Travel: Portugal (Day Two)

I did not make my evening post yesterday, but this being a vacation and all… yeah.

Day two was remarkable. I was able to get out and begin to discover the city and the food. When I left the apartment, I was on a mission that brought me here…

The Arco da Rua Augusta located on the banks of the Tagus River. The far shore was enshrouded in fog, so you get the artistic shot of the day.

From here, I followed the river banks and then turned into the city toward Se Cathedral of Lisbon, which—from the outside—resembles more of a castle than a church.

Over the years—it was built in the 12th century!!—it has suffered damage from several earthquakes, but each time, the people of Lisbon work to restore its beauty. So far, the churches in Lisbon are far more austere than those of Florence and Rome. In their architecture and appointments, they indicate strength. They are definitely places the crusaders would have felt at home. Inside is quite the same, with many side chapels adorned and beautiful statues. I plan to attend church here on Sunday.

Dear Altar Guild – Wondering if you could hook a brother up (just don’t tell the Bishop!) This is the dressing chamber of the Patriarch.

Finally, the view from outside on the ledge below the rose window.

The tour of the cathedral is said to take 40 minutes… well, after spending two and a half hours poking around every corner, I was hungry. I wandered the streets near the cathedral and found Restaurante Ruca, which instead of being filled with tourists, was filled with locals. Began with a creamy seafood soup, followed by baked cod, new potatoes, and cabbage. I had the meal with sparkling water, a nice glass of port wine, and finished with an expresso.

After lunch, it was time for another church: Igreja Sao Domingos, Church of St. Dominic. Work on the church began in 1241 and was completed in 1748. It is a church of great history and great tragedy. Between various earthquakes and a massive fire in 1959, it is a miracle that it is still standing. It is beautiful, just the same.

I was a few “Hail Marys” away from finishing my Rosary when I had a coughing spell and had to leave. It is distant, but you can still smell the smoke from the fire, and there is still evidence of those flames. Touch the door, and your hand will come away black.

From here, I made my way back to the apartment and had plans for a light supper and then back out to experience the lights, but then I met a Sikh. In this case, Sandeep (I believe I have his name correct) is the Sikh I met at the Deep Ink Zone Tattoo only a few steps from my apartment. I asked if I could set up an appointment and was told, “How about tonight?” For eight hours, my Sikh friend never lost focus. It was 4 a.m. when I finished up, so I will be out seeing the lights tonight.

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