26.10.18

Cristo Rei


After visiting the Palace of Marqueesses of Fronteira, we had a short break at Kaffeehaus. The next half of the day was spent at Cristo Rei and Cacilhas. Cristo Rei is one the most iconic monuments in Lisbon. A statue of Jesus Christ on the 80 metre high platform is located on the south bank of Tejo estuary. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer in Rio and built in the 1950s to thank God for sparing the country from entering the World War II.

We saw Cristo Rei from different parts of Lisbon.  The first sight was from the window of our apartment.  In the night, it is illuminated with different colours.  Other occasions of seeing the giant statue from far are strolling along the river bank on the north, near the Golden suspension bridge and on the way back from Setubal.


To visit Cristo Rei, one needs a ferry ride and a bus ride. The ferry departs from Cais do Sodre train and metro station (the last stop of the green line).  It is quite frequent during the day.  The 15-minute journey across the river is very beautiful and provides a different view of the Lisbon coastline.


Upon arrival at Cacilhas ferry terminal, just walk over to the connected bus station to catch bus 101. The journey is about 20 minutes and will take you to the entrance of Cristo Rei.

If you prefer walking upon getting off the ferry, you can go via the coastline to reach the Boca do Vento lift. After getting out of the lift, carry on walking straight on through the village. On the main street you will see a sign "Cristo Rei".

At the base of the monument is a very simple chapel of Nossa Senhora da Paz.  Many colourful modern paintings decorate the small chapel. The hidden theme of love can be observed.  One is in memory of the old pope, John Paul II.


The statue of Jesus Christ is 28 metre high. Giant Jesus spread his arms blessing the cities.  His look is full of mercy and kindness. Apart from the pilgrim of Jesus, visitors can have magnificent panoramic views over Lisbon and the surroundings, including the suspension bridge, as far as the hills of the Serra de Sintra and Serra de Arrabida.


 
 
 
 
 

When we left the statue and went back to the base. We still spent the last moments over the hills to compose photos with the cross and Mary.


On the way to the bus station, you will pass by a building complex. There you can choose to rest, eat or a water break prior to taking the bus back to the ferry terminal.

Then we headed back to the ferry terminal and visited the beautiful Cacilhas coastline and enjoyed a wonderful seafood dinner with breathtaking views.



5.10.18

Cascais


Cascais is a charming seaside town in the Greater Lisbon region, located on the Portuguese Riviera.  It is a cosmopolitan centre and tourist destination.  It attracted the rich and royal families to spend summers with the excellent coastal location. Foreign kings and royal families such as King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, King Carlos I of Spain and King Umberto II of Italy claimed the town as their home.  Today, Cascais is one of the wealthiest municipalities in both Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula.  It is a symbol of high quality living. Not difficult to imagine, the real estate cost is soaring high.

The little gem welcomes its guests with the picturesque beach, Praia da Rainha. Literally, it is translated as the 'The Queen's beach' as this beautiful small cove was chosen by Queen Dona Amelia as her private beach.  The beautiful beach with its proximity to the railway station draws crowds during the holiday period.


Cascais is dotted with cobble streets, beautiful houses, azulejos and nostalgic atmosphere. At the centre is the 5th October Square. The grey and white mosaic floor looks like waves which adds dynamics to the vibrant centre.


We then headed to the direction of the sea. A beautiful yacht harbour came into sight.  Round a corner stands the Tower of Santo Antonio de Cascais.  It is raw and mighty. Strolling along the streets we saw beautiful houses.  Next was the Pousada Hotel and Art District. It is a luxury hotel set within the walls of the historical fortress of the symbolic 16th century Citadel of Cascais.  This is the first hotel in Europe which has an art district.  It exhibits "in loco" creation by the residing and guest artists in constant dynamics between guests and Art.


Going west is the Museum Quarter. One can choose to visit museums or enjoy a leisure walk between the museums.  Museums include: 

It was constructed in early 1900 by the Irish tobacco millionaire Jorge O'Neill.  His private art collection is displayed.  Exhibits include 17th century Oriental art, Indo-Portuguese furniture and an assortments of other varied artifacts. The weather was terrific good. We opt to walk around the Museum Quarter,  Hens, peacocks walked freely around.

Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum - Chapel
Museo do Mar (Museum of the Sea)
It shows the history of fishing and sailing at Cascais and the royal connection of sailing.


Exhibits are primarily donations by Paula Rego. They include paintings by her late husband, the artist Victor Willing and some of the models used by the donor.


Around the Museum Quarter is the Jardim Marechal Carmona dotted with art pieces and sculptures.  Local residents enjoyed the space and sunshine.


Walking further west, about 2km from Cascais, lies the Boca do Inferno (Hell's mouth).  It is an interesting cliff formation, a small bay and natural arch resulted by endless pounding of the Atlantic Ocean.  The walk along the coastal line is gorgeous.  Visitors are rewarded with great views of rocks, birds and natural scenery.


Last but not the least, but perhaps the most beautiful and enjoyable promenade is the beachfront walk from Cascais to Estroil.  It is a very popular 3km flat walk.  Strolling along the path captures very beautiful views of the open sea,  best beaches, historical buildings, cafes and restaurants.

 
 
 



21.9.18

Obidos


We had quite a long sightseeing list of Portuguese cities. 4th May 2018 was the best day with sunshine.  So, it was reserved for SintraSetubal and Ericeira also require sunshine. Obidos is a small charming town and we would like to visit definitely.  So, 3rd May was picked.


Obidos is a medieval fortified town. It is still surrounded by a city wall. One can enjoy wonderful views over the terracotta tiled roofs with white painted houses decorated with sharp blue, yellow, etc. The panoramic views of the surroundings are green and soothing. The entire walk takes about an hour. There are almost no safety railings.  You need a bit courage and stamina.  Children could do it.  Therefore, no doubt, you can walk through.





The main gate entering Obidos contains a beautiful chapel with blue and white glazed tiles (Azulejo) dated 18th century. At time a young guy was playing instrument and a dark knight standing to receive money.


A striking enormous castle stands proudly at the edge of Obidos.   The area was settled by the Lusitanos as early as 4th century BC and Romans in 1st century and occupied by Visigoths in 5th and 6th century. It was the Muslims who fortified the town in the 8th century.


A few churches serve the religious needs in the area.  Among all, the most beautiful is the church of Santa Maria, Matriz. It is the first church of the town which was built on the remnants of a Visigothic temple.  The construction is dated back to 12th century and has been restored in several occasions. Most parts of the building are Renaissance style.  It became famous in 1444 because of the marriage of the youngest (possibly) royal family took place here - King Alfonso V, aged 10 and his cousin Isabel aged 8.


Livraria de Santiago was converted to a modern bookshop. If Jesus Christ were there, he would have condemned the act of turning God Father's holy place to commerce.


Obidos is quite small.  Visit for a half day is good.  In case if you are hungry, head to Ja!mon Ja!mon which is outside the city wall.  It served wonderful lunch with daily specials.  We had grilled fish and ox cheek.  Both main dishes were very delicious.


Ginja is a sweet cherry liquor served in small chocolate cup.  It is produced within the Obidos region.  Various stores along the main shopping street Rua Direita sell Ginja at the store front. So, take one before you leave Obidos.


The best way to reach Obidos from Lisbon is by bus.  Express buses leave from Campo Grande (underground stations of the green and yellow line). The journey takes an hour and a single ticket costs €7.1.