Windows Of The World

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Wndows Of The  World

Windows Of The World

“When God looks out his window, he sees beauty, love, rainbows, smiles and happiness everywhere. When I look out of mine, I wish I was looking out of God’s.” Anthony T.Hincks

I love architecture and i especially love looking at windows. I always wonder what world exists behind those windows. Will it be familiar or strange?  Windows are to look out from, not into. There is nothing more mysterious than looking from the outside into an open window.

Sintra, Portugal

Zarautz,Spain

Wroclaw, Poland

Chiloe Island,Chile

Edam, Netherlands

Jerusalem,Israel

Paraty, Brazil

Cartagena, Colombia

Capetown,South Africa

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

 

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Driving Through Portugal

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Driving through Portugal

“Wet or fine the air in Portugal has a natural happiness in it, and the people of the country should be as happy and prosperous as any people in the world.” H.G.Wells

 I love Lisbon and Porto but in addition  Portugal has some of the most beautiful towns, and villages in all of Europe On my last trip I was lucky to include Sintra, Cascais and Estoril. 

This time we have our wonderful tour guide Tiago who took us through these lovely towns. I googled guide to drive from Porto to Lisbon. Sometimes the internet connects  you to just the right person. Tiago was interesting, kind and very knowledgeable about his country. He could change plans in a minute if necessary and made it the perfect itinerary for us. It is a local company which I always prefer  and dealing with them online is easy.  I highly recommend him if you are in Porto. https://www.4u2enjoy.pt/

Amarante is a settlement since the fourth century BC and municipality halfway  between Porto and the Douro Valley. 

A church and monastery sit theatrically beside a rebuilt medieval bridge  over the Rio Tamega.

The scene is spectacular. 

The town enjoys some small degree of fame for being the hometown of São Gonçalo.

He is Portugal’s St Valentine and is the target for lonely hearts who make pilgrimages here in the hope of finding true love.

it is located on one of the original Portuguese routes of the Camino Del Santiago.

Coimbre is a pretty riverside  city with a Unesco World Heritage University that dates back to Roman times.

The oldest part of Coimbra University occupies the former Royal Palace on top of the city’s highest hill. 

Coimbra’s university, founded in 1290, is Portugal’s oldest and most distinguished, and a third of the city’s 35,000-strong population are students.

The Baroque library is quite impressive and a colony of bats is nurtured within it to keep the insect population down.

St Michael’s Chapel is a blend of decorative tiles and sea themed ceiling paintings with a 3,000 pipe organ protruding from the wall.

The large Room of Acts once a throne room with its unique silver and gold paneling and portraits of Portuguese monarchs is where the PHD  students take their exams.

Obidos is a small town in central Portugal. Hiding on a hill behind its medieval fortifications, it forces the modern world to wait outside.

Inside are quaint cobblestone streets, historic houses with yellow and blue stripes  and whitewashed bougainvillea-draped houses. It is easy to wander on the stairs and alleys when you go off the main streets filled with souvenir shops. 

Thought it dates back to the Romans, the fortifications and colors come from the Moors.

When you visit the St James Church you see a bookstore inside because of Obidos commitment to culture and literature.

There are a number of bookshops  in unconventional settings like an organic market and in a wine cellar. 

There’s one local custom worth trying in Obidos. It’s a shot of the local ginja which is a  Portuguese cherry liquor.

The ginja comes in an edible chocolate cup.

.Obidos is actually surrounded by a lot of cherry trees so I believe so the ginja is locally made.

At sunset, we stop in Mafra.

Tiago has arranged for us to meet a luthier who makes Portuguese guitars.

His home overlooks a beautiful beach and a fado singer drops by.

It is a perfect end to the day.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Old World Palaces And Castles

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Palaces and Castles

“ And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you, that I’m tired of castles in the air “Don McLean (I love that song)

Castles and palaces are pieces of the past. They are evocative of the people who lived in them many centuries ago. They are rich in folklore and history and often built with astonishing craftsmanship and innovative design. Here are some of the palaces that I have toured. Many of these photos were before I was blogging so less palace and more look I was there shots.

Alhambra – Granada, Spain

fullsizeoutput_5ea7Buckingham Palace – London, England

Buda Castle – Budapest, Hungary (view near castle)

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Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) – Venice, Italy

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Neuschwanstein – Hohenschwangau, Germany

Pena Palace – Sintra, Portugal

Peterhof, (known as Petrodvorets and Petergof) – Petergof ,Saint Petersburg, Russia

Pitti Palace – Florence, Italy

Prague Castle – Prague, Czech Republic

Schoenbrunn – Vienna, Austria

Trakai Castle – Trakai, Lithuania.

Palace Of Versailles, Versailles, France

Fly safe,

JAZ

Ten Reasons To Go To Lisbon, Portugal

Ten Reasons To go To Lisbon, Portugal

It is important when in Lisbon to eat as many pastries as possible. There is a bakery on almost every corner. I had pastel de nata  for the first time at a Portuguese bakery with a very long line in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I cant wait to try them here.

Lisbon is one of the cheapest European cities.

Lisbon gets  3000 hours of sunlight every year.

Lisbon is well-known for its excellent street art. Everywhere you turn you will be amazed to see a creative  masterpiece.

Fado  is the traditional folk music of Portugal.  It is probably the most melancholy music you’ll ever hear and still somehow makes the ideal soundtrack for every trip to Portugal.

About a half hour by train from Lisbon is the fairytale town of Sintra. it is filled with castles, estates, palaces and amazing scenery.  The monarchy came here to enjoy the summer.

One of the 20th century’s great philanthropists, Armenian Calouste Gulbenkian, left much of his art and historic artifacts to his favorite city, Lisbon.  The museum now houses one of Europe’s most epic collections. There’s also an affiliated modern art museum nearby which I am interested in seeing.

Portugal seems to be in the second-tier in the wine world, right after France, Italy and Spain despite the famous Port Wine and even though Portuguese wines win the most prestigious awards every year. Chances are there is a great quality wine at a very reasonable price waiting for me.

See the Toree de Belem and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This  15th-century monastery was built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s “discovery” of India.  This Byzantine and Gothic tower stands out over the mouth of the Tejo, guarding the entrance to the city’s harbor

Go to the beach. Water is a big part of the Portuguese identity and mine too.

Fly safe,
JAZ