Quoting from the Unesco World Heritage website: “The Águas Livres Aqueduct is a baroque architectural infrastructure….. built between 1731 and 1799. It is a hydraulic structure that stretches over 36 miles, built of cut stone quarried in the Lisbon area. It was the last great classical aqueduct to be built all over the world, constituting a system for the capture and transport of water which passes through five separate municipalities in Portugal.”
The transportation system in and around Lisbon is phenomenal. It’s so easy to get around. I took a bus to the outskirts of town to see the aqueduct. From the bus, here is my first tiny glimpse.
The view isn’t all that great from the drop off point of the first bus. You must transfer to another bus to go up to where you can walk on the aqueduct itself. But at this first bus stop, there is a beautiful mural along the highway.
By the way, I like to remind readers once in a while to click on a photo in order to view it individually.
From the drop off point at the top of the hill it’s easy to find the entrance to the aqueduct. It’s only 3 Euro for the privilege of walking on it.
I realized after downloading my pictures that I hadn’t taken a pic of the actual walkway! If you ever go there, you’ll understand why – the views grab your attention immediately. This picture shows only the very beginning of the walkway (the fencing is only there for about the first 50 yards or so). Suffice it to say that it’s like walking down a long hallway with no ceiling, a wall on one side and half a wall on the other! In and of itself, it’s not all that interesting. Still, darn it, I wish I’d taken a pic! Here’s my first view:
Looking down at the mural from the aqueduct.
Again, from the Unesco World Heritage site:
“In order to underline the singularity of this work, it is essential to mention that the construction of this aqueduct displays architectural and structural solutions that were highly innovative for its time, as, for example, the construction of galleries with a height adapted to the human scale, a feature that, on the one hand, facilitated its maintenance…..
….while, on the other hand, made it possible to undertake building and repair works inside the gallery without needing to interrupt the supply of water.”
This sign indicates that you are standing over the tallest arch (though, of course, at the time it’s underneath you and you can’t see which one it is!). I’ve tried to find the exact height of it and have been unable to. If you learn of it, please share!
…and that mural, yet again!
Looking back at where I’d just been.
I know there’s a word for it, but I can’t think of it (and considering the context here, that’s a bit ironic) – anyone know the word for someone who is attracted to the look of numbers and letters?
At any rate, I’m one of those people. Even if I have no idea what it may mean (as in this case here), I find this little sign so appealing.
So, after my long walk along the aqueduct, I found a little market in town and bought some fruit for lunch.
Figs, I love figs!
I took the bus downhill and, disembarking at the last stop before the transfer station, I was able to get closer to the arches of the aqueduct.
I’ve been trying to think of how to convey the incredible, impressive size of this thing.
I just can’t come up with words for it.
Massive just doesn’t do it.
Once more from Unesco World Heritage: “The fact that the Águas Livres Aqueduct did not suffer any major damage with the devastating earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755 also contributed to the national and international recognition of its solidity and of the technical prowess demonstrated by Portuguese military engineering.” Solid. Yes, solid is a good word for it!
An incredible, humbling experience. I highly recommend visiting it if ever you’re able.
The next day, I took a train (yet another easy, inexpensive use of the Lisbon transportation system) to Cascais, a city on the “Portuguese Riviera.”
From the train station, you’re deposited into this lovely old part of town…
Of course, I have to take the obligatory picture of my pathetically white feet in the ocean.
Can’t get enough of those sidewalks!
Anyone out there born in 1962?
Once again, fruit from a small market for lunch.
I really loved this mural with the Melville quotes.
I’d spent a few hours in Cascais. Fortunately I went fairly early in the morning. By the time I left, the streets were very crowded.
Back in Lisbon, I spent the middle part of the day indoors at the hostel because it was roasting (which is also what I’m doing now)!
I’ve posted a picture of these particular tiles before, but I’ve decided they’re my favorites so I’m posting them again. They make me happy!
Later in the day I went for a long walk along the nearby Tagus River.
I’m calling this “Little Pink Houses.” Original, no?
This enormous monument on the Tagus River estuary is called Padrão dos Descobrimentos and is in honor of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.
I think this is something you will never see in the U.S. Just my opinion, but it would be really surprising to see a mobile wine truck. It was still pretty hot out and to just sit by the river and enjoy a glass of wine seemed like a nice idea. Finally, a full picture of the Golden Gate’s kid sister.
This is Belém Tower, built between 1514 and 1520 as part of the Tagus estuary defense system. It is possible to buy a ticket and go in, but I decided not to.
Partly because there were a lot of people waiting in line (as I’ve said before, it’s still ‘high season’ for travel in Europe) and partly because I’m trying to be frugal. There’s a lot of Europe I’d still like to see and I can’t be spending money willy nilly (I love that idiom!).
Having said that, er, I want to show you a couple things I bought while in Cascais. I press myself not to buy anything (especially at the very beginning of my travels, for crying out loud!) because I have only a backpack and will need to carry the thing wherever I go. Do I pay any kind of attention to my own good advice? Of course I don’t! I love ceramics. I’m rather addicted to ceramics…. and fabric. Ceramics and fabric. That’s it. I swear.
I circled this store a few times during my hours in Cascais, eyeing these bowls, then strolling on, pretending I wouldn’t buy one…. or two. Of course, I finally gave in and bought a small bowl.
See the small crate on the right, second one back? The little bowls that have simple circular lines in them? I bought a black and white one. I love simple graphics. Actually, I love crazy colors, too, but that doesn’t happen to apply in this situation. Anyway, yep, first purchase.
Also, though, I saw this postcard and thought it was so cute I had to have it.
Three cute little boys – the Three Amigos! So great.