Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Walking Around Lisbon

Tuesday, December 6 was the day set aside for a walking tour of some of the major neighborhoods of Lisbon. We started in the lower part of the city, the Baixa.

Groups of young kids were on walking tours, identified by orange or red hats.

Portugal has strong ties to its former African colonies.

The Church of Sao Domingo, damaged in the 1755 earthquake and maintained as a memorial.

Shopkeeper stacking salt cod, or bacalao.

Building sand castles on the bank of the Tagus River, next to the Plaza Comercial.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cascais, Portugal

Near Sintra on Portugal's Atlantic coast is the pleasant town of Cascais. It's notable for, among other things, its tiled streets and other decorative touches.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pena Palace Abstracts

Finally, a few photos that emphasize the dramatic colors and shapes of Portugal's Pena Palace in Sintra.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pena Palace Kitchen

As this post is going up two days after Christmas, it seems appropriate to be reminded of what it takes to produce a REALLY BIG dinner for royalty. My wife says this is more copper pots than she's ever seen before. (I didn't have a wide enough lens to show the whole kitchen.)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pena Palace Portraits

Some of the prior royal inhabitants of the Pena Palace. The man and woman in the paintings are, I believe, the last Portuguese king and queen.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Pena Palace Interiors

The over-the-top details only get better when you go inside the Pena Palace.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pena Palace Exterior Details

Where it's not overwhelming viewers with its colors, the Pena Palace in Sintra is awing them with its intricate carvings, tiles, and mosaics.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sintra: Pena Palace Colors

We took a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, the small town about 15 miles from Lisbon that "was the summer escape of Portugal's kings" (Rick Steves). The Pena Palace is a marvelously colorful, intricate, Disney-like structure, both inside and out. Here are some exterior views.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Landscaping of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The landscapes in which the Gulbenkian Museum buildings are embedded are as delightful as the collections inside.

A statue of Calouste Gulbenkian, with a noble bird of prey (perhaps his self-image?) behind.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gulbenkian Museum Details

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum provides a limitless variety of visual delights. Here are a few more.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tiles in the Gulbenkian Museum

The main buildings of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Museum are filled with treasures from the Middle East and earlier centuries of Europe. Overall, it is one of the premier art museums of the world, albeit one of the least known.

We were particularly impressed with the collection of tiles, which form such important decorative elements throughout Portugal due to its Moorish heritage. Here are just three of many examples.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Lisbon: Modern Art Center

The Modern Collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation occupies a separate building from the main collection. The Modern Collection building is large and handsome in an appropriately rough modern manner. It has an interesting selection of 20th C Portuguese art that mirrors trends elsewhere in Europe. Its very large special exposition space was occupied by an impressive one-man exhibit by Angolan artist António Ole. Here are a few selections from a very large and diverse exhibition.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Lisbon: View of the Tagus

On our way to the Gulbenkian Museum, we walked up the Avenida da Liberdade to the traffic circle featuring a huge statue of the Marquis de Pombal (who directed the reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake) and then further up the hill into the Edward VII Park, which afforded a fine distant view of the mouth of the Tagus River near where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lisbon Shop Window

Lisbon's Avenida da Liberdade is the main shopping street for fancy designer stores. Louis Vuitton was located on one corner, and just around the corner on a side street leading to our hotel were a series of shop windows featuring miniature mechanized animals. We were especially taken by this window, featuring white meerkats that periodically popped up and down from their dens.