28 July 2018

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Almada, Portugal

It takes a few minutes to cross the River Tagus in a small orange and white ferry, to get to Almada. The ferries run all day, and this was just a quick trip to the other side of the river to see what is there. A row of disused, graffiti covered, buildings along the riverside does look grim, these were where fish was processed, talks are ongoing between relevant humans as to the regeneration of this area. If one walks pass the derelict buildings, there are a couple of restaurants,  before a walk up lots of steps, to the Miradouro Boca do Vento.

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The miradouro provides views of the Ponte 25 de Abril and of Lisbon. One can also see the Santuário Nacional de Christo Rei, inaugurated in 1959 and inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

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The walk back to catch the ferry takes one through the district of Cacilhas, and pass a beautiful blue painted church, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso, built after the earthquake of 1755.

Cascais, Portugal

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A train journey this time, to visit Cascais. Cascais was a small fishing port until the late nineteenth century when King Luís I declared his love of the place as a summer retreat. High society followed royalty and the town became a fashionable tourist destination. The main reason for my visit is a guided tour of the Palácio da Cidadela de Cascais, which is where, once he had converted it into a sumptuous palace, Luís spent the summer. It was assigned to the Presidency of the Republic in 1910, and is now the official residence of visiting heads of state to Portugal.

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The guided tour was interesting, the position of the building provides great views of Cascais Bay. I really liked the sculptures in the courtyard outside the building.

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Praia da Ribeira de Cascais sits in front of the Praça 5 de Outubro, the main square in the centre of town, where the azulejo clad, town hall also is also situated.

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Lisbon, Portugal

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There’s jazz in the park near me every Sunday this month, just for an hour, it’s free, like so many cultural events here. After the jazz I wandered over to the Gulbenkian gardens, with sculptures and water features, they are a delight to walk around. I also visited the Museu Gulbenkian Calouste, (contemporary art) which had extended opening hours and was also free to enter.

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