Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lisbon Day two

Day two in Lisbon we decided to take the tourist bus to the Aquarium, one of the largest in Europe. We decided to go early and start at the first stop at the Praça do Marqués de Pombal (best name ever!) Which is also, coincidentally, where google puts the marker when you pull up a generic map of Lisbon. There he is, the Marquee, sculpted with a lion at his side.

One of the many charming things about Lisbon were all of the ships used as decoration. Like at the top of all of the light posts.

Other charming thing: the European seaside town look...

...and the buildings covered with tiles.

Here is a view of one of the cable cars. This is a good place to point out that Lisbon reminded me of New Orleans. A New Orleans with a European flair. Maybe it was the heat (I visited New Orleans both times in the hotter months), but there was something about the run-down charm, the relaxed city by the sea that reminded me of the "big easy". New Orleans has cable cars too and I once got on one where the driver was a bit insane, I will never forget that day.

Look ships in these light posts too!

See! This next photo screams New Orleans.

These clever benches were on the bay. Each had only one seat and it's own personal tree.

There in the distance is the only good shot I got of the bridge. Does it remind you of a famous American one? The Statue on the land mass to the left is a smaller version of the "Christ the Redeemer" Statue. Apparently Lisbon was given that Statue as a present by Germany for staying out of World War II.

The front door of the the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha

A beautiful Palace I have forgotten the name of.

A typical dowtown street.

This lovely tile fountain was on the way from the bus stop to the Aquarium.

The Aquarium was crowded. Personal reminder: never, ever, ever go anywhere touristy in Europe in August, ever. Everything was super crowded. Why people travel in the hottest part of the year I will never know, but I was there because of the conference, which meant my hotel was free. Most of the time I felt like I was in Spain because Spanish was being spoken around me constantly. I know that a good percentage of Spaniards have the entire month of August off, I wonder if it is true for many other countries in Europe too?

What was the Special exposition at the Aquarium, you ask? Sea turtles. As you can see below there was a tank below our feet where a gigantic sea turtle was swimming, so cool!

Also cool, the sea turtle mini art exhibit that they had. Below you see a wooden painter's dummy rowing a turtle as if it were a boat.

and who does not need a remote controlled leopard skin turtle?

Back on the bus and through sea front where a giant multi-country exposition about sea life was held, which means the whole area was very nicely designed.

Below a rooftop designed to look like palm trees.

Off the bus at the university stop to walk back to the hotel. There were a lot of the glass recycle containers that were painted different styles. I loved this one.

We went back downtown after a rest to look for dinner.

There were step stairs up through the hills and at every flat part there was a restaurant. They must have been for tourists because the waiters would swoop in on you like vultures to get you to look at the menu. Still, a romantic place to eat, is is not?

A blurry picture of the moon, which was full that night. I have admit that this shot reminds me of New Orleans the most. Again maybe it was because of the heat. But I think that fact that we had just had dinner in a terrace of a restaurant surrounded by other restaurants, the walkway thick with tourists. The fact that a really talented musician was playing and international mix of songs could have helped too. Oh and did I mention that they vend alcohol on the sidewalk as well? I kept expecting to see Hurricanes (the drink, not the weather phenomenon).

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