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LIVE from the Prinsendam - 24 day Med Rivieras & River Explorer - please join us

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Your detailed reports and beautiful photographs make me feel like I'm right back in Lisbon...  excellent job! 

 

Looks like you both are having a fabulous time, and that lunch place is right up our alley.  It's exactly the type of place we enjoy dining when in Europe, and the great thing is that they seem to be everywhere in some cities.  Lunch at these restaurants is an especially good opportunity to sample true local fare, many times at a good value as well!

 

Continuing enjoying Lisbon.  Can't wait to start reading about your P experience.  We stepped off her for the final time at the conclusion of her last Northern Europe / Kiel Canal run, when the departure from the fleet had been recently announced.

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Thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

Your pictures and comments are wonderful.

The food looks great.

Can't wait for more.

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Looks like you two are having an incredible start to the trip!  Looking forward to meeting you two weeks from today.  Enjoy every minute!

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Catching up.

 

That terrace hotel room is certainly grand.  I love the terrace!!  

 

When we toured Europe, we did many walking tours on our own -- took tons of pictures.  Agree that it is better than bus ours.

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Wonderful photos.  It's been 40 years since I've been to Lisbon so I am really enjoying your review.  Have a great cruise!

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How did you ever find a man who loves to shop? How amazing is that!

 

And I have never seen octopus cooked/served that way. It looks amazing.

 

And if you stop sharing all your adventures and pics, I will go into mourning. I really appreciate you sharing your travels with us.

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3 hours ago, cat shepard said:

How did you ever find a man who loves to shop? How amazing is that!

 

He was like that long before I married him.  I hate shopping - I can be in and out of a store in 2 minutes if I don’t see anything.  Him?  He has to browse and “check prices” 😉 . So, I try to meet him half way and who knew what shape we would be in yesterday so it seemed perfect.

3 hours ago, cat shepard said:

And I have never seen octopus cooked/served that way. It looks amazing.

 

And if you stop sharing all your adventures and pics, I will go into mourning. I really appreciate you sharing your travels with us.

 

The octopus was absolutely delicious.  I think it was the best I’ve ever had (but you may hear that a couple of times as we are going to a number of places where fresh fish abounds).

 

LOL on the mourning.  You are too kind. Thank you. 🙂 

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4 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

Your pictures and comments are wonderful.

The food looks great.

Can't wait for more.

 

Thanks kindly.  I’m just uploading from today.

4 hours ago, StartrainDD said:

Looks like you two are having an incredible start to the trip!  Looking forward to meeting you two weeks from today.  Enjoy every minute!

 

Home runs for sure (if this was a baseball game) so far.

 

Looking forward to seeing you soon, Arie 🙂 

4 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Catching up.

 

That terrace hotel room is certainly grand.  I love the terrace!!  

 

When we toured Europe, we did many walking tours on our own -- took tons of pictures.  Agree that it is better than bus ours.

 

Thanks KK.

 

I do really like this hotel.  Service is very kind and thoughtful.

3 hours ago, jimbri said:

Wonderful photos.  It's been 40 years since I've been to Lisbon so I am really enjoying your review.  Have a great cruise!

 

Thanks 🙂 

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We are back from our day in Alfama and resting a bit before tackling dinner.

 

Could be tough choice as we didn’t get to the tapas bar we wanted to go to last night because of the soccer game on last night - but, we were very happy where we were as they had the soccer for DH and our meal was fabulous.

 

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

 

My day started bright and early and all 6 of us were on time at 9 pm to catch our cab to get to our meeting place in Alfama.  (I told everyone it was the only solution since it was all uphill to Alfama.  We would have been worn out before we started).

 

It was raining and all the hotel umbrellas were gone so I guess I better dig out our little umbrella from the cruise suitcase for tomorrow if it is going to continue.

 

Rain is not long though and it’s not cold so we are fine.  We don’t melt 😉

 

We got dropped off at  Castelo de San Jorge (Lisbon Castle) and no guide.  Then when I looked I realized our taxi had dropped us off at the wrong spot as there was no arch.

 

The arch was just a few feet away and there was Daniel waiting for us.

 

Our tour started at the magnificent castle/fortification.  And boy did we learn a lot.  But first a view of the “real” Lisbon

 

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You can see the bridge in the distance - a bit like San Fransisco.  LIsbon is kind of considered San Fransisco’s twin in some ways.

 

Lisbon has lived in it’s own world - like a ‘bubble’ for centuries.  Separated by so much, they have developed their own way.  The number of people here who speak English fluently is amazing.

 

Our guide, Daniel was full of information with a good bit of humour and would put some things in modern context.

 

The castle served as a fortress and while some of it has had to be restored, most of it is original.  LIsbon’s heritage ties are to Italy and Rome.  You can see it here in the fortress.

 

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The fortress was needed to fend away invaders - Vikings were successfully turned away but it could not hold back large forces.  It would have been too easy to starve those inside.

 

Some brave souls were willing to climb to the top.  It had rained so the steep steps were slippery as well as tricky.  I decided to admire the 5 of them from the ground 😉 

 

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Some brave souls were willing to climb to the top.  It had rained so the steep steps were slippery as well as tricky.  I decided to admire the 5 of them from the ground 😉

 
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Olive trees and evergreens growing in the middle of the castle.
 
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The cobblestones were tricky in spots, some slippery.  Our intrepid traveller above said “he thinks I’m holding his hand because I love him - I just don’t want to fall”.  LOL.

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I found a great spot to wait for the intrepid stair climbers.  

 

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The stairs went quite high and coming down was worse than going up.  I figured out where they would be arriving and was there ready to get there pics as most were “side stepping” as recommended by our guide.

 

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The castle has tons of peacocks.  They are full of beautiful colours.  They are not native but were imported to add interest to the castle.  Our guide believes that their wings are clipped but they are not great fliers anyways.

 

After seeing so many, I couldn’t resist snapping just like everyone else at long last:

 

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then our guide took us to the room where they stored some of the treasure from the explorations to the New World and Brazil (did you know that the Portuguese were in Brazil long before Columbus discovered the Americas?  They kept it quiet as they were in a race to get to Asia/China first for the spices by sea.

 

There was a lovely sketch of the old Lisbon there but it would not photograph well so I had to satisfy myself with this story on the Castle.

 

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On our way out, we stopped at the statue of the “merchant” king.  Calling someone  a “merchant’ was a huge insult.  They were held in high disdain despite their success financially.  The king didn’t care just like some despots in modern times as he and Lisbon were very wealthy so it rolled of him like water of a duck’s back.

 

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Originally when I was planning this walking tour, I had asked if we could go there tomorrow in the afternoon as we had our Fado show that evening and figured we could just stay in Alfama.  I was given an emphatic no as it would be too hot possibly and definitely too crowded.

 

Kazu always listens to words of wisdom, so I said fine, we’ll do it in the morning. Thank heavens we did.  When we went in at 9:30 it was quiet and not crowded at all.  When we walked out, my mouth dropped open.  I couldn’t believe it.

 

Can you see the yellow building a long ways away up the hill?  That’s the ticket office.  This is the lineup to get in when we left walking downhilll.

 

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I would guess there were at least 150 people in the line.  Amazing.

 

Now we were heading to the “real” Alfama of old.  Most of Lisbon was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755.  Literally, the city was gone in 45 minutes.  Only a bit remains.  It’s a shame as the city leans to Italy and hired Italian architects to build the original city bit by bit.  The architecture was beautiful.

 

Most of it lost, the city had to be rebuilt as fast as possible.  To do this, they put up the housing that you see now.  Plain, simple and to the point.  The Portuguese were already using tiles but they took technicques from Italy and the Dutch and began making better mosaics - they became the quick decoration of houses and buildings to add some architectural interest.

 

This house had the original ones - not the new ones.  Hard to believe that they are as old as they are.

 

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I think I was at too much of an angle for the last one.  They are truly beautiful.

 

 

 

 

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Ah Jacqui we are quite alike.  I married a shopper while I could do without and I wouldn’t have done those stairs either!  Great photos.  Glad the rain stopped.  Enjoy dinner, wherever you chose to go.

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Wonderful following you.  I love Lisbon and enjoyed your pictures and comments very much!

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Your walking tour sounds wonderful.  There was a time when we could tours like that -- but not anymore.

 

Now the steep steps -- no way.

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Love the photos Jacqui! The steps look a little steep but manageable..

The architecture of the buildings are beautiful. What camera are you?

Enjoy and eat well! I love your food porn!

Denise😊

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2 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

Love the photos Jacqui! The steps look a little steep but manageable..

The architecture of the buildings are beautiful. What camera are you?

Enjoy and eat well! I love your food porn!

Denise😊

 

I don’t use anything fancy at all.  It’s either my Canon Power Shot SX710 -HSY5

 

a pretty standard camera - or it’s my iPad.  Yes, I got a new IPad (the old one came long for DH but guess what he hasn’t used it yet “sigh”.  LOL! )

 

DH has the good cameras but so far I think I am taking the most pics.  If he does take good shots and IF I can get his memory card for a nano second, I’ll happily include some of his as he is much better than I 😉

 

I didn’t finish today so I am behind already.  

 

I will try to see if I can catch up or take advantage of tomorrow morning to finish today.

 

Tomorrow should be an enchanting tour - not everyone’s cup of tea.  But there is only one certified historian who does it so we are looking forward to it.  If it’s not good, we’ll just say thanks and leave but if it’s anything like today, I think everyone was enchanted.

 

They must have been as Papabar has asked if there is any way they can join us tomorrow.  I was told they need 24 hours notice and I think I got back too late even though I hit my email asap when I was back in the room.

 

My theory is - price is the same whether it is 4 or 6 and the guide gets more tips.

 

Daniel cleaned up today big time, so if Paulo is as good tomorrow he will too.

 

Believe me, Daniel was totally enchanting.  He kind of warmed up to the group and what was supposed to be a 2.5 hour tour max turned more into a 4 hour tour.  We weren’t complaining.

 

I will try to do a bit more tonight before my eyes start to close and then, with luck will finish tomorrow or perhaps I will take the IPad with me tomorrow.
 

It’s a busy day - our walking tour and then Fado that night.  It will be long one but well worth it if it is anything like it was before.  I’m ready to be moved tomorrow night, savour the flavour and just have a great night.  12 of us are going - since it only holds 35 +/- , we’ll make up a good part to the tiny taberna.  I hope everyone likes it and doesn’t beat me up if they don’t.  

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5 hours ago, 1of4 said:

Ah Jacqui we are quite alike.  I married a shopper while I could do without and I wouldn’t have done those stairs either!  Great photos.  Glad the rain stopped.  Enjoy dinner, wherever you chose to go.

 

I never liked heights but since I broke the elbow I have a tad of temerity about only one railing and when I look down I picture breaking it again and I know it can never be repaired.  I know, silly but since I worked so hard to have 95% mobility, I am protective. 😉  (That’s really good for someone with this surgery that went to my elbow - I was told I would lose 15 to 30%.  Kazu is nothing but determined and she worked on her exercises twice a day on our Westerdam cruise.  Once in the hydrotherapy pool as it feels so good but you need to face the music too so also in the cabin.)

 

I was 3/4 the way up and then I went yikes.  Stupid, I was nearly there, but I knew, just knew it would be a mistake for me.  When I saw them coming down and side stepping I was glad I didn’t do it.

 

Lots of time - lots of great sights to see and while I am usually willing to “go where no woman has gone before” I decided today, it just wasn’t right and I wasn’t doing it.  Instead I took pics of them up there. 😉 

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I’ll try to finish today tomorrow morning if I wake up early enough.

 

Cheers from the enchanting city of LIsbon.

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Jacqui thanks for getting back to me in regards to your camera! I also have a cannon power shot easy camera to use👍

I can not imagine the time put into putting this beautiful vacation blog together!! I don’t have the patience but all of your vacations I love so much! I remember your Westerdam blog and pics of you and Jose doing some dancing which was great and about your elbow and how you had surgery WOW and the apt. In Paris too!!

wasnt that about the same time we were staying at the apt. In Nice? 2016.

Love where your staying now and the excitement of all that glorious FOOD 😱

Cant wait for you to board on The Elegant Explorer!! I so wish we did this cruise but 

R/T Hawaii Tahiti was nice. You guys look great and have the time of your life as I say. Thank you for writing me back Jacqui.

Denise😊

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Well, I failed miserably this morning.

 

I slept in until the alarm went off so there was no time this morning 😞

 

We are just back from our Jewish walking tour (no we’re not Jewish). But the history of the Jews here (like many countries) is amazing, sad and interesting all at once.

 

I am going to try to finish up yesterday before we go out for FADO tonight.

 

DH and I are both weary.  I don’t dare nap as we leave in an hour and 1/2 so we may go for a walk (I know, a walk after all that walking?) to perk ourselves up.

 

If we don’t, I’ll get more done.  Otherwise it will be tomorrow or late tonight.

 

It’s embarkation day tomorrow.  I can’t believe it.  Where did 5 days go?    

 

AND it’s our last chance for the pastries from Belem in our library at the hotel and their lovely tea and port.

 

OMG - decisions, decisions, decisions.

 

I will catch up

                                            

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Curse you for enjoying yourself and catching up on much needed sleep.

 

You know we will wait for you. Thank you for even thinking you failed - but you know you did not.😎

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Jacqui 

 

Happy embarkation day to you tomorrow on your beloved ship.   Your posts are so entertaining and informative.   Really enjoy reading them - thank you for taking me along.  Best to Jose and you on your final Prinsendam cruise.  

 

Ruth Ann 

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If you ever get the urge to try Crystal they have those pastries in the Bistro (think Explorations Cafe) every morning.  I was a bit surprised not to find them anywhere in Brazil.  Have a good night's sleep.

 

Roy

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Jacqui, I know how you feel about your elbow and watching where you walk.  I have the same feeling since I broke my wrist -- a "V" break.

 

Loving your reports.

 

Can't believe that it is time for you to board the Prinsendam tomorrow.

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Enjoy your pastries, go for a walk, have fun at Fado and get some rest so you can enjoy embarkation day tomorrow.  This is vacation, not a job.  We'll wait patiently.   Ok, perhaps not patiently, but as long as we know the delay is due to your having fun and not an accident or illness, we'll be fine.

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