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Portugal day 3: swimming with the sharks

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Robert and I have a deep fascination for the underwater world so visiting the Lisbon Oceanarium was a must for us.  Of course, the first priority of the day was food and Robert’s morning ritual was to get fresh pastries from local bakeries. Today was a just out of the oven, still warm, melt in your mouth Pastel de nata, a Portuguese egg tart pastry very popular in the area.

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Once our bellies were full, we jumped on the tram and headed towards Praça do Comercio where we could catch our Hop on hop off bus for our second round of city touring (the cost is 18 euros for 2 days of unlimited transportation).

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The statue in the center of the Praça do Comercio square features King Jose I, the Portuguese ruler during the reconstruction of Lisbon (after the 1755 earthquake).

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Visiting Lisbon perks: being in the city while also enjoying some R&R time at the beach.

We decided to walk past the Praça do Comercio to explore the neighbourhood East of it since we hadn’t checked that area out yet and there was also a bus stop there. For some strange reason, it took about an 1 hour 1/2 for the bus to finally arrive so while we were waiting, I decided to observe our surroundings and noticed some really cool buildings:

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The José Saramago Foundation is a cultural private institution located in the Casa dos Bicos. Founded in 2007 by writer and literature Nobel Prize winner José Saramago, its main institutional principles are to defend and spread the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the promotion of culture in Portugal as well as in all the countries, and particular concerns about environmentalism (source: Wikipedia).

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While on our way to the Oceanarium, I took a quick video to better convey the beauty of the buildings in Lisbon:

Lisboa’s Oceanarium (the largest indoor aquarium in Europe) is located in Parque das Nações, which was the exhibition grounds for the Expo ’98. It’s a gorgeous space inside and out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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As soon as our visit began, I had a huge smile on my face. You can’t help but be happy when in this type of environment. Here are a few photos and videos I took of this magical experience. We had such a great time!

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One of the first little guys we saw on our tour were these two fun lovin’ sea others. They were so adorable and  just seemed so happy floating around.

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One of the favourite videos I shot at the Oceanarium is this one of beautiful jellyfish. Every time I watch it, I become somewhat hypnotized:

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Moving on to creepy crawly creatures in a completely different environment, we spotted the coolest street art on old abandoned buildings:

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Speaking of old and abandoned… It is a bit sad to see the number of derelict buildings in the city. Probably a sign of their struggling economy.

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That said, the beauty and history of Lisbon are what truly stand out:lisboa, lisbon, portugal, europe, travel, vacation, tourism, lisboa, lisbon, portugal, europe, travel, vacation, tourism,

 

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St-George castle is a must for all you history buffs.

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It’s also worth taking the time to visit some of the city’s churches. Now that’s a door!

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Visiting Lisbon in April was perfect timing, so many trees were in bloom and there were pops of pink everywhere!

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Still can’t get believe the majesty of the Rossio train station.

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Speaking of public transportation: think your rush hour is intense? At least you aren’t riding on the side of the bus!

 

Voilà, that’s it for day 3! I’m kind of reliving this trip as I write my posts and am feeling so grateful for having the good fortune of traveling to such wonderful countries. Stay tuned for day 4 which is a goodie: visiting gorgeous coastal towns Estoril and Cascais (here’s a little teaser):

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Until next time, read all about day 1 and day 2 in Portugal! Or, head to another country: how about Switzerland, England, Spain Greece or maybe a tropical destination like Costa Rica? ;)

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2 Responses to Portugal day 3: swimming with the sharks

  1. VSM April 4, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    The derelict buildings aren’t a sign of struggling economy. Lisbon has stupid “rent control” laws (frozen rents) since 1910. Many landlords are broke.

    • redfairy April 4, 2016 at 10:56 pm #

      Thanks for specifying! I guess as tourists we don’t always know the full story of what we see when we first visit a new city. ;)

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