My car has blown its transmission and has been towed to my mechanics to see if she can be revived. In the meantime, my friend Nigel has graciously said he will drive us to our hiking destinations until I get it sorted out. Thanks, Nigel!
Rouge Valley Lookout
We decided to head out to Rouge Valley Urban Park to a trail on the north side of the park that has a viewing platform so we can see the fall colours from up high. Neither of us had been here before and were looking forward to a good hike in a new park.
Rouge Valley Trail
After we visited the park, we took some backroads towards home. As we drove we spotted a farmhouse and barn that we’ve photographed a few times before.
Thompson Farm and Fence
Parking on the side of the road we walked away from the farm along the fence to find a clear angle looking back towards the barn. I noticed the overgrown vegetation along the fence and decided I liked that composition best.
When we got back in the car and started to drive past the farm, this view made us stop to grab a couple more shots before heading home.
I was visiting my friends, Brad & Tracey, for a Christmas celebration last night and on my way home this afternoon I decided to stop at a shack I discovered awhile ago. It’s my new favourite ruin up here in Grey County since the old house on highway 10 collapsed in a big storm.
Abandoned sheds/homes/buildings have so much more character than newer ones. It has a history to it and figuring out its story is what makes it fun to revisit time and time again.
Before leaving Grey County I made one last stop at this old road. I don’t know where it leads.. Where do you think the road will take you?
There is a place in Lisbon called Pink Street. It is quite literally a pink street. It’s a place where the late-night party goers party the night away. I decided to forego the party and see what it’s like early in the morning. It was quiet when I arrived with only 2 people shuffling down the street during my hour here. The street, a little on the sticky side, had the remnants of last night’s big party littered here and there.
After the Party Goers Leave
Pink Street is very short so after taking a few photos from different angles I made my way back to the apartment for some breakfast. Since it was still early morning I had to wait for the next place to open up before I could visit. My final stop for this trip was to the Igreja do Carmo. One of my first adventures in LIsbon was the light show at the Carmo. Check out the light show in the Carmo here.
The Carmo is imposing during the day with its tall columns reaching up to the roof that is long gone, although a little less mystical in appearance than my visit Here at night. Opposite the entrance into the Carmo is the entrance to the Museu Arqueologico do Carmo or the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Museu do Carmo
Inside the museum exhibits from pre-historic through to the Middle ages of Lisbon’s history are kept in a few small rooms. There is a beautiful light coming in through the tall windows giving the rooms a peaceful feeling as I walked the small rooms.
The next room over featured a library with some models in the centre to the room. The library windows went so far up I could barely fit them in so I had to take a few shots to stitch them together so you could see them all. It was a very imposing room.
Carvings on Sarcophagus
In one of the last rooms I found a few more sarcophagi. This one, pictured above, drew my attention with its intricate carvings of people holding objects. Not sure what they all have but I love their facial expressions, At the ones that still have their heads…lol
And with this final stop on my trip here to Lisbon I am sad to leave but I know that one day I will be back to visit her again one day soon to discover more of her treasures.
After spending a couple of hours at the monastery (see the previous post) I had to move on as they were closing for the day. My next stop was to Belém Tower to catch the sunset. On my way over I noticed this little lighthouse that perfectly aligned with the sun.
Not much further from the lighthouse was the Tower (you can see it in the distance in the photo above). A couple of nights before they had quite the celebration here and the scaffolding was still up so I didn’t have a lot of great angles to play with as I took my photos of Belém Tower.
I was lucky enough to catch the sun off the side tower as it was setting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a vantage point that worked for what I had in my mind. After checking out all the angles I decided to move on and make my way over to the MAAT. The MAAT is the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology located on the other side of Belém close to the train station. Since the sun was going down I wanted to get some fun night shots of the museum and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge before heading back to the apartment.
Ponte 25 de Abril
As I walked the long road toward the MAAT I was greeted by this modern art piece lit up on dock just in front of the bridge. I”m not sure who the creator is or why it’s there but it’s definitely a conversation piece for those walking along the river.
Maat and Ponte 25 Abril
I waited patiently to get the photo above as there were quite a number of the people on the steps in front of me when I arrived. Surprisingly they all left quickly once the sun disappeared. I think they missed the most beautiful part of the day but it was a bonus for me. The MAAT is a uniquely shaped building, as you can see from the photo above, and what I loved most was the fact that you could walk a ramp up its roof to get some great views.
MAAT Roof and View
I had a great evening out here in Belém. I’m also a little sad as there is only one day left before I leave this beautiful city behind for home. But there are a couple more places I have to visit in central Lisbon not too far away from the apartment before that happens.
After spending the day with my friend Claudia I headed out on the train to Belém on the west side of town. I wanted to get there later in the day in the hopes of avoiding most of the crowds. The first place I wanted to visit was the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, an absolutely gorgeous monastery built in the 16th century.
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
When I arrived I noticed a large group of people but as I got to the ticket booth I was told that was the line up to get into the church of Santa Maria, not the monastery. Whew! It turned out that I was lucky enough to come at the right time. The monastery was pretty quiet.
The monastery is a monument to the Age of Discovery, a time when Lisbon became the mercantile centre of Europe due to its spice trade with India. King Manuel I built the monastery in 1502 on the site where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent the night in prayer before leaving to find a route to India and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for their success. The taxes from the spices he and others after him brought back, helped fund the build.
Inside the walls of the monastery, I was completely in awe of the intricate stone carvings and the large cloister that lay in the middle of this large building. The hallways around the cloister are extremely ornate on both the ground and second-floor levels. The stone carvings are of coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs. It was absolutely jaw-dropping.
Exploring places late in the day can create some beautiful images. Golden hour is not just for landscapes, buildings can benefit from the subtle light. Don’t just look at the light but also look at the shadows that are created. In the image below the shadows created by the ornate columns cast a beautiful pattern onto the walls and door in the hallway.
Intricate shadow on door
As closing time came I had to drag myself out of the monastery. I could have spent hours here photographing the light as it left the sky but I had to move on. In the next post, I will show you a couple of more places I visited while in Belém.
My final destination in Sintra was Quinta da Regaliera, a very interesting estate just outside the historic center of Sintra. As you walk uphill (yup that’s right, uphill – again) to the entrance you pass the grand 5-story gothic palace, giving a glimpse of what might lie in the grounds themselves.
Quinta da Regaleira
Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monterio, an eccentric millionaire, was the brainchild behind this particular estate. The grounds are riddled with secret passage and tunnels along with occult symbols and religious references.
I started slow with this water fountain. The strange fish acts as the spout for the water to flow into the two-tiered bowls.
The grounds themselves are a challenge to navigate as they twist and turn and head off into unexpected directions or dead ends. Needless to say, I definitely walked the same paths a couple of times if not more.
The one place I was looking most forward to was the Initiatic Well. My friend, Jason told me all about it, which is why I choose Quinta da Regaleira as my final destination of the day. The well did not disappoint. Entering from the top I walked down the ten stories to the bottom where it opens up to the tunnels. There is a second smaller well on the property. The wells were used for ceremonial purposes that included Tarot initiation rites. The tunnels connect the wells to one another, in addition to various caves and other monuments located around the park.
Part of the cave system on the property is the Laybrinthic Grotto. For these tunnels, you will need a light source in order to get around because once you leave the cave opening there are no lights to guide you as there are in the tunnels near the Initiatic Well.
There is so much here in Quinta da Regaliera to see that you should plan to spend a few hours here if you can. I spent most of my time here at this estate more than the other two (Pena Palace and Moorish Castle) and I wish I had more time and energy. If I get a chance to get back I will be coming here first.