On Thursday we walked up to the castle and looked over the whole of Lisbon. This
is an ancient city dating back to the Romans. It was held by the Moors for about
600 years until they were driven out in the late 1400's.
After touring the castle we walked down into the "Alfalma", the old Moorish quarter
(the extreme left in the photo) with it's narrow cobblestone streets winding down
the hillside. At the bottom was a whole street of cafes and restaurants and as we
were hungry we picked one. The menu had an item that was "Plato Tipico Portuguese"
or something like that, and we ordered two. When it arrived is was a small platter
piled high with boiled potatoes, boiled cabbage, rice, beans, 3 chunks of different
sausages, a slice of roast pork and one of roast beef and topping it all off was
a boiled pig's ear. We ate most of it, I even tried the pig's ear, it was fatty
and chewy with a layer of gristle in the middle (I guess that's why their ears stand
up!). This dish was the most popular item in the restaurant with at least half of
the patrons ordering it. But we'll try something different next time.
On Friday we got the Wing out and rode to Cascais, the resort town we stayed in with
the GoldWing Clube du Portugal. We wanted to buy another pottery wall hanging like
we had gotten when there before. And on the way back were the tourist stops we wanted
to see. The Torre de Belem, the Monument to the Discoveries, the Monastery and the
The Torre de Belem was built in the 1500's to defend the harbor. It is an interesting
white marble tower with a very narrow winding staircase to the various floors.
Like most of the structures from this time period, someone spent an awful lot of
time chipping rock into pretty shapes.
This is under the main flat area of the tower, you can see the square holes for the
cannons to shoot through in the picture to above.
This is the Monument to the Discoveries, a marble edifice near the Torre. It commemorates
the great explorers that sailed from Portugal for several hundred years. At the
forefront is Henry the Navigator, followed by a long line of explorers. They look
out to sea from a spot near the tower shown above.
In the foreground is our "Machine for the Discoveries"
On the shore side is a large (150' square) marble map of the world donated by Angola
on the 500th anniversary of Henry in 1992. The were several busloads of tourists
standing on it so I didn't get any really good pictures of it.
Next was the Monastery with all the traditional 1500's Catholic splendor in carved
rock, gold leaf and statuary.
Last was the coach museum where there are original coaches from the 16, 17 & 1800's. The
fanciful carvings, embroidery and paintings on them is beyond belief. They must
also have been quite uncomfortable to ride in (but better than walking, especially
if you're the king!). There were no flash or tripods allowed so the only picture
I have without shake is the one I took from the railing of the balcony. It doesn't
begin to show the detail in the work but you'll get some idea of the ornate-ness
of the coaches.
After Lisbon, we traveled to Porto by way of the mountains. It took us two full
days to travel a four hour run if we had stayed on the Autovia (a toll road).
We visited friends in Porto, an American missionary and his wife (Tim and Julie)
and their children for two days and then had dinner with them and the President of
the GoldWing Clube de Portugal (Carlos) and his wife (Sorry, I forgot her name). They
took us to this great seafood restaurant and we ate crab, mussels, lobster, fish
served on a great big platter set on a rack in the middle of the table with rice,
fries, vegetables and bread on platters under the big rack of seafood. We ate until
we were stuffed and left the rest. The bill was 80 euros (about $110 USD), for 6
people! Tim and Julie took us around Porto and we toured Taylors, an old "Port House"
where they make the Port wine. It is quite a different process from our usual wine
making in the US.
From here we stopped at Carlos' shop and did some welding on the hitch rack and headed
east toward France.