Leaving Cabo da Roca, we headed west to Lisbon, the Capital of Portugal. With a population of 580,000, this City has endured numerous Kings & Rulers battling it out over whose God or Prophet or Savior was the best. The kings were raking in the gold and other treasures from the many Portuguese colonies around the world and building fortresses, castles, and churches. Then there were dictators doing the same. There is a rich history to be explored, and we can’t possibly show you everything in a short blog.
Following the advice of other campers, we found an ideal site near the Ferry Terminal of Belém. It was safe, well lit, and close to more than half of the must-see attractions in Lisbon. Within walking distance of our campsite on the River Tejo, we were able to visit the Monastery of Jerónimos, the Tower of Belém and the Discoveries Monument all in one day. Both the Monastery and Belém Tower are World Heritage Sites, and the Discoveries Monument is something we couldn’t miss since it was literally just down the street from where we lived.
We did spend a few pleasant mornings sitting on our riverfront porch sipping coffee, or maybe in the evenings a little Port we had brought with us from that city. The occasional tourist boat took us back a few hundred years and in the distance, one might be convinced that we were looking at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Hopefully some of these pictures give you a little impression of this wonderful city.
Our waterfront camp on the River Tejo was on the cycling/jogging promenade just up from the Tower of Belém and the Discoveries Monument.
The Discoveries Monument was constructed in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henrique the Navigator.
Prince Henrique the Navigator is at the bow of the ship. He is the most important figure associated with the Great Age of the Discoveries.
The 25th of April Bridge across the River Tejo was built in 1966 by the American Bridge Company who constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate Bridge, but it might explain its similarity in design.
The occasional tourist boat took us back a few hundred years.
The Discoveries Monument gave us an interesting view of the Belém Tower, the city and the riverfront.
With many other tourists, we inspected the famous Belém Tower.
In front of the Discoveries Monument this huge inlaid mosaic of a compass rose and the world was a graphics image of the many Portuguese explorations and discovers, a gift from South Africa.
The Monastery of Jerónimos is an amazing extravaganza of Manueline architecture. The interior was decorated with beautiful intricate carvings.
The complicated architecture and the detail of the carvings in the cloister were more than a simple picture can show.
In the main church the numerous altars of gold and silver were evidence of incredible wealth that had been invested in.
Inside the church we saw the tomb of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese navigator who established the sea link between Portugal and India in 1497-98, establishing a trade route to India that gave Portuguese supremacy over the Indian Ocean for over century.
The many beautiful stained glass windows of the church were impressive.