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 Porto 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.

April 9, 2016

Lamarosa Station

Lamarosa Station really is in the middle of nowhere. The station building and ticket office are unmanned and the toilets are derelict. However, Lamarosa is a station on the Lisbon to Coimbra Line, so if you are in Tomar and wish to go north to Coimbra and on to Porto, you will need to change trains here.

Lamarosa Station.

For Porto from Tomar you will also need to change again at Coimbra B. From Tomar south to Lamrosa is 20 minutes and then a regional train to Coimbra B is about 90 minutes stopping at 20 stations. An Intercity train from Coimbra B to Porto Campanha takes just over an hour.

Lamarosa Station, Portugal.

April 4, 2016

Hotel Oslo Coimbra

The extremely friendly Hotel Oslo in Coimbra is very close to Coimbra Station and also not far from Coimbra's main sites in the old city on the hill.

Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal.

The modern interior of the Hotel Oslo belies the somewhat aged, functional exterior. Rooms come with a buffet breakfast included and there is an excellent bar on the top floor with views of Coimbra's Old Cathedral and the university. It is also possible to walk up to the flat roof in the warmer seasons for even better views.

Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal.

All rooms at the Hotel Oslo are clean and come with speedy Wifi, a TV and safe. The very helpful staff can provide information on where to see fado in Coimbra and the buses running out to the Roman remains and museum at nearby Conimbriga.

Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal.

Hotel Oslo
Av. Fernao de Magalhaes, 25
3000-175 Coimbra

The Hotel Coimbra is just a short walk left out of Coimbra Station.