The Streets of Bairro Alto & Estrela

I ventured out a little further today to the streets of Bairro Alto and Estrela. I set off just after breakfast to see as much as I could before the heat became too hot to bear. Walking uphill into Chiado and then back down towards Bairro Alto and Estrela I found myself at the Basilica da Estrela. Venturing into the church I snapped a shot of the interior before quickly exiting as it seems that mass was about to begin and I didn’t want to disturb those in attendance.

Bascilica da Estrela Interior

Basilica da Estrela Interior

Across the street from the Basilica is the Jardim da Estrela. This park provides a haven from the sounds of the bustling city just outside its walls. The central point of Jardim da Estrela is the green wrought-iron bandstand decorated with elegant filigree and where, I hear, musicians play during the summer months. Seems I’m a little late to the party (or possibly just too early) as no bands were playing today.

Bandstand in Jardim da Estrela

Bandstand in Jardim da Estrela

The park has numerous exotic plants and trees, ponds and various sculptures for visitors to enjoy. My favourite part of this park was a small pond where a statue of a girl sits in the water. I’m not sure if she is feeding the ducks or just gazing into the water to see her reflection.

Statue in Pond

Statue in Duck Pond

Exiting the park on the opposite side from where I had entered, I headed back downhill (didn’t I already do that?) and continued to explore the streets of Bairro Alto and Estrela. As usual, I find the funniest things when I explore. Today I discovered a door with dog door handles (or possibly wolf?). Where does one get door handles like these?

Door Knocker

Door Knocker

Walking back uphill (does it ever end?) I came across another park, Praça do Principe Real which sits at another high point in the city where you can look out over the rooftops of the city below. In Praça do Principe Real there is a large cedar tree whose branches rest on a trestle and casts its shade on the benches below it. A nice break from the heat the sun beating down on you.

Praça do Principe Real

Praça do Principe Real

There are so many treasures here in Lisbon and just not enough time to see them all. I could spend weeks and months here just exploring. Luckily I still have a few days left to try to see more. Tomorrow I go back to Alfama and explore Castelo Sao Jorge.

Salem’s Odd History

Leaving my campsite behind I headed east to visit the historic site of Salem. How could I pass up the opportunity to visit Salem while in Massachusetts? I couldn’t, so it was time to put on my touristy hat and see the sites. Getting into town in the early morning I went to see if I could get into Winter Island Marine Park, a campground and historic site. The park is located on the former site of the Fort Pickering Coast Guard Base.

Winter Island Lighthouse

Winter Island Lighthouse

The harsh light of the day made it difficult to get great shots of the park lighthouse so I decided to head into the town and see what I could find. While checking out the Tourist Information area I decided to do a tour of Grey House, the house that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about in his novel  The House of the Seven Gables.

House of Seven Gables

House of Seven Gables

I had a great time learning about the history of the house and the area and not to mention that I was able to use a secret passage in the house. It was pretty cool. One interesting takeaway from the morning was that none of the hangings (and pressings?!) were done in Salem but were committed in the neighbouring town of Ipswich. There are, however, memorials in the Salem graveyard.

Pressed

Salem Witchtrial Victim

Salem Witchtrial Victim

This pressing business does not sound pleasant at all. It seems a pretty nasty business but then again the whole thing was a little weird in my books. After doing the touristy thing around town, filling up the tummy with a lobster roll and picking up some authentic Salem gear I had to back on the road and finally get myself into Maine.