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Portugal Day 10: Belém Me!

sunny 93 °F

We started our day by going to mass at São Sebastião church near our hotel. It was very small on the inside...
But incredibly beautiful. It was rather full, too. Mass is fairly easy to follow in Portuguese, since it is similar to Latin. However, the sermon was a bit difficult. We did pick up that he mentioned bread, and buying things, and eating and drinking.
It was heartening to see that even new/replacement fittings of the church are done in the old style to match with everything else.
Some pictures of the Parque Eduardo VII, which is named for King Edward VII of England. Our hotel had a view of this park, and we walked through it to get to the church.
We got a taxi to Belém for lunch. We planned to explore the area, which we hadn’t seen much of yet. We got toasted cheese and chips at this little cafe, and Catherine tried a lemon radler (beer with lemon flavor.) It seemed to be made by Sagres, as most of the beer in this country seems to be.
Which is a jewelry store where you can make your own jewelery. Catherine loved it, and made herself a cork bracelet with blue Portuguese tile.
After that we went to the famous Pasteis de Belém, arguably the first bakery to create the pastel de nata. The recipe is supposed to be a secret, but we have now found pasteis de nata all over the world (if Hanford and Portugal count as all over the world.) These were very good, and we got an orange juice and a galão to go with them.
Next we visited the Jerónimos monastery. It was beautiful from the outside. There was a long line to pay to get into the cloister, so we chose to simply visit the church.
First was the tomb of the poet Camões.
Tombs featuring elephants: most of these graves belong to Portuguese royalty.
Various tombs and altars around the church. It is a beautiful place, obviously designed to impress the viewer with the glory of the Portuguese empire.
Catherine loves the elephant tombs.
The tomb of the lost king Sebastião. He went deep into enemy territory and was never seen again. This led, in the years afterwards, to a rumor that he was still alive. Various claimants insisted that they were him (some of whom didn’t speak Portuguese, making it less likely.) Later, it led to a legend that he would return someday to restore Portugual to its former glory. Apparently, Philip II did have some bones, which he claimed were Sebastian’s, placed in the tomb during the Iberian Union in order to solidify his power, but the legend persists.
The tomb of Vasco de Gama. We are hoping that this visit inspires Catherine to improve her sense of direction, in emulation of the great Portuguese navigators.
Various monuments around Belém, including the Monument to the Portuguese Discoveries and the Christo Rei statue on the other side of the river.
Some pictures of Belém tower.
Wine With a View stand, as well as the accompanying view of the bridge and the statue. The bridge was built by the same company that designed the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, but painted the same color as the Golden Gate Bridge.
We went to dinner and a fado show in Bairro Alto. Anthony, Catherine’s dad, tried octopus.
The singers.
Both of us remember the commercials for the “Vienna” ice cream lasagne, but neither of us have tried it. We took our chance and tried it.
Some pictures outside the fado restaurant. We had a wonderful night. Tomorrow we fly to the Azores!

Posted by danielcatherine 18:26 Archived in Portugal Tagged elephants bridge music dinner monastery kings octopus belem camoes fado discoveries jerónimos pastel_de_nata vasco_de_gama sebastião

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Wow! It all looks so beautiful and wonderful. What awesome memories you are creating. Thank you for the great blog update.

by Chief

Loving all of your stories and photos. Glad you’ve met up with the family, what wonderful memories you’re creating!

by Jen

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