We spent some time wandering around the Belem District. Wherever you go in Portugal you find the beautiful Azulejos tiles.
When visiting the district, the Pasteis do Belem is a "must"stop. The cafe was built in 1837 and is visited by both locals and tourists. The place had about 75 tables and was packed. We were lucky to find a place to sit and try these wonderful and famous Portuguese tarts. Most of our hotels always had them at breakfast but they were not nearly as good as the ones in this cafe.
Leaving the cafe we found ourselves in the middle of a parade which was lots of fun to watch. It also made it difficult to leave the area not that we were in a rush to.
The parade lasted for a long time.
Even horses got into the act.
Pups were enjoying the show as well.
We finally got through the parade and made our way to the National Coach Museum in Belem. The museum has one of the finest collections of historical carriages in the world and is one of the most visited museums. The museum is housed in the old Horse Riding Arena of the Belem Palace, formerly a Royal Palace which is now the official residence of the President of Portugal.
This is the Landau of the Regicide which belonged to King Carlos 1 of Portugal. On February 1st, 1908, the royal family were riding in the open landau pictured above when an assassin stepped out and shot at the king. Carlos was hit in the neck and killed immediately. A second assassin climbed onto the carriage step and continued to shoot at the king while the queen attempted to push the gunman back by hitting him with a bouquet of flowers. Prince Luis Filipe (Carlos's son and heir) stood up and shot at the second assassin with a concealed revolver. The prince was then shot through the skull. Both assassins and a third innocent passer-by, mistaken for an assassin, were shot and killed by the police. The second son, Manuel who was shot in the arm was declared Manuel 11 and reigned for less than two years before the October 1910 revolution which permanently ousted the monarchy after 250 years. You can see two bullet holes above the royal crest.
One of the windows in the museum.
A statue of Afonso de Albuquerque located in the Afonso de Albuquerque Square. This square is located in front of Belem Palace, an early 18th century palace that now serves as the residence for the President of Portugal. The square is named after the second governor of Portuguese India, Afonso de Albuquerque and offers the best views of the palace.
We found ourselves walking back to our hotel along the water.
Colourful apartments beside the river.
I came across this little boy who was fishing with his family. He was very happy to have his photo taken and quite excited about the fish he had caught.
Taking advantage of the beautiful day.
Sam and Chris keeping their distance. While they rested, Gretchen and I walked and took photos.
The 25 de Abril Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo river. It was inaugurated on August 6th, 1966 and a train platform was added in 1999. This bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
With a total length of 2,277 m, it is the 27th largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper deck carries six care lanes, while the lower deck carries two train tracks. The bridge was built by the American Bridge Company which constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but not the Golden Gate.
We ended up walking to a local marina before taking a cab back to the hotel.
Some locals posing for me at the marina.
In the evening we headed out to the Bairro Alto. This is a picturesque working class quarter dating from the 16th century that has traditionally been the city's bohemian district of artists and writers.
We were waiting for the dinner and Fado concert to start so I took a few photos in the area.
The Fado is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820's in Portugal but probably had much earlier origins. The songs can be about anything but they must follow a traditional structure. Usually the songs are characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or life of the poor. I didn't understand a word but it was an interesting evening. The musicians certainly showed a great deal of passion during the songs.