Ilivetolearn's Blog

March 6, 2006

last bits of Lisbon

Filed under: on the road,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 10:10 am

All the sidewalks in Lisbon are mosaics made of large cubes of marble…mostly white but some with white/black patterns. They are quite attractive, though uneven, hard to roll luggage on, and (I imagine) hell on high heels. We saw several sections being repaired or replaced…very labor-intensive. The large plaza around the Oceanarium was the most elaborate, with depictions of sea creatures, and the area near the Discovery Center (a large monument right on the River Tagus built in 1960 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator) was covered with a remarkable map of the globe with exploration routes in various colors. Poor Henry never actually left Portugal, but he sponsored lots of naval globe-trotting.

The Oceanarium really was a state-of-the-art aquarium, in contrast to the one in San Sebastian, which didn’t quite live up to the guidebook billing. And the Lisbon Zoo was charming…small enough to walk around without getting exhausted, and full of animals made frisky by the chilly weather. As the Carmeans watched the bears put on a particularly good show, splashing around in their moat and chasing each other, I wandered around a corner and came across a pet cemetery…a huge terraced hillside with mini-graves, headstones, photos, flowers…all in memory of Toto the terrier or Foofoo the bunny. This must be the only zoo in the world where you can visit dead animals as well as live ones.

Bill and I made the kids do one adult tourist thing—see the art at the Gulbenkian Foundation. This is a remarkable collection given to the city by an Armenian immigrant who had pretty much unlimited money to indulge his great taste in art. We saw the first building (old masters up to Impressionists) all together, and then Bill and I went back to see the separately-housed modern art. Gorgeous buildings, set in a park with amazing landscaping. What a treasure for Lisbon.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: