The Storminess of Lisbon

Lisbon was high on my list of places I wanted to see on this trip.  I follow a few blogs of people who live there.  I’ve had family and friends visit and was a bit envious once I saw the photos.  Always sunny and colourful.  I had high hopes!  It was not to be.  We had been very lucky with the weather for the trip but our luck ran out once we docked.

It is a very strange sensation waking up to the sound of millions of bees.  Once we were fully awake and poked our head out we could see that we were docked right next to the April 25th Bridge and thousands of vehicles were driving across making that sound.

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The announcements did warn us that the weather will get quite nasty with driving rain and high winds.  Not the most motivating of notices.  So we dressed accordingly and I left my good camera behind and just brought the iPhone, wore our trainers and braced ourselves for our adventure.  Nearly got blown away getting off the ship!  We were docked near the containers and there were high aisles where the wind tunneled through.  The shuttle bus dropped us off in the old part of the city near the cathedral.  The interesting bit about Lisbon is that in 1755 they had a massive earthquake.  It’s estimated that the scored 8.5-9 on the Moment Magnitude Scale.  The king at the time sent out surveys to all the villages asking when they felt the tremors, how strong they were, and which direction they came from.  It was the beginning of modern seismology.  Because the earthquake was so damaging most of the city is in the 18th century style after they rebuilt.  The cathedral was damaged but still stood.

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The cloister floor is now an archaeological dig.  They’ve dug back to the Islamic times as well as the Roman times.  In the picture where you see red and white, that is the Islamic style.

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At this point we were getting high winds and a bit of rain but nothing major so we continued to the castle.  There we bought tickets to walk round and the skies opened up.  Winds were whipping about and it was a downpour.  We dashed to the museum to take refuge.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a big museum and it was filling up fast with others taking cover.  We decided to brave the elements.  Within a minute or so our umbrellas were destroyed.  To be fair they were only good for being in the sun.  They were from the ship.  Many of these ended in the bin all around the city that day.

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This poor guy and his peahens were wandering around in the storm.  I did take pictures of the peahens but in the rain they blended in with the cobblestones.

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We trudged our way back down the hill in search of shelter and food.   There were pedestrian streets with shops and we wandered down one of them.  The rain was letting up finally but the wind wasn’t finished with us just yet.

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We found a bright cafe to rest a bit in.  And dry off!  The hostess was wonderful and she helped us with our Portuguese.  I had my little phrase book out and my husband and I were trying our best with the words.  I ordered a fantastic grilled sardine dish.  You can’t find something like this back home.  My mum used to make me sardine sandwiches when I was a kid.  Don’t think I was too popular at school lunch but I loved them.  These sardines were full size and grilled whole.  The flavour was strong and pungent.  Loved it.

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After that we wandered a bit more as the rain stopped and the wind died down a bit.  We found a wine tasting shop which was lovely and then it was time to get back on the ship.  We’ll come back.  It’s a lovely city and in the warm sun it must be amazing.

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