Portugal
Nossa Senhora de Fátima

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  • Day13

    Last day teaching and Camino meetup

    November 18, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    We didn’t have much time for a long walk this morning, so we went down to my favorite sock store, Pedemeia. (Portugal makes wonderful high quality socks – who knew?). It’s located next to what they call the Loja do Cidadão, the Citizen’s Store.

    It’s a great concept — all public utilities, government services, etc. have a counter in this large place. Phone companies, electric utility, gas, drivers license, passport, labor questions, it’s all under one roof. When you enter, there’s an automated kiosk, so you can get your number for the place you want to go. The one I like best, but would dearly hate to go to, is the one for “I lost my wallet.”

    As always, class went quickly, and now it’s over! I just can’t bring myself to consider that this might be the last year so I will just keep my hopes up.

    The day ended with a real treat, a get together of five members of the online camino forum. We met, appropriately, at a bar with the name Peregrina. So great to meet some people whom I had only known virtually before today. It was so much fun, even for the three spouses who are not quite as enamored with the Camino. 🤩
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    Vira Walks

    We peregrinas want to see the socks! 😊

    11/19/21Reply
    Caryn

    Yes!!

    11/22/21Reply
     
  • Day1

    Like coming home!

    November 6, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Our flight over was uneventful. That’s a good thing. I had been unable to get our seats online or even at the Champaign airport, so when we checked in at flight time they put us way at the back of the plane. Little did I know that that would be a stroke of luck, because we both were able to snag a full row — four seats across. That made for a very nice flight, and a lot cheaper than business class. Going through Madrid airport was very easy as always, and we got a little breakfast before our flight. A quick flight over to Lisbon, a 10 minute cab ride, and we were back at the Marriott.

    Both the doorman and the guy at check-in treated us like we were returning prodigal sons. I suppose that’s not surprising since this is our 16th year here!

    Joe always likes to take a nap on arrival, while I try to power through, so I went down to the fitness center. Then a big circle walk through the neighborhood to see what’s happening.

    Biggest changes I’ve noticed are the opening of a huge Lidl store and the demolition of my favorite frutería. But I am glad to report that our favorite grilled fish place is still standing and we will eat there tonight.
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  • Day10

    Back in Lisbon

    November 15, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Back into the routine, and today I was happy to meet up with one of my closest law prof friends in Lisbon. He was in charge of the international program way back in 2004 when I first came to teach, seems like just a few years ago! Our time was cut short by the fact that we had to head to a Millenium bank to take care of some issues — turns out the local branch couldn’t deal with this simple transaction, and we had to go up to the Colombo shopping mall to a bigger branch. That gave me a chance to remember that this shopping mall set the gold standard for an homage to consumerism.

    After today’s class we had to head downtown to find an “oculista” that would repair Joe’s glasses. That gave us an excuse to walk around some of the main central parts on the way to our favorite pizzaria. Sitting on the outdoor terrace next to the river, much of our view was blocked by a huge cruise ship. But the pizza is just as yummy as we remembered.

    I am so sad to be going home just days before they light up the holiday lights. There were none at all last year, and the city has promised that they will be better than ever.
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  • Day5

    Tourist on a Tuesday morning

    November 10, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Since I teach from 2-5, the day is pretty well cut in the middle. But this morning I managed to get to the gym, eat breakfast, and get us to the castle by 10. We’ve been there many times, but the days are beautiful and it’s fun to re-visit. One new development since the last time we were there was the discovery of some Iron Age hill forts, covered by some Phoenecian building, covered by some Roman building, covered by some Visigothic building, covered by some Moorish building, covered by some medieval Christian building. Sheesh — it is a tough call for the archaeologists — at which level do they stop? What do they preserve?

    One of the nicest things about the hilltop castle is of course the views — out over the river, down over the Alfama (moorish section), down over the old city. We enjoyed ourselves a lot and hopped a cab to get back by 1:15.

    Uber has come to Lisbon. Cab drivers are unhappy. So we split the baby in half — one way we go in Uber, one way in a taxi. The differences are not huge. We have not been using the fabulous metro system, less because of covid and more because of how long it would take us given my limited time and Joe’s slowing pace. Good excuses anyway. :-)

    My students from Sweden and Norway received news of the first snowfall today. And here we sit in sunny and 60s. No complaints at all.
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    Kathy Vance

    Another smile!!! ❤️

    11/13/21Reply
     
  • Day4

    Day 2 of Teaching

    November 9, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Well, I have to admit that teaching for three hours in a row tires me out a lot more than it used to! And dare I say that teaching with a mask on (and trying to understand non-native English speakers with their masks on) is a challenge. But I am loving it. My class is much smaller than usual, because of covid restrictions. 14 as compared to the normal 35 or 40. About 1/3 Portuguese and 2/3 Erasmus (EU). Teaching US law to a bunch of EU law students is very fun — they are undergraduates (as compared to my more jaded graduate US law students), and they are grounded in a system that is very different than mine. Being able to push back on their assumptions and challenge their thinking is a teaching delight.

    The teaching days are falling into a pattern — go to the gym, take a two hour walk after breakfast, get Joe set up back in the room for the hours that I will be gone, go teach, and then walk to dinner in a different direction than we walked yesterday. We’ll break up the routine by going to the castle tomorrow morning early, and then on Thursday we leave for the long weekend, so I really don’t have much of a pattern going on!

    Weather is absolutely spectacular, as is the fresh grilled fish.
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    Marlene Elder

    Your law students are lucky to have such a well rounded scholar and kind individual.

    11/10/21Reply
     
  • Day14

    Full-time Tourists

    November 19, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    First thing on today’s agenda was to get the covid test for re-entry to the US. I’ve had more than my share of covid tests, but usually using saliva. We had those awful nose swabs when we were leaving Spain in June so I was ready for it this morning!

    By 10:30 we were in Belem, at the edge of Lisbon, where we visited the Jeronimos monastery, the Archaeological museum, the Monument of the Discoverers and the Naval Museum. WHEW, that sounds like a lot, but we took a break for lunch, and a break for some of those delicious Pasteis de Belem, crispy thin dough surrounding unbelievable custard filling. The monastery facade has undergone extensive cleaning and it just looks beautiful. Even if you are not a fan of Barroque/Manueline architecture, this place does dazzle.

    I made sure that we got back to the hotel in time for Joe to rest before we head out for downtown again. We just learned that the Christmas lights will be turned on tonight! So we made it by the skin of our teeth. Last year there were none, because of covid, and the city has promised that this year’s will be special. So we will probably walk a few kms and then hope to find a nice place to eat for our last night in Lisbon!
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    Carm Walsh

    Absolutely amazing sculpture!

    11/19/21Reply
    Vira Walks

    What a day! (This sent me on a merry chase, looking for information about those Aras.)

    11/20/21Reply
     
  • Day47

    Day 47c. Lisbon, Portugal

    September 20, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We decided that this part of town was too crowded so we walked away from the ships past the Terreiro do Paco and Chiado Paco and found a little bakery in São Paulo for a pizza and coffee and a spot of wifi. We messaged Horst and he called us to say happy birthday to Ron.
    We hiked along the freeway past the industrial area to the famous suspension bridge Ponte 25.
    The bridge had a railway on the bottom layer and a freeway on the top. It was horizontal but high enough for ships to pass underneath. On the other shore a huge statue of Christ stood open armed as a cross like the one in Brazil.
    After the bridge we crossed and walked along the river front for another 2km towards the Monumento a Sacadura and Torre de Belem but veered off at the statues of the Lady with the purple dogs, back over the freeway to the Jardin de Belem.
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  • Day47

    Day 47b. Lisbon, Portugal

    September 20, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    One the way down we came across a plaza lookout filled with people. This was not surprising since all the little lanes and alleyways were also filled with people. The São Miguel Plaza contained several cafes and a busking blues band that were really quite good. The lookout would have been a view of the wide river but turned out to be a view of the three mega ships.Read more

  • Day47

    Day 47a. Lisbon, Portugal

    September 20, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We made our way towards the Castillo Jorge since we were so close. We stopped at Parco do Figueira to admire it and get directions from a Tuk Tuk Driver. The Praça da Figueira is surrounded by open air cafes and a bronze statue of King John I and a major transport hub.
    It was a long way to the Castillo. The first leg we used the escalator but that was a little start that we think was designed to get people committed and really didn’t help,
    Before reaching the top we met Karin and Henry who told us the queue was stupendous and they had given up. We had been to the Castillo before so were not really disappointed. We finished the climb, checked the queue, ate a couple of Portuguese tarts, found another canned fish shop (This time with personalised years printed on the cans and famous birthdays) and made our way back down again.
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  • Day47

    Day 47. Lisbon, Portugal

    September 20, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Happy birthday Ron. 66 today.
    While we were at breakfast our cabin steward Steven put some birthday treats on the bed, a towel dog, birthday card and box of chocolates.
    From Leixoes, Porto to Lisbon is 186 sea miles.
    We arrived in Lisbon at 8:30am leaving at 6pm. A humid day with 22 degrees. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal with population of 565,000. It lies 17km from the Atlantic Ocean. Two huge bridges span the Tegus River, the 2km long Ponte 25 de Abril (1966) and 17km long Ponte Vasco da Gama (1998).
    We docked next to 3 mega liners each carrying at least 4000 passengers. Our excursion to a small coastal town was cancelled so we disembarked and walked to the main square, Parco do Commercio.
    Susie was fascinated with a tourist shop that only sold tinned fish mainly sardines for 7€! We collected maps from the information centre in the main Plaza, Praca do Comércio, and planned our day.
    In the Centre is the Statue of King José I, by Machado de Castro (1775). The king on his horse is symbolically crushing snakes on his path.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Nossa Senhora de Fatima