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25 April 2020 - Day 14 – Lisbon

When I woke, the #Meraviglia was cruising up the Tagus between Caxias (beaches) to the north and Elisiario (windsurfing) to the south. By the time I’d cleaned up and gathered my gear, heading towards Waves, we’d passed under the Ponte 25 de Abril and were approaching the Doca da Marinha , just beyond which was where the ship would dock on the Jardim do Tabaco Quay.

Lots of the passengers were heading off the ship shortly after tying up. Excursions would take folks to Fatima, Cascais, Sintra, and a cruise on the Tagus to Santarem. Having been in Lisbon 2 years ago, I’d already visited three cathedrals and also the “English Cemetery”, but I didn’t know then about the fourth. In researching #MilitaryOrdinariates, my 2018 list hadn’t included the one in #Lisbon. When priests are brought into the military as chaplains, the Catholic Church wants to keep these men as non-combatants, and basically out of the line-of-command. So a “chief chaplain” is designated by Rome for each of about 43 countries worldwide, and this bishop sometimes has a cathedral. (The US and Canada do not, although the MO has a large building in each national capitol.)

My objective was Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Livramento e de São José, the Memorial Church of Our Lady of Deliverance and St. Joseph. This church was located about 7.5km west of the port, and because it was only partially cloudy and just barely 60°F, I was ready for an hour and a half hike, mainly along the riverfront. My walk would actually take me by the Russian Orthodox cathedral, with the Sé and Romanian Orthodox cathedral up the hill

from promenade, or Ribeira das Naus. The walkway turned inland away from the water, and I passed a square with the Estátua do Duque da Terceira as the broad avenue changed its name to Av. 24 de Julho. Small parks, usually with yet another statue cropped up along my stroll.

Grafitti seems to occur in every major city I’ve visited, and Lisbon was no exception. A derelict building, considered a Haunted House had a great piece of art work in the form of a fox, calling the space a labyrinth. Three blocks later was a McDonald, which tour guides had called the “American Embassy” in more places than I’d care to count. Continuing along the trolly tracks, I entered into the nightclub area, with dormant buildings with neon and glitz around the entries. With the sun breaking through occasionally, I walked past the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga a two story block structure that houses artwork from the medieval ages.

The marina now occupied the river’s edge, where I had originally thought the ship would dock. Private sailing vessels and container ships shared this broad expanse of water. At this

point, I was approaching my halfway point, albeit I’d been walking (and taking pictures) for an hour. Probably another half kilometer, I was passing under the big bridge over the Targus estuary. I continued through the Jardam Docas da Ponte until Google Maps told me it was time to head inland. I had to zig around several medical buildings, including the Hospital Egas Moniz as I turned onto the Calcada Boa Horas.

When it T-d into Rua do Machado, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda stood in front of me, triggering a left turn. As I continued down this broad “road”, the name changed thrice in a half kilometer, and I came to another T, making a right onto Calcada da Ajuda for a block, before turning westward again.

Now in a district with restaurants and shops below residential space, I was dodging shoppers

and not seeing too many tourists with cameras, not that many use more than their smartphones these days. Yet another T, I walked another two blocks before I came to my goal. A somewhat small stone bricked building of what looked to be two stories with a tall cupola capped with a dome and a cross, the Igreja da Memoria sits in a large park-like space. I walked fully around the building, suspecting it might house a small narrow space. Entering, I found that a group of about two dozen were getting a guided tour, so I hung back, enjoying some sit time in a bigger than expected, bright space. The nave was three stories high, with the sanctuary under the majestic dome. The sides were filled with memorial chapels, seemingly dedicated to the military dead. At the high altar, an insert above the gold tabernacle seemed to be stacked coffins. This space, once the tour left, proved to be a place for quiet reflection.

Exiting, I started walking towards the water and came to the Jardim Botânico. A formal tropical garden, I strolled across the manicured grounds, seeing peacocks foraging in the lawns. Exiting, I walked a short block to the Jardim Alonso de Albuquerque, which had a tall monument to the fifteenth century statesman and explorer, the second viceroy of India. Avenida Brasilia bracketed this park, and had a trolley stop called Belem across from the Museu Nacional dos Coches, the National Coach Museum. Boarding the tram, I found a seat and sat for the 5-kilometer ride back to the Praca Europa terminus.

About 2pm, I was a kilometer walk from the ship. I decided to revisit the Sé, the Cathedral of Lisbon. Climbing a slight hill, I walked down the Rua do Arsenal and passed the Court of Appeals, with its geometrically designed plaza. I passed the Arco da Rua Augusta, a tall white arch separating yellow buildings, through the maze of small narrow pedestrian streets I remembered and broke out into the space in front of the cathedral.

With a relatively plain front, the two tall square towers bracket a tall wide arch under a small rose window. Entering, a Mass was just ending, so I slipped into a pew and waited for the celebrant to leave the altar. The interior is fairly dark, so no pictures here. I returned to the west entrance and turned left twice, descending along the south face as I headed towards the port. As I neared the terminal, I passed the All Saints Russian Orthodox Church, which Wikipedia has listed as a cathedral, so I presume it is the Portuguese seat of a metropolitan.

Arriving at 4, I joined a short queue to reboard the ship. I was tired and hungry from all my walking and skipping lunch. Up a flight to get to my cabin, I scarfed down a banana and drank two bottles of water from the minibar and started to feel better.

Leaving the camera and taking the (off airplane mode) phone, I headed up to see what magic Ramon might be mixing this evening. It was going to be a classic night. The ship’s horn blew, and most in the bar pulled out their phones and switched to airplane mode. The lineup: classic gin or vodka martini; a dirty gin or vodka martini; and a Vesper martini, from the Bond film Casino Royale which used both gin and vodka. An education, and despite my history of not drinking gin (since a sad incident in Boston in 1975!), I decided to try the gin variations. Gin has moved back on my “drinkable” list; amazing that it took 45 years.

Grabbing a Vesper martini on the rocks (the way my folks would enjoy their evening martinis), I found a seat near a window and spent an hour conversing with others relaxing there.

Tonight was my second reservation at Ocean Cay, the seafood restaurant. Seated against the stern wall in the middle at a 4-top, I was again dining with just my journal. I picked the mussels marinara to start, followed by the bottarga. The chef used linguine from Gragnano in Amalfi, which Fortune magazine calls the best in the world, and has the roe of the mullet as its main ingredient. The mussels were tasty, but I enjoyed the garlic toasted bread in the tomato sauce best.

The pasta was different, a slightly salty offering that didn’t call out for grated cheese, one of my major failings with Italian cuisine. I’d be curious to try it again when I actually get to the Amalfi Coast in mid-June. On a lark, I decided to order a bottle of a non-vintage Freixenet Rosé, a light off-dry bubbly which stood up to the tomato in the mussels, as well as the saltiness of the “caviar”. I was pleasantly surprised. And for dessert, I’d been leaning towards the Crème Brûlée, but watching the table next to me, the Fondant Chocolat with pistachio ice cream won me over.

Tomorrow we would dock at the Galician port of Vigo, with another day-shortening time change. I had a tight itinerary there, so I needed to make sure that Reg and Patricia would be ready to leave as soon as we could. So I headed back to the cabin and rang their cabin. I had to leave a message, but suggested breakfast in Waves at 8:15. After this post was complete, photos downloaded and equipment (including the electric toothbrush) set to charge, I crawled into bed.

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