PORTUGAL: Porto and Lisbon

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

                                                                     PORTO

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Porto, Portugal – Panorama With The Ponte De Luis I And The River Douro

Porto is overall a nice city albeit one with a graffiti problem. I guess I find it even more distressing seeing historic buildings defaced in this manner.

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Gallery Hostel – Super Place

Not to mention the fact that it was a nightmare getting in and out of that top bunk. Other than that the staff was wonderful, and everything was spotless.

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My First Lunch At Bugo Art Burgers – Top Rate Chicken Burger

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A Little Sample Of Porto’s Signature Blue Tiles

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Praça Do Carlos Alberto

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Livraria Lello And Irmao – Harry Potter Fans Take Note

This utterly magnificent bookstore in the middle of Porto helped J.K. Rowling in fleshing out some of the environments her enormously successful Harry Potter Series. Looking at these pictures I’m sure you’ll see why.

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Clearly A Happy Potter Fan Smiling Over The Railing

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As you can see the place is absolutely jammed with tourists. Even I couldn’t get shots without including the Mongol hordes. I wonder if there is ever a time when book lovers can just relax an browse in this beautiful space.

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The Bookstore At Night – Magical At Any Time

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My Second Hostel Across The Street From Where I Ate Lunch

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Best Eclairs Ever!

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Museum Of Photography – Formerly A Prison

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An Old Bellows Camera And Photo

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ABSTRACT EXTRACTS

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Nice Graffiti On Plain Cinderblock – Yes!

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A Statue Pointing In The Direction Of The Vapor Trails

It’s as if he’s trying to say they went that away.

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Great Spot To Have A Drink And Listen To Music

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Love These Old Trams

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A Walk Around The Plaza To Cure Breast Cancer

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Estação De São Bento – Main Train Station

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Station Interior

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Unusual Seaside Art Object In The Distance

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A nice stroll along the beach followed by a walk in the park and my time in Porto is over.

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These Are The Cobblestones Upon Which I Beat Feet Out Of Porto

                                    Lisbon

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This is Lisbon’s main square with a statue of King Joseph I that presided over the rebuilding of Lisbon after the calamitous earthquake of 1755. The quake struck on the morning of November 1st. on All Saints Day and was suspected to be in the region of a magnitude 8.5 – 9.0 on the Richter Scale. The devastating quake and the tsunamis that followed destroyed 80% of the city, and 30-40 thousand of its 200 thousands inhabitants perished. Fires raged for five days after.

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The City’s New Archway

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On a happier note, this is a new shop that looks like an old shop where they make the most delightful interpretations of the famed Portuguese fishcakes. The twist is that there is a delicious quality Portuguese cheese in the middle. Picture is a joyous young lady making my favorite local comestible with a big smile in her steampunk workshop. The place churns out an inordinate amount of these cheesy treats as she is merely there for photo ops, and to stimulate business. I suspect there a number of people in the back slaving away. I went back many times, and the girls in the workshop never lost their dazzling smiles.

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Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery

To be frank, my interest in going way out of the city center had little to do with the historical significance of this particular structure. As you can see the Cathedral in the following pictures is quite fetching even if you find the suffering Christ less to your liking. My pilgrimage, however, was to a more holy site, at least for me. Please see below.

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As I had said before, a very pleasant cathedral.

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Not Pleasant – Poor Jesus

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Pastéis de Belém – House of Pastry Worship – Since 1837

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The Hallowed Nata – Delicious Warm Custard  Surrounded By A Delicate Pastry Shell Dusted By Me With Cinnamon And Powdered Sugar

These are the original natas which are Portugals most popular dessert. These are the pinnacle of the art form and the recipe is a highly guarded secret known only to a few and passed down through the generations. It is said that on any given day, they sell 40,000 of the sacred pastries. These wonderful treats are once again proof positive that it is unnecessary to die in order to go to Heaven.

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A little touch of Paris in Lisbon

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Fernando Pessoa – 1888- 1935  Portugal’s Most Famous Poet

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Luís de Camões – Another Great Portuguese Poet

His statue and square are just across the street from the sculpture of Fernando Pessoa. He also had a serious case of multiple personality disorder, and as a result wrote poetry in a number of different styles.

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More of that ubiquitous goddamn graffiti!

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Golden Gate Bridge – At least Lisbon’s take on it using the same architect and materials. Theirs has a train that runs underneath it.

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Another Vandalized Tram

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Old Town – Side Street

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                       SINTRA DAY TRIP

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Quinta Da Regaleira – Unesco World Heritage Site

Aside from this palace, the property contains a vast array of grottos, caves, inverted towers, and labyrinths.

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Grottos Galore

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Oliver from Australia who I met in a hostel in Porto crossing a precarious water hazard from one cave to another. We met again at my hostel in Lisbon.

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Descent into an unfinished inverted tower

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Down

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Down

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The archway on the left led to a dark tunnel that brought us out into the bottom of the inverted tunnel below. Thank goodness for the flashlight app on the iPhone. These were called Initiation Tunnels, were used for initiation rites for various mystical applications.

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Climbing up this time

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What a fun places this was to explore.

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Here is the opening from which we finally emerged.

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Meanwhile back at the palace…

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There was some sort of laboratory inside that room.

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Chapel on the Left

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A bunch of us grabbed coffee and pastry after our adventure.

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Aussie, 2 Americans, Japanese, and Irish. Missing are me and Wilkie a guy from Hong Kong.

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The Most Easterly Place In Europe

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                                                     LISBON

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They were setting up a multimedia show on the square for a few days hence and were testing out some of their projections so I took advantage of the moment.

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Lisbon’s most prestigious café

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Another Walking Tour

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Another Touch Of Paris

Elevador St. Justa – This Was Designed By Students Of None Other Than Alexandre Gustave Eiffel Of Eiffel Tower Fame

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A somewhat more culturally stimulating piece of graffiti in the Old Town paying homage to the grand dame of Fado music. The lady of the evening depicted is Maria Severa who is said to have attained a near-mythical status after her death having been the first Fado singer to have risen to fame. Fado is Portugal’s answer to the Blues. Maria is said to have been a tall and gracious prostitute who would sing Fado in taverns, and play the Portuguese guitar. She died of TB in 1846. “Take note of the somewhat phallic fish on the plate next to Maria.”

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The Oldest Urinal In Lisbon – Not nearly as charming as the one I showed you in Biarritz!

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The Famous Vintage #28 Tram

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Took a boat to the other side of the river to get a bite to eat, and the hunger on us like the plague.

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It turned out to be quite a hike from the ferry toward the bridge. We were running out of gas with no restaurant in sight. I was starting to feel faint.

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Thar she blows!!!

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Ponto Final – With Views Of The Golden Gate Fugazi

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My Bubbling Monkfish Stew

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Our Sensational View

Photo on 5-10-15 at 11.19 AM

That’s All For Portugal Folks, See You In Spain

 

 

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Jason B.
    May 17, 2015

    Super cool

  2. The Travel Zealot
    May 17, 2015

    Jason,
    That Harry Potter bookstore is amazing, huh?

  3. Jason B.
    May 19, 2015

    Hey John, Very cool pics. So WTH is going on with all the graffiti in Europe. Some friends got back from Paris and also mentioned how bad it was. Has it been getting a lot worse in the last decade? Is anyone doing anything to discourage it? I know it has become a sub culture art form of it own but it belongs on the side of trains not architectural masterpieces.

  4. Big D
    May 22, 2015

    Seems like it would be harder to shoot a bad picture there. So photogenic.

  5. The Travel Zealot
    May 22, 2015

    I don’t mind when they graffiti art designated abandoned buildings, but when they make these beautiful European cities look like the Bronx, it really breaks my heart. It’s bad enough when they intrude upon beautiful architecture with their second rate artworks, but when they slander it with mere territorial pissings it’s just plain criminal, and they should throw these reprobates in jail for a bit. Then they should put them on work crews cleaning up graffiti in embarrassing, unhip, pink overalls that say “I’m an idiot” in the appropriate language.

  6. The Travel Zealot
    May 22, 2015

    True Danny, but I have to shoot around a lot of graffiti, and tram wires.

  7. Marianna Torreblanca
    May 25, 2015

    Oh my goodness,that bookstore is gorgeous! I would get lost there for hours, without a doubt! Seeing your pictures makes me want to visit Portugal, even though I had never considered it 🙂

    We miss you!

  8. The Travel Zealot
    May 25, 2015

    Marianna,
    It is an amazing space! Thank you for jumping on board and commenting.
    I have been reading a lot of quality literature lately some of which I think you would like.

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