This morning we decided to eat breakfast in our rooms so we could be ready a little quicker as we were getting picked up early for our day in Lisbon.
Our first stop in Lisbon was the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monestery). The stone carvings were amazing. Everywhere we looked there were something stunning to look at. We really didn’t know what to look at first. We visited the refectory (which was slightly more grand than the one we have at school), the confession room..we could have been in there all day with our confessions but we were all desperate to see the church so we decided to leave them for another day. The church was out of this world and much more elaborate and ornate than St Lawrences. We could have spent ages in there but we were short on time. Our next stop was the Torre De Belem (Tower of Belem). This is a fortress that was built to guard the entrance of Lisbon’s harbour. We thought it would be a good idea to go up the steps to the top of the tower... it didn’t feel such a good idea by the time we got to the top. We lost count of the number of steps, however, on the bright side it clocked lots of steps onto Mrs Tinkler’s and Mrs Parkin’s Fit Bits! The views from the top were amazing. We had landscape, cityscape and seascape all from one view point. From the dizzy heights of the tower we descended to the murky depths of the prison where the children tried to
imagine what it would have been like to be locked in there.
After a whistle stop tour of the Tower we moved onto the next monument. The Padrao dos Descobrimentos (monument to the discoveries). This was a monument built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Henry the Navigator. It was designed in the shape of a caravel. Again the views from the top were breath taking.
We enjoyed our packed lunches basking in the glorious sunshine in the park. The main downside of the morning was that we didn’t have enough time to visit the Antigua Confeitaria de Belem. This is a very famous patisserie that sells the best Portuguese custard tarts you can buy. Us adults had been looking forward to this all week but we had a decision to make... take the kids to the toilet or go for custard tarts. We didn’t have time for both so unfortunately the toilets won. However all was not lost. One of the Portuguese teachers saw the three of us sulking on the bus so kindly gave us some of hers to share. Result!
Next stop on the agenda was the Lisbon Story Centre. Here we learned the story of Lisbon with the help of an audio system. We learned about the heartbreaking events of 1755 where Lisbon was at the centre of Europe’s largest ever recorded earthquake followed by a tsunami. This devastating moment in history influenced the architecture of Lisbon today.
After the story centre we had some free time to explore Lisbon including the Rua Augusta Arch and Praća Do Comercio (Commercial Square). Again more examples of amazing architecture in Lisbon. Mrs Parkin had to switch to finance mode and do some serious haggling for the children as they wanted to buy some souvenirs to bring home. We also found time to stop and have a refreshing drink at a local cafe and play in the park before the bus came to pick us up for our return journey back to Barreiro where we enjoyed our evening meal with our partner schools.