Friday, February 21, 2014

Everytime I leave Lisboa it rains!

I am not sure what it is about me, sites of natural wonder and bad weather, but we three seem to go together.

Take for example my first (and so far only) trip to the Grand Canyon. Well, the Amazing Ms. D and I had already spent a beautiful week under the hot south-west desert sun. We had traveled to Santa Fe, Taos, Acoma and Canyon de Chelly. Sunny and hot every day. Even driving up to the eastern gate, not a cloud in the sky. But, as soon as we entered the park - BAM! the fog rolled in. I think we drove along the south rim, truthfully all I could see were the tail lights of the car in front of me. It is true that today I have amazing photos of the fog coming up out of the Canyon, taken from above.

Or take our trip back from spending a year in the Canadian Rockies. While it is true that we had a lot of beautiful days in the Rockies, it is also true that the temperature did not go above 70 degrees from the 10 months we were in Canmore. Yet the day we crossed the border back into the U.S. BAM! 90 degrees! !0 days taveling from Montana to NYC - Sunny and hot everyday EXCEPT the one day we went to Yellowstone National Park. That one day out of 2 weeks - rain and fog.

I know that I have had lots of wonderful days seeing lots of wonderful sights, yet......There I was yesterday at Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point on the European Continent. And here is the best picture I could get:

Yup, fog and rain again.

So back on the tour bus, and back to the town of Sintra. I took the tour of the National Palace of Sintra:

The Palace was pretty much continuously occupied from the 16th century until the end of the Portuguese monarchy in the late 19th century and had been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. It's most famous features are the two kitchen chimneys (above) which allowed for an huge open space kitchen:

There are no ceilings in this space, just the chimney. 

The palace was amazing, as they tend to be. I won't add photos here because the professional ones are better than any I could take.

I wish I had more time to walk around Sintra and see some of the other sights, but the rain really did me in. It has beautiful small streets:

Although I was kind of surprised to see a tile store "bragging" about being there "since 1988"

Sintra is easily accessible from Lisbon by train from the Central Station at Rossio:

 which looks a little different that Penn Station in NYC.


  1. Looking back on all your pics, I can see that the architecture of Lisbon is absolutely gorgeous. This photo of the train station if amazing. The thing I love about Europe is that the past is so present. Here in the US we are constantly knocking down the past to make room for some nebulous future which never seems to live up to the promise. I'd love to be able to walk into a three hundred year old building and know that it was there over all that time. It gives the whole place a kind of gravitas that none of our modern buildings possess. And then there's the notion that temporary art forms are a lot less intense since they are seen as disposable. We just don't plan to have anything for hundreds of years anymore. That leads to shoddy workmanship.

  2. I agree that the U.S. has developed a disposable culture. The view that newer means better. and that things can't be rebuilt. It has always bothered me that we consider a building built "pre-war" as old, yet it is also usually better because of the craftsmanship.