water to four different mineral and PH levels for the local aquarium that features sea life from four different oceans.. I didn't realize the water was different in each ocean.

The local rail road station designed to look like the ceiling of a famous church.

Notice the name on the building ? I remember studying De Gama as a famous Portuguese explorer but I dint realize he built shopping malls too.

A local tower style to look like a boast mast. The oceans have a big influence on everything here.

Interesting patio built right into the side of this sky scraper. That is about 15 stories up so they must have an amazing view.

Tomorrow we cross that bridge when leaving Lisbon. Big bridges like that are fun on a motorcycle. Generally they are windy and cold.

An ancient Jewish temple converted to a Catholic church in 1495,, I am quite sure  with the use of brute force.

The local taxi service. All electric so quiet and emissions free but zero suspension so they really rattle your teeth on the old cobble stone streets.

PS: I am not a selfish husband! I am always thinking of my wife and souvenirs I can bring here. Below is the new fad here in bathing suites and thought Bonnie would love the style so I got her two in different colors. Am I thoughtful or what???

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