8/22 – today we crammed ourselves onto a tourist tram for the 30 minute ride to Belem to see the Monastery of the followers of St. Jerome, or the Mosterios de Jeronimos.
As soon as we cleared the ticket queue and stepped inside, Jim and I both got an immediate rush of déjà vu. This monastery is EXACTLY the same as one we’ve been in before! Was it in Spain? Maybe Italy? We’ll have to consult the archives… Anyway, we got to see the tomb of the great Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, and learned a little more Portuguese history.
Belem is the port where Vasco and the other explorers set out from, so there is a monument at the waterfront of the all the Portuguese explorers looking outward toward the sea. Unfortunately, it was being refurbished, so we only got to see a few explorers, but you get the idea…
There was another tower to climb in Belem, but we’d had enough for the day, so we squeezed onto our return tram and made our way back to Alfama. On the way back, we spied one of many street performers on his lunch break, and another making his dog do all the work:
What did we have for supper? Portuguese Chinese food – an acquired taste!