Will and Mayang's Travels - Portugal, April 2005.

I've got so much free time. Will's busy with work and i thought, i should travel around europe a bit while i've got some time. So, here are some pictures i took when i travelled around Lisbon and Porto, Portugal.

Lisbon - Just arrived, settled in my room.. phew! i made it at last.. altho it actually took me about an hour to find my way around. my map navigation was a bit poor. i had to walk up and down some steep hills in the city.

Lisbon -This is the view you can see from my balcony. The building across the road is a Romanesque Cathedral, .

Lisbon - This is , from the entrance. Built in 1150 when Afonso Henriques captured the city from the Moors. He wanted the church to be built like a fortress.

 Lisbon - This huge square is called Praça do Comércio, entrance of the city around 18th century. The bronze equestrian statue of Dom José I and the arch opening, Arco da Victória looks really impressive.

Lisbon - There's always quite a few people sitting and sketching the arch in the square. Mostly college students. The arcaded yellow buildings on both side of the arch is ministries offices.

Lisbon - Walking along the corridor of arcaded ministries. It feels really grand.

Lisbon - Rua Agusta,a lively street with pastelaria (snack bars), restaurants and shops. You can see the arch opening, Arco da Victória at the end of the street.

Lisbon - The wavy design of Portugal's ubiquitous black and white mosaic pavements.

Lisbon - I am now in the middle of Rossio or formally known as Dom Pedro IV square where once it was a location of animal markets, fairs and bullfights. Seems like it has becomes a perfect place for pigeons to hang out instead.

Lisbon - Dilapidated building adds up Lisbon's unique character.

Lisbon - It was a busy day for me walking around the city and while i was resting at my balcony, i was accompanied by cheerful birds lining up on the metal bars chirping noisily.

Lisbon - Elevador da Bica, one of Lisbon's delightful furniculars, climbing up and down the city's steepest hill. This furnicular travels in middle of Santa Catarina maze-like district where along the journey, you could probably listen to the locals swapping latest neighbourhood gossip across the balcony (if you understand Portugese that is).

Lisbon - Castelo de São Jorge or São Jorge Castle, had a history starting from the Visigoths inhibitation in the 5th century, strengthened by the Moors in the 9th century and later replaced by Christians in the 12th century. Interestingly, it was also used as a prison in every century.

Lisbon - Nice shaded path inside São Jorge Castle make it such a pleasant walk around the area..

...but the castle's most attractive feature is the superb view of the city and the imposing bridge known as Ponte de 25 Abril crossing Rio Tejo river. I was glued to the ground, captivated by the fantastic panoramas for hours.

Lisbon - Parque Das Nações, an entertainment park for families although strangely there wasn't many visitors around. Let's go on a cable ride ...!!

I had the carriage all for myself and this was the view i can see from inside the carriage..

.. and behind me is the 140m-high Torre de Vasco da Gama, which was empty,  so i couldnt go up the tower to get a panoramic view :(

After a fun ride on the cable car, i visited Europe's largest oceanarium. Two storey aquarium, impressively design to accomodate 25 000 fish, birds, and mammals. Still, the park is quiett..where is everybody???

In the oceanarium, looking through a crystal clear wall dividing two different world..  there are not many places in the world where you can see a person sending sms, standing next to a fierce swimming predator under one roof.

...apparently these manta rays are an intelligent creatures..

..cute, friendly exotic birds, guillemot..

This particular type of fish cleverly camouflage their body, buried flat under the sand except the eyes sticking out looking for a gullible target

Bright green sea anemone, a natural sea decoration..

Parque Das Nações - A unique fountain in the park. There about 6 of them in a row and splashing out water every 45 secoonds interval.

Water that runs down from a roof caught my attention immediately..

..walking behind the wall of splashing water and the result.. wet clothes and water drop on my lenses! not a good idea actually..

Lisbon - I moved to a new guesthouse after couple of days in Lisbon. Here at the city centre, i've got a great view facing Praça De Figueira from my window. Snooping on the other tourists walking around the square became my hobby since. :)

Lisbon - A quiet scene of Praça De Figueira in the evening.. no confused tourists on the street, boring!

 Sintra -  If you squeeze your eyes slightly, you could probably see the lighthouse 5500km across the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. This is Cabo da Roca (Rock Cape), the most western part of continental europe. .. yeap, i can see someone's waving from New York!

Sintra - It was my relaxing afternoon strolling along Caiscais liveliest seaside resort in Sintra, coastline west of Lisbon.

Porto - When i arrived at São Bento train station in Porto, i was greeted by some amazing handpainted dramatic tileworks also known as Azulejos by Jorge Colaço (1930) depicting scenes ranging from daily life to historic battles.

Porto - A friendly old man offered me some historical facts of the painting on the blue tiles at the train station. He then guided me around the city of Porto and i am now know a lot more about Portugese history than Malaysian history if you ask me!

Porto - Another church covered in blue tiles, Capela das Almas. Five 18th- century panels by Vital Rifaro decorate the Gothic cloisters of the cathedral.

 Porto - Over the top decorated altar inside Igreja dos Clerigos..

Porto - The largest and the most complicated blue tiles or azulejos is illustrated on the outer wall of Igreja Do Carmo.

With a picturesque view like all of the above pictures, no wonder the Ribeira riverside area is listed under Unesco World Heritage Zone, where any new development is prohibited.

Porto - View of  the bridge, Ponte de Dom Lois I in the evening.

Finally, i've got someone to take a picture of me with a view of Ribeira district!

Porto - It was almost a magical like feeling, looking at such a tranquality scene like this in Porto.

Me and my faithful companion, Mr Linux Penguiny who's slightly unfortunate cos had to put up with my nonsense most of the time during our travel in Portugal. He's a very attentive listener tho..

Goodbye Porto! My last picture of Porto from the train as it left for Lisbon.

On my last day in Lisbon, i went up on furnicular, Elavador De Santa Jasta, a huge wrought-iron lift and took my last panoramic view of Lisbon City.

This is the view  on top of Elevador Santa De Jasta where you can see Rossio or formally known as Dom Pedro IV square on my left hand side. I was on my tiptoes while taking this picture as the metal bar is level to my face!

This is the middle view from the tower where you can see the square, Praça De Figueira, in the middle of the city. (I can spot my room at the guesthouse from up here)

On my right hand side,view of the main street, Rua Aurea straight to the riverfront area of the river, Rio Tejo.

Goodbye Lisbon!!

I had a wonderful time in Portugal and there's no doubt that i'd visit this beautiful country again in future. If you have any comments and suggestion on where i should travel next, feel free to email me. The list of countries that i have in mind are Romania, North Korea, Mexico, Cuba, Liechtenstein and Finland.

All pictures and other media are Copyright ©2005 Mayang Adnin.