On Monday, December 11 I arrived at Sintra in the rain by intermittent gusts of wind. The city is registered with the world heritage of UNESCO, here. It is built on cut hills of small valleys. The historical center is at half an hour of walk away from the carpark of the railway station. For this first day I took my marks in Posto de Tourismo with the collection of the booklets and, the plan of the city and the neighborhoods. Then I visited Palácio Nacional overlap of several built buildings from the end of 14th to the beginning of the 16th century with sumptuous azulejos. It is dominated by two high conical chimneys. The pictures of the gallery were randomly taken labyrinthine advance in the buildings. I fell in ecstasy in front of a tapestry of young Julius Caesar in little skirt! In the afternoon between two gusts of wind of rain I returned to my vehicle to bivouac on the carpark.
On Wednesday, December 13 I traversed the one-way road to visit Castelo dos Mouros then Palácio Nacional da Pena. The Castle of the Moors was built in 8th and 9th century of which there remains only the enclosure as well as square towers. With far Palácio da Pena is profiled on the horizon. This last with summon tightened was built at the 19th century by the king Ferdinand II on the site of an old hiéronymites convent. As in the other already visited palaces the tour is arrow and labyrinthine. On the way towards the coast of the Atlantic Ocean I stopped to throw an eye in Convento dos Capuchos to which Spartans installations testify to humility about Saint Francis of Assisi. I arrived at the beginning of afternoon at Cabo da Roca which is the land-end of the Indo-European plain. On stele are registered worms of poet Shine of Camões (C. 1525-1580) which described the cap in Lusiades as “Where the ground is finished and the sea starts”. I bivouacked on the spot.
|Cabo da Roca is the most Western point of the continent of Europe|
Wednesday, December 13 was a small driving morning to approach Lisbon by a gloomy weather. As usually I established the bivouac on a carpark vis-a-vis the ocean.
On Thursday, December 14 I entered Lisboa. My primary target was to find a Mercedes-Benz workshop to take appointment on Monday, December 18 to carry out the periodic revision of my truck. Then to take my marks in the suburbs of Amadora/Alfragide before to install me at the Ibis Hotel for five nights in order to visit the town of Lisbon suitably. Two monuments are classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Monastery of Hieronymites, here, and the Tower of Belem, here.
On Friday, December 15 I undertook the visit of the town of Lisbon. The way since Ibis Hotel is around an hour by bus #714. I started at the historical quarters of Alfama which was not destroyed by the earthquake in 1755. The bus deposited me in Praça do Comércio rebuilt after the earthquake under the authority of the Marquis de Pombal. It is dominated by Castelo de São Jorge built at the 5th century by the Visigoths increased by the Moors at the 9th century then modified by Alphonse-Henriques after the Reconquista. Its interest lies in the splendid panorama on the city per clear weather what was the case at the beginning of morning before the announced falls of rain. Then while following the trip of the Green Guide I strolled from lanes ton lanes while going up and down from the staircases! I finished this first part by the cathedral, Sé Patriarcal, testifying with its two crenelated towers that it was a a fortress of the time of the occupation by the Moors. It has a very beautiful cloister as well as a remarkable treasure of religious art. Way making towards Baixa, Centers Pombalin, I returned to Praça do Comércio to go again in this district rebuilt by the marquis. I stopped at the Café Martinho da Arcada to pay homage to Fernando Pessoa who had his table there on which he wrote Mensagem, collection of poems in Portuguese. While passing under Arco da Rua Augusta I surveyed the street up to Praça de Dom Predro IV occupied by a market of Christmas at the bottom of the statue of king Dom Pedro and in front of Theatro Nacional Dona Maria II. Then it was the astonishing neomanuelin frontage of Estação do Rossio. I completed this first visit in Praça dos Restauradores with two buildings, the Teatro Eden, Art-Deco, of 1937, and Palácio Foz of the 18th century. To finish the iconic Hard Rock Café.
|Arco da Rua Augusta|
On Saturday morning I tried to travel early by bus to take low-angled light on the monuments along Tagus, vain hope due to the frequency and the journey time of the bus as the pollution of the sites by tourists. It was initially the Monument of the Discoveries started in 1940 under the Salazar dictatorship symbolizing the prow of a ship with the Infant which opens up the way for a bunch of characters, then the Tower of Belem built to defend the entry of Tagus in 1515. Museu da Marinha, in a wing of the Monastery of Hieronymites, dedicated to the past maritime of Portugal, presents many models of boats. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Monastery of Hieronymites, (monks of the order of St Jerome) are devoted to the discoveries by Vasco de Gama whose tomb as that of Camões are under the platform of church of Santa-Maria. Further away on the quays, Museu Nacional dos Coches exhibits a large number of horse-drawn vehicles from 16th to the 19th century including three extravagant fit with body of 1716 for the de Fontes marquis, ambassador near the pope Clement XI. In the afternoon I strolled in Chiado and Bairro Alto by climbing the hills overlooking Tagus river. I stopped in Museu Arqueológico da Igreja do Carmo sheltered in the church destroyed at the time of the earthquake in 1755 with a superb sight on Castelo de São Jorge. Rua Garrett in front of Café A Brasileira throne the bronze statue of Fernando Pessoa little before Praça Luis de Camões which was the theater of the Revolution of the Eyelets, April 25th, 1974. At Alto de Santa Catarina draws up the Adamastor's statue, the marine monster of Luisades de Camões. In Bairro Alto, Igreja de São Roque was the theater of an artistic representation under the paint ceiling representing scenes of the Apocalypse. Finally in Miradoura de São Pedro de Alcântara I admired splendid raptors with the gleaming plumage before taking the bus in Praça da Figueira to ultimate stop in Padrão dos Descobrimentos to take a hypothetical picture at the setting sun on the Monument of the Discoveries, look at the front picture of the site or the gallery, before returning to the hotel.
|Torre de Belém|
Sunday was still a beautiful day shone upon with however a fresh temperature in the morning +6°C. I had plan to travel by the tram #28 E to go up to Miradouro da Senhora da Graça, que nenni, because there was a race on the hill! Consequently I climbed it by adopting the step of the Alpine hunter. The panorama is dramatic with as always in Lisbon, the Castelo São Jorge and the low city. Then I descended it while visiting the churches neighborhood. They were Igreja Convento de Nossa Senhora da Graça, Igreja de São Vicence de Fora and its convent with its underground cistern as well as Azulejos representing the fables by Jean de Lafontaine and Igreja de Santa Engrácia transformed into Panteão Nacional gathering the Portuguese celebrities, such as for example, Afonso de Albuquerque, Amália Rodrigues etc Then at the beginning of afternoon Museu Nacional do Azulejo installed in the old Madre de Deus convent. Contrary to a generally accepted idea, the azulejos are not always blue and white, but can be also polychrome. The artists of the 20th century expose azulejos very tendency.
|Fernando Pessoa, Museu Nacional do Azulejo|
On Monday, December 18 I deposited my vehicle at 8:00 at Mercedes-Benz in less than two kilometers from the Ibis hotel for the routine maintenance before taking the bus #714 to go to visit Museu Calouste-Gulbenkian, here. I was very impressed by the wealth of the collections piled up by this Armenian rich person who settled in Lisbon in 1942. The gallery gives of it a short outline by a drastic selection of paintings. In the afternoon I made a jump in the subway in the Oriente district to see the railway station by the architect Santiago Calatrava and to lunch of a cod fillet in Bacalhau. I recovered my vehicle around 16:30.