Sadly, our visit with Lisbon didn’t give us opportunity to fall in love with it. Our ship was in Lisbon only from 7 until 2:30; traffic, crowds were terrible; and our tour guide was adamant that we visit the iconic sights. I did enjoy the Lisbon sights which reminded me of our trip to Brazil more than ten years ago; I will share the iconic sights with you (briefly) and the reminders of Brazil.
Brazil taught us to say “Obrigada” for “Thank you”, to really see the incredible tiled walkways, and to laugh at the many jokes about the huge Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janerio. (In Argentina, the snarky joke is that Christ will raise his arms when the Brazilians go to work. Click on the link for more of the Brazilian jokes.) The tile work is laid down by workers, piece by piece, and repaired regularly. Here are some examples:
We saw very little of the tilework on buildings, in contrast to the amount in Porto City. Lisbon experienced earthquake, tsunami and fire in the mid-18th Century, and much of their early architecture (including 150 churches) was lost. Our lecturer also noted that Porto City was more mercantile and less royal than Lisbon, and that merchants were more likely to flaunt their wealth with tilework on their homes.
It seems that a Portuguese priest visited Brazil and decided Portugal should have its own Christ the Redeemer, for which he then raised the money. Sitting across the Tagus River, and beside a bridge strangely similar (and locally called) the Golden Gate bridge, here are some photos of Lisbon’s Christ the Redeemer:
Cranes and construction, as in Port City, were everywhere. Again, hotels are replacing banks and transportation is being adjusted to better route tourists to the iconic sites. Unfortunately, another reminder of Brazil were the high-pressure sales tactics of numerous street vendors and the warnings of pickpockets. There was a visible police presence in those crowded areas.
Upon our return to the ship, the Captain announced that Lisbon had been our last port. The planned trip to the Azores would have brought us directly into the path of Hurricane Danielle. Onward to NYC! The sea is beautiful, the sun is bright, and my deck awaits….