Castle of the Moors

Castle of the Moors

As we ascended the hill to reach the top where the ruins of the Castle of the Moors was perched, we wondered how much energy it took for medieval people to go up and down the castle. It’s tough work, even for modern people like us, with our buses and cars that...
Pena – a storybook palace

Pena – a storybook palace

Pena National Palace in Sintra is very much like a storybook palace. Its facade reminds me of Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, but of course, the hotel’s interior deisgn is nothing compared to the palace. The palace is a UNESCO world heritage site. Before it became...
The Romantic Sintra

The Romantic Sintra

Sintra! That’s my friend Veronica hustling us via Facebook to see the municipality of Sintra in Portugal. I’m glad we listened. Sintra is a must-see in Lisbon. It has many 19th-century Romantic buildings. Romantic architecture, if I understood right,...
Cavaquinho, the mother of the ukelele

Cavaquinho, the mother of the ukelele

At first we thought it was ukelele. But it’s called a cavaquinho,  a small four-stringed instrument with Greek-Latin origin.  The instrument was introduced in Minho, a northern region of Portugal, from where it started its journey towards Brazil and Cape Verde....
Shells of Manueline

Shells of Manueline

Visiting Portugal taught us a little about Manueline architecture.  From what registered in my brains, these are what’s easiest to remember when it comes to what Manueline is all about: It has marine elements: anchors, ropes, shells, pearls, seaweeds. There are...
Worth the long queue

Worth the long queue

The queue to Jerónimos Monastery is ever so long. It’s easy to give up, but don’t. It’s a beautiful monastery – perhaps one of the most beautiful monasteries I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t matter what time one starts lining up, the...
He started global imperialism

He started global imperialism

Portugal is the reason that global imperialism was established. It all started with Vasco de Gama’s discovery of the route to India from Portugal by sea. A century after Vasco de Gama’s discovery in 1498, other countries like Great Britain, France and the...
World’s largest suspension bridge

World’s largest suspension bridge

“The Golden Gate, mamma!” said my daughter when she saw the bridge in Lisbon. Not! It’s a look-alike, 25 de Abril Bridge.  25 de Abril is the world’s largest suspension bridge, and Europe’s longest bridge. It has two decks. The upper deck...
I love azulejos

I love azulejos

The ceramic tilework azulejos are everywhere in Lisbon: on walls and floors, inside and outside buildings.  I told hubby that I’ve seen this technique in my country, too. I remember my grandma’s ancentral home had these on some walls and the kitchen. But...
Busy bee-yellow tram

Busy bee-yellow tram

The century old tram 28 is screechy and shaky and unbelievably crowded. But tourists flock it anyway. We were advised to ride Tram 28 from the the start of the route, at Praca Martim Moniz, as it would be less crowded then. Nevertheless it took almost an hour to stand...
Lisbon’s orange rooftops

Lisbon’s orange rooftops

Lisbon is a capital city of orange rooftops. Since it has seven hills, we tortured ourselves by walking up and down cobbled streets to get to viewpoints with a vista of old pastel houses, grey and white churches and a dark Moorish castle. The busy bee-yellow trams...
In the city of Azulejos

In the city of Azulejos

Right now I am in the city of azulejos and green doors. For the first time, we rent an apartment in the old town of Alfama, the district where music Fado is everywhere. Will be blogging more about the city later.