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SECOND WIND TRAVELERS STARTED OUR PORTUGAL ITINERARY WITH BELEM DISTRICT BECAUSE THE MUST-SEE HISTORICAL MONUMENTS AND INTERESTING SPOTS ARE SO CLOSE FROM ONE POINT TO ANOTHER.

Kumbaga, tanawan lang. Mahirap maligaw.

(1) THE JERÓNIMOS MONASTERY,
UNESCO World Heritage.

From a previous post you’ve learned why we did not enjoy the famous “pasteis de nata” in pastry shop, Pasteis de Belem. We started our walking tour there anyway, after joining the long queue and grabbing our 6 pieces of the sweets in a box.

We headed west on Rue Belem toward Tv. Galinheiras and Largo Jeronimos. You cannot miss this imposing National Monument, the Jerónimos Monastery at Praca do Imperio.

Even though we are not architects, we can’t help but admire this grandiose style which is called ‘Manueline’ or Portuguese Late Gothic architecture, built in the first decades of the 16th century, before the Renaissance. It was called that in honor of King Manuel I, who was the reigning monarch (1495–1521) during its development.

Along Praca do Imperio, one minute walk from the Monastery is the (2) BERARDO MUSEUM OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART @ THE BELEM CULTURAL CENTER

Said to have of the biggest collections of modern art in the world. We saw works of Tinguely and Saint-Phalle (remember the duo who did the Stradivarius Fountain in Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris?), Picasso, Mondrian, Warhol, etc.

We spent half the day here, that’s why we missed the TAGUS RIVER TOUR and the JARDIM BOTÂNICO TROPICAL.

Hay, what can a midlife couple do with one day? So many roads to cover. We put them in our last day to-do list if we still have time.

On exit, we took the backside of the museum and were surprised by a giant graffiti of an urban rat on the wall. From that sight we turned left to the Olive Trees Garden where peeps could hang out for drinks and rest tired feet. (Check last vid.)

There are some things travel articles do not cover, and these they are usually the ones that pleasantly surprise us the most. That is why when traveling, we shake off our past and future and stay in the here-and-now, a wonderful space and time to be.

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