Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Canary Islands Cruise October 2013 - Lisbon Continued)

Continuing our tour of Lisbon,we saw this monument to the first flight across the South Atlantic by Portuguese naval aviators Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral in 1922.

We continued walking through the park and came to the Belem Tower. It was built between 1514 and 1520 as part of the Tagus estuary defence system.

The Monument to the Discoveries.
The PadrĂ£o dos Descobrimentos or Monument to the Discoveries was built in honour of Henry the Navigator, who was instrumental in the success of the Portuguese explorations during the fifteenth century, a period now known as the Age of Discoveries.

  The monument we see today is an exact replica of the original one. It was was built in 1960 on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Henry the Navigator's death.

Our tour group.

Views of Lisbon as we sailed down the River Tagus .

 Santa Luzia Church and Sao Vicente Monastery.

The Triumphal Arch.

April 25th Bridge.

Cars above, train below.

Monument of the Discoveries.

Belem Tower.
And so we left Portugal and headed for the Canary Islands.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Canary Islands Cruise October 2013 - Lisbon.

Our next cruise took us to the Canary Islands, and on the way there our first stop was Lisbon Portugal.
 We had been there a few times before but always stayed in the main part of the city. This time we had booked a private tour with 6 others which was to take us around the city and surrounding area.

Looking over the Alfama district towards the Triumphal Arch.

Carmo Convent ruined during the Great Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

Rossio railway station...and Starbucks.

Memorial to the Carnation revolution in Edward VII park.
The revolution was a military coup on April 25th 1974.

It was named the Carnation Revolution as almost no shots were fired and the people celebrated the end of the dictatorship by putting carnations in the muzzles of the rifles and on the soldiers uniforms.

Freedom Day is celebrated on April 25th every year by the Portuguese.

Lisbon Cathedral.

Sao Jorge Castle.

Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora is a 17th century church and is one of the most important monasteries in the country, and is the final resting place of most of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

Monastery of Jeronimos.

Sculpture of Christ in Death under the altar of Jeronimos Monastery.

Looking over the Alfama district to the Tagus River and the April 25th Bridge shrouded in mist.
More photos from Lisbon to follow in the next post.

Friday, September 5, 2014

British Isles Cruise July 2013 - Invergordon.

As soon as I wake up I like to go on the balcony to watch the approach to our next port of call.

The ship was moving slowly along the coastline and there was no sound apart from the gentle lapping of the water against the ship.

 It was before 6am and already there was a haze in the sky promising another hot day.

We passed a lot of oil rigs, and several like this one appeared to be no longer used.

Almost there.

The town of Invergordon. On previous visits we had walked around the town or caught a bus to another town. This time we decided to take the bus to Inverness.

The River Ness.

The Victorian Market.

View from the bus heading back to Invergordon.

Back on the ship heading for home!

British Isles Cruise July 2013 - Kirkwall Orkney Islands.

After leaving Northern Ireland we headed for the Scottish Orkney Islands and Kirkwall. As we had been there before and taken a full day tour with a local guide, this time we decided to stay in the town and look at the sights there. You can see our previous photos of the island here and here.

The harbour where the cruise ships dock.

The above three photos were all taken from the ship before we went ashore.

On our way walking around the town we found the Orkney Museum and spent some time in there.

Behind the museum is Tankerness House Gardens.

Doesn't look the most comfortable of seats......

or is it?

As it was a very hot day we passed quite a while there enjoying the sun and the scenery.

Then it was back to the ship and off to our last port of call, Invergordon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

British Isles Cruise July 2013 - Northern Ireland cont.

After leaving the Giant's Causeway we arrived at the Bushmills distillery where we were able to look around and also have some lunch if we wanted to.
As we were in Ireland we decided we should have some genuine Irish stew and it was very tasty.

We continued along the coastal road heading back towards Belfast.

Then we saw the ruins of Dunluce Castle. We didn't have time to go in and have a good look around as the ship won't wait if we are late unless it is a ship organised tour.
Then it was back into Belfast for a short city tour where we were able to see some of the murals from The Troubles.
A Peace Wall. This is one of the many barriers that divide the Loyalists and Nationalists. The first time we went to Northern Ireland a few years ago we were very surprised to see so many barriers dividing the Catholic and Protestant communities. From hearing the news we had thought that they had been taken down. They may be at peace at the moment, but it seems to be a very uneasy peace.
There are a few more photos of Belfast in an earlier post here.