Palace of the Marquesses of Fronteira (Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira) - Garden

It was the second last day of our Lisbon trip. We went to places depending on the weather.  If it was a day of sunshine, we went to famous spots (e.g. Sintra), the sea (e.g. Cascais, Setubal).  Museum is the choice for rainy or cloudy days. The sun hid itself in the morning. It meant we could not go far but stay in Lisbon. We could finally visit the Palace of the Marqueesses of Fronteira which is famous for its fabulous tile works, second to the National Azulejo Museum

The Fronteira Palace was built in 1640 for the first Marquis of Fronteira, Dom Joao de Mascarenhas (bestowed with the title of Marquis of Fronteira for his allegiance to King Pedro II).  It was served as hunting pavilion.

Today, the Fronteira Palace is a privately owned property. A few parts are opened to the public on a tight schedule. The palace is only opened in the morning and accessed through guided tour.  The beautiful garden can be visited with €4 during the opening time. Call in advance about the opening time.

On the day of the visit, we could only stay two hours. We chose to stay in the garden which was amazingly green and huge. At time, it was cool but did not stop the blossom of flowers. Beautiful vibrant colours were added to the lush green in the gloomy weather.


The area of the carefully arranged garden hits 5.5 hectares. Apart from the spectacular scenery of the ingeniously cut hedges, visitors can explore and appreciate beautiful and vivid tile panels and the statuary where sculptural works rendering the Kings of Portugal.

The oldest part of the castle is a 16th century chapel.  It is made with shells, ceramic tiles and special sculptures.

Some visitors found it difficult to reach the palace.  You can refer to the map below. Basically, just take the underground and get off at the Zoological Garden station. Follow the highlighted path.  At a point, you will go over a foot bridge over the highway.  Close to the palace one will need to walk a bit up slope.

Phone: 00351 217 782023

Date of visit: 9 May 2018


Nacional de Arte Antiga

Our choice of activity on a cloudy day, sixth day of our trip 2 May 2018, was the Nacional de Arte Antiga (MNAA) National Museum of Ancient Art. We started the day with the Miradouro de Santa Catarina.  Despite of the gloomy weather, the open view of Lisbon is nice. Nearby is the Pharmacy and Health Museum.

The visit began with paintings of Lisbon before the earthquake in 1755. Big square, mighty Sao George Castle standing over the hill, big port with numerous ships, extinct buildings reveal the old look of charming Lisbon.


The most popular Panels of St. Vincent was crowded with people.  We arrived at the top floor to appreciate sculptures from the ancient time and then The Adoration of St. Vincent, a multi-panel work from a 15th century Portuguese master, Nuno Goncalves. St. Vincent is surrounded by noblemen and clergymen.  Some faces are repetitive in the different panels.

The museum is dotted with horrified and surreal paintings. We were shock by the terrible scenes at the hell.


Another stunning piece is the Last Judgement. Up the top is Christ with his throne.  Maria and John the Baptist serve both sides. Accountants reviewed ledgers of demons and angels for judging their final destinations. The bad ones were thrown into the hell and the good ones headed to the Glory.

Still ahead came the Temptations of St. Anthony, from Dutch painter Jheronomis Bosch (15-16th century) which is known for his fantastic illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. The painting contains multiple scenes of Christian monk St. Anthony faced  during his desert pilgrimage. He often saw Satan hovering in front of him in his prayers.  And Satan dressed in different ways to hide the evil nature.

On the second floor, 2 large lacquer screens depict the moment that the Portuguese, the first Europeans, landed in Japan. They were seen as villains, with big noses and wicked faces.

There are many beautiful paintings and sculptures.  I can't show you all but a few to make you more interested to visit the museum.  Among all, I like very much The Adoration of the Magi by Domingos António de Sequeira.  The structure of the composition, the holiness and the light are brilliant.


A bit more on the angels in different art pieces: Annunciation and the disastrous earthquake in 1755. It recalled the tragic event with very different scenes, extremely religious not offering assistance to the needed vs. helping the other victims.  The painter Joao Glama showed himself twice in the painting. 



Lau Shui Heung to Hok Tau 流水響至鶴藪

The passion of taking a nice shot of the reflection and trying out the shorter route drove me to revisit Lau Shui Heung within a week.  I arrived at Lau Shui Heung around 10.15 in the morning. The sun was not high yet. From far I didn't see the reflection but at the shrubs I could take nice photos.

I took time going here and there to take nice photos. When I started ascending the shorter path (left one with steps), it was about ten to twelve. Hikers advised me to go together with two ladies. They heard the recommendations and welcomed me to join them.  It's a blessing that I walked within a short distance with family Yeung a few days ago and this day with Ivy and Samantha. 

The shorter path is the blue line on the map. Up to the end is an intersection, going down to reach Hok Tau.  If you take the red route, you will go towards Tai Po with endless downward steps. It is a demanding path before you reach the staircase to go downward.

The path up to Hok Tau was about an hour.  The most difficult part is the staircase at the beginning. The demanding walk takes about 15 minutes. Afterwards are always hill roads up, flat or down. There is a side track to go up a hill to have a panoramic view.  We skipped as my new friends seemed like suffering from the difficult upward walk.  At a certain point, we had a fabulous view over Hau Tau Reservoir. The path was dotted with butterflies, tom bows and bird symphony.

The list minute to the reservoir is descending staircase. Hooray! Passing through a zigzag bridge, we went into the heart of the reservoir.  It is serene and peaceful.  Tourists were rare.  Occasionally a family with a strong smell of anti-mosquito chemicals.  It was a big contrast to the tranquillity, unfortunately.  Luckily, the smell of nature was back soon as they moved away.

Samantha found a farm when researching the hike.  We had a short visit after strolling the reservoir.  You will find a sign at the main path from the reservoir to the public transport spot.

E-Farm 川上農莊 is simple construction. The owner and volunteers finished their lunch when we arrived.  Oh, they had a big fish from their own pond. The owner showed us a round. Plants / crops are plentiful.  The orka tasted wonderful!

e-Farm - Orka

e-Farm - Dragon Fruit

e-Farm - Lime
The work of the owner is impressive.  He built everything.  Formerly he studied engineering and had worked with factory production for decades.  Owing to the declining importance of manufacturing in Hong Kong, he switched to organic farm. He built a big room to reproduce worms to feed his fish.  Waste from fish is used for fertilising his crops. Amazing work and results!

e-Farm - Guava

e-Farm - Owner
At the very end of the visit, we saw red tom bow at the golden fish pond which accommodates unwanted golden fish from his friends.