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Our Wakes: 2015

Lisbon ( 6-11 May 2015)
Stopping in Lisbon for a few days is a problem as you have to select what to visit from amongst all the interesting places Lisbon has to offer. Below we describe the places we saw and liked. The Azulejos Museum Everywhere in Portugal you can see nice Azulejos (blue or "azul" ceramic tiles) so a visit to the museum is a must. This place was truly interesting as it is located in an old monastery which is on its own worth a visit. The museum contains a great variety of azulejos from different eras. One masterpiece is a large piece measuring several meters long that represents Lisbon as it was before the 1755 earthquake. From this you realize that Lisbon was at that time already a big city. The museum has preserved the church decorations of the monastery and even if you find the decorations a bit over the top, you recognize the craftsmanship of the artists who decorated the church. Finally, we went to visit the house of the Marquis of Fonteira. His house and attached or connected buildings in the suburbs of Lisbon are completely covered in azulejos. This was a way of showing your wealth at that time. The Plaza Comercio is also a must and one side offers a beautiful view of the Tagus river. Nearby, you can find plenty of restaurants with the famous grilled sardines on the menu. The exhibition park has a big Oceanarium with a huge fish tank in the centre  in which you can see plenty of sharks, stingrays, and other fish species and three impressive sun fishes. The smaller side tanks contain tropical fish, invertebrates etc.. My only regret is that there weren't any sea mammals or turtles. Nevertheless, it is well worth a stop along the way. On Saturday morning we went to the Belem tower because it is a quite unique building and even though we had seen it from the river, we wanted to have a look from the land. If you visit Lisbon, we highly recommend that you buy a 24h ticket as this is the most economical way to visit the city. This day-pass has also the big advantage of being accepted by all the transport companies. We took the opportunity to hop on an old tram. The one we took was well over 50 years old and what impressed me the most was how close the tram passed to the houses. I also liked the use of wood as part of the tram's structure while nowadays, wood is only use for decorative purposes. We also went on the Santa Justa elevator built in 1900-1902 and made of cast iron, which allows you to reach a platform 40 meters up with a beautiful view of Lisbon. Finally, if you do not see a church in Lisbon you must be blind. There are so many churches that it is impossible to ignore them. For example, we visited the St Miguel church that has nothing typical but has the merit of being less overloaded with decorations than anything we saw in Porto. This is what we visited and  liked very much in Lisbon.
Lisbon before the 1755
Marquis de Fonteira house
Belem Tower
Sant Justa
St Miguel
Plaza Commercio
Sun Fish
Dragon Fish
Butterfly Fish
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