Thursday, 21 February 2008


I have returned from a flying two night visit to Lisbon with Matt, our flat-mate. The city is built on two big hills and a valley between--my legs are in pain from the constant hill climbing over the last three days. The buildings are from another age--there are very few modern ones. People seem to live mostly in blocks and there are no gardens (yards) in the city. The buildings are rendered and painted a pastel colour or they are tiled--how amazing that a whole building could be covered in tile the same way some Canadian houses have siding.

The city is ornate in many ways. The pavements around our hotel and downtown were made of mosaic stones. The patterns changed every block.

We used various methods of public transportation to help with the big hills. (I would not want to try to cycle in that city!) We took a funicular railway to get up to the eating and drinking areas on Tuesday night and on Wednesday we took an iron lift, built in 1901! From the top of the hill the views over the city were brilliant.

On top of the hill we went to visit an old Carmelite convent, now in ruins. It houses Portugal's oldest museum.

We walked back down to the main part of town and saw this arch leading from one of the old streets.

A little further on we saw this old church. Our guide book said to look for the "exuberant carving", which was exactly what we saw!

On the other end of the carving spectrum is this building a few doors up the street. It's covered in very strange pyramids; we were unable to ascertain why.

Next we started climbing up hills on the other side of the city. We visited the cathedral.

And, finally, on the tallest hill in the whole city, we arrived at the castle. Some of it dates from the eleventh century. It's been well looked after lately. I realy enjoyed climbing on the walls and looking off to the city's roofs below.

Matt was a bit braver than me and climbed to the topmost edge of some towers.

Both of us were exhausted after our extensive walking tour. We collapsed into a very quirky bar restaurant nearby for sangria and tapas.

Our hotel was on a main boulevard where there was a fantastic art installation--big sculptures of the numbers zero to nine, spread out along the length of the street. We obviously had to take photos of ourselves with all the numbers and use these pictures in future educational endeavours.

Update (added Saturday, 23 February)
Sonya commented that I should print all the numbers photos and ask you, dear readers, what to do with them. Brilliant idea! So, please tell me your creative thoughts about what to do with my numbers photos.


Kevin & Sonya said...

Sare! I love the pics. Thanks for taking them to show us. It looks beautiful. i love the ones of the oldest museum and of the numbers (of course!). I think you should get the pics of you with all the no. blowen up into 8X10's and put them on the wall of your classroom. You should hold a contest on your blog to see who has the most creative idea for what to do with the no. pics.

Glad you had fun and eat well.

Jayme said...

Cool idea Sonya!

I think you should frame the numbers from your anniversary date (or photoshop them together) and give them to Ant as a gift for your next anniversary.

The pics are fab. Glad you had a chance to get away and do something for YOU!