Sunday 8 June 2014

Lisbon 2014

After our long journey, we finally arrived safe and sound in Lisbon, the first stop on our 2014 choir trip.  After checking into our hotel we hit the ground running and started our world wind tour of Lisbon with  our tour guide Adrianna and our local tour guide Joao.  We took a sightseeing tour of Lisbon, the oldest city in western Europe, where we drove along the Tagus River.  We stopped to visit Belm the place from which the great Portugese explores set off on their voyages. Joao showed us a marble map made of tiles covering a very large area on the ground  of the places the Portugese discovered.

Here we sang the Ode to Newfoundland, along with a photo at the Monument of Discoveries.   To top off our evening we tasted the most famous desert in Portugal Pasteis de Belem.
The next day we visited Alfama the oldest district of Lisbon and saw the Castle of Sao Jorge. Then we went to visit Chiado, an important cultural area. Here we had our first encounter with multitudes of pickpockets and rain. In the midst of this adventure we broke into song... You guessed it, "Singing In the Rain." Then headed to our first performance of the tour at Santa Joana Princesa's Church with an adult choir Coro Sinfonico Lisbo Cantat.

The next day was a very long day of touring. We started our day with a visit to Obidos, a medieval town with cobblestone streets. Then we went for a visit to Fatima which holds many childhood memories for most of us. Back on the bus and off to Batalha Monastery. This monastery is one of the most beautiful examples a Portuguese architecture. Here we performed to a multicultural audience. Our day was not done yet. We hopped aboard our coach and our driver took us to Estoril where we had a romantic walk of 50 plus people along the beach that boarders the Atlantic Ocean. Here we feasted on the world's largest sardines. It was truly fishy business!


Batalha Monastery
On our last day in Lisbon we boarded the coach and travelled to the beautiful town of Sintra. Sintra is an UNESCO world heritage sight and the holiday residence of the first King of Portugal, the Palace of Penha. After this informative tour we were free to explore this beautiful town while sampling the local delicacies such as chocolate and cherry liqueur. 
We returned to Lisbon where choristers and companions split to either discover the Museum Calouste Gulbekian or to discover the wildlife of retail therapy.


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