May 26, 2016

Fish & Vegetable Market Olhão

Right down on the waterfront by the reconstruction of the Caique Bom Sucesso boat are the twin red brick buildings of the fish and vegetable market of Olhão (Mercado de Olhao).

Fish & Vegetable Market Olhão, Algarve.

One building sells fish and meat: the other fruit and vegetables. Both markets are excellent for shopping and for photo opportunities. The range of fresh seafood includes swordfish, tuna, salmon, octopus and squid.

The fruit and vegetable section has delicious bananas, oranges, plums, watermelons, aubergines, cucumbers, carrots, peppers and tomatoes on sale.

Fish & Vegetable Market Olhão, Algarve, Portugal.

Restaurant owners come here in the early morning to buy in seafood and vegetables for the day's business and many tourists also congregate here if they are staying in self-catering accommodation or are preparing a picnic.

Surrounding the walls of the market are various bars and cafes with outdoor tables under large umbrellas.

Fish & Vegetable Market Olhão, Algarve, Portugal.

The Mercado de Olhao is busy from early morning until just after lunch on weekdays and Saurdays. It is closed on Sunday.

Mercado de Olhao
Avenida 5 de Outubro

Fish & Vegetable Market Olhão, Algarve, Portugal.

May 22, 2016

Tomar Station

Tomar Station in Tomar is one end of the rail route from Lisbon. There are direct trains to Tomar from Lisbon's Gare do Oriente Station which take from 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on the train.

Some trains may involve a change at Entroncamento. If travelling north to Coimbra or Porto, you will need to change trains at Lamarosa or Entroncamento. There are also frequent trains to Santarém (50 minutes).

Tomar Station, Portugal.

Buses also leave from Tomar Station for a variety of destinations including long distance buses to Lisbon and more local buses for Fatima, Leiria and Santarém.

There are few facilities at Tomar Station except for a waiting room and a number of cafes nearby. The fun Museu dos Fósforos (Matchbox Museum) is just a short walk away.

Tomar Station, Tomar, Portugal.

The center of Tomar and its hotels and guest houses are a short walk away directly out of the main exit of the station.

Tomar Station, Tomar, Portugal.

May 11, 2016

Cascais Station

Cascais Station is the western terminus of the Linha de Cascais (Cascais Line) from Cais do Sodre Station in Lisbon.

Cascais Station, Portugal.

Fairly frequent trains ply between Cais do Sodre, Estoril and Cascais. The train journey from Cais do Sodre Station to Cascais takes 30-40 minutes. Tickets are inspected on the train and should be bought before boarding.

Local buses also run from outside Cascais Station at the roundabout.

Cascais Station, Cascais, Portugal.

There is a cafe and a few shops at the station including a currency exchange, and a shoe repair shop as well as public toilets (charged).

Cascais Station, Cascais, Portugal.

There is no luggage storage service at Cascais but there are lockers at Cais do Sodre Station back in Lisbon. The ticket office at the station is open from 7.30am-9.30pm.

Cascais Station, Cascais, Portugal.

Cascais Station
Largo da Estação, 2750-340, Cascais

April 30, 2016

Caique Bom Sucesso Olhao

Moored in the habour at Olhao, in front of the Municipal Market, is a replica of the O Caíque de Bom Sucesso, a small vessel, with a crew of 17 men, which sailed across the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro in 1808 to inform the exiled Portuguese King João VI that Napoleon's invading army had left the area.

Caique Bom Sucesso, Olhao, Algarve.

This followed a popular uprising in Olhao, which spread to the nearby towns of Faro, Lagos and Loule, forcing French forces to withdraw.

As a reward the town, on the Algarve, was granted a royal charter and developed as a fishing port and canning centre.

Caique Bom Sucesso, Olhao.

The boat did not make the return journey and the men returned by other means. In 2008, a replica of the vessel recreated the epic voyage to mark the centennial of the event. Recently the boat has been restored at a cost of 35,000 Euros.

April 25, 2016

Portugal dos Pequenitos

Portugal dos Pequenitos, over on the western bank of the Mondego River in Coimbra, is a model village displaying miniatures of famous monuments from all over Portugal, Madeira and The Azores. These include a scale model replica of the University of Coimbra and the famous window at the Convent of Christ in Tomar.

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra.

Portugal dos Pequenitos is aimed at young children, who can enjoy visiting the various miniature monuments and seeing the a number of recreated regional houses from all over the country.

Also in the theme park is a Maritime museum with models of ships built in the 20th century and a small Furniture Museum.

The Dress Museum is more recent, having opened in 1997, and displays around 300 miniature outfits. The Barbie Museum displays a a similar number of children's dolls donated to Portugal dos Pequenitos.

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra, Portugal.

Portugal dos Pequenitos opened in 1940 and was financed by Bissaya Barreto (1886-1974), a professor of medicine at Coimbra University, a nationalist politician and a personal friend of António de Oliveira Salazar, with whom he studied at Coimbra. The architect of the project was Cassiano Branco.

Portugal dos Pequenitos also has pavilions dedicated to Portugal's overseas dominions, which to modern eyes, may appear decidedly colonialist and rather redolent of the "White Man's Burden" - reflecting the mainstream thoughts of the regime at the time.

Portugal dos Pequenitos puts on a variety of special exhibitions and shows for kids especially during the summer holiday months.

Scale model of Coimbra University, Portugal dos Pequenitos.
Rossio de Santa Clara
3040-256 Coimbra
Tel: 239 801 170/1
Hours: 1 January - end of February &16 October - 31 December 10am - 5 pm; 1 March - 31 May & 16 September -15 October 10am - 7pm; 1 June - 15 September 9am - 8pm.
Admission: 5.95 Euros for adults

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra.

April 24, 2016

Aqueduto de São Sebastião

The Aqueduto de São Sebastião in Coimbra runs close to the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) in this historic city. The aqueduct was built in the late 16th century, possibly the work of the Italian architect Filippo Terzi (1520–1597), who was active in Portugal at the time, and is famous for his work on the Convent of Christ in Tomar.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra, Portugal.

The Aqueduto de São Sebastião is built over a previous Roman aqueduct and when completed was a driving force in the growth of the city, as it brought fresh water into the city centre.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra.

The aqueduct has 21 arches and has been classified as National Monument since 1910.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra.

Aqueduto de São Sebastião, Coimbra, Portugal.

April 19, 2016

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown

The Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown in Porto may not be Portugal's most beautiful hotel on the outside but the interior is pleasantly modern and the 17° Bar and Restaurant on the 17th floor is a nice place to unwind and enjoy the view after a busy day sightseeing or on business.

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Porto.

The over 100 rooms at the Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown are modern, spacious and clean. The hotel is close to Trindade Metro Station which is convenient for Lisbon Airport as well as a short metro ride away from Campanha Station to catch trains south to Lisbon.

On foot, the Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown is close to the Câmara Municipal do Porto (City Hall) and the fashionable boulevards of Avenida dos Aliados.

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Porto.

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown
Rua Guedes de Azevedo
179, 4049-009 Porto

Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Porto.