Monday, August 8, 2011

European Adventure, Part 9: A Final Day in Portugal

En route home, we scheduled a final day in Portugal. We took a short tram ride to Belem, a small town adjacent to Lisbon that is home to several landmarks. Our first stop was the 16th Century Belem Tower. The tower served as an important fortification to defend Lisbon and is near the place where many explorers launched their voyages to claim territory on behalf of the Portuguese crown. It is one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belem.

We had lunch overlooking the Monument to the Discoveries, honoring Portugal's role in European exploration of the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

The St. Jeronimos Monastery was our last stop of the trip. Dating from the late 1400s-early 1500s, the ornate facility was quiet and serene despite the presence of many tourists. Several photos follow.

The monastery also serves as the final resting place of the most famous Portuguese explorer - Vasco de Gama.
We were all tired and ready to come home by the end of this final journey. That sentiment is captured in Lea and Carter's expression below - they were happy to be done posing for Erik!
We feel fortunate to have enjoyed a great family trip to two grand cities.

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