A road trip around the Atlantic coast of Portugal from Lisbon to Fatima!! Today our first stop was Cabo da Rosa, the westernmost point of mainland Portugal and continental Europe! Drizzly and very cool! Below, the lighthouse overlooks the promontory towards the Atlantic. Next on to Nazares, one of the most popular seaside resorts on Atlantic coast of Portugal, and a world breaking surf site for waves, 78-100 feet tall! (Google: “Nazares surf” or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5g6I-FOguQ for great pictures!) “Boa Sorte”, means “good luck” in Portuguese and was the name of our boat on Eagle Mountain Lake, now belonging to Cory and Heather!Portugal is well-known for its mosaic designs in many sidewalks all over the country! And also has narrow alleys, as found throughout Europe. Then on to Fatima! What a surreal experience! One of the most peaceful towns I have ever stayed in! The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary was begun in 1928 and completed in 1954. The tower is 213 feet high, decorated by a crown of bronze (weighing 15,000 pounds) and topped with an illuminated cross. The carillon consists of 62 bells with 15 altars within the church dedicated to the 15 mysteries of the Rosary. The Sanctuary of Fatima is the grouping of the religious buildings and structures, including the Basilica, the Chapel of Apparitions, a great oak tree where the 3 children were first visited by Mary, a section of the Berlin Wall, and other monuments. The Chapel of the Apparitions is the center of the sanctuary, located at the exact location of the Marian Appariations, marked by a marble pillar and enclosed case with image of the Virgin Mary.We attended the rosary at 8:30 PM followed by the procession. The Procession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima Square after the reciting of the rosary and blessing of all items brought here.
Tomorrow we tour the rest of Fatima!!
Today we spent the day touring Dublin! Above is the Custom House, a neoclassical 18th century building, and below is the Spire of Dublin, also titled the Monument of Light, a stainless steel, pin-like monument 120 meters (394 feet) high. It replaced the Nelson’s Pillar after the 1966 bombing by IRA members. Above and below, the General Post Office on O’Connell Street, completed in 1818. Above is the O’Connell Monument, memorial to Daniel O’Connell, the 19th century nationalist leader. The monument stands at the entrance to the street named after him, which is Dublin’s main thoroughfare at 50-54 yards wide. The River Liffey Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, is one of the 7 ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland’s oldest. Above the Campanile, a bell tower, sitting prominently near the middle of Trinity College and one of its most iconic landmarks. Superstition and college tradition states that any student passing beneath the campanile when the bells toll will fail their exams, causing some to never pass underneath until they graduate! Above is Trinity College Chapel, completed in 1798. Above and below are pics of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, dating from 1220 AD. It is the Anglican National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.
Above is the Memorial Tree for those whom have died and below is the spiral staircase leading to the Cathedral organ. The city of Dublin can trace its origin back more than 1000 years! Above and below are part of the walls and gates, some raised by the Ostmen starting in the 9th century. Finally, Steve gets to HIS ultimate destination in Dublin!! LOL!! Guinness Brewing was started over 250 years ago! Thank goodness we made it in time! Above and below are panoramic views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar at the top of Guinness Storehouse!! Above is Phoenix Park, the largest park in Europe at 1,760 acres. It houses the residence of the Irish president and Dublin Zoo. Our last thatched roof in Ireland!! What a wonderful holiday in the British Isles! We had a fabulous time and enjoyed our time with friends and new experiences!!
June 22, we flew out of Dublin airport back to Lisbon and Orontes II! HOME AGAIN! We enjoyed the Gaelic language on the signs but never tried to learn this language!
Today we took the train to Belfast! We arrived in Belfast and started walking!! We crossed the River Lagan to get to the Titanic Exhibition! Continuing on our walk to the the Titanic Quarter, East Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic attraction. It is built on the shipyard site where the RMS Titanic was built. The angular building itself resembles the ships prows and stands 126 feet high, the same height as the Titanic’s hull. As the facade is covered in silver anodized aluminum shards, the locals nicknamed the building, “The Iceberg”. We are standing inside the lines of where the Titanic was built! I am where one of the 4 smoke stacks would have stood on deck. Above is the Albert Memorial Clock tower in Queen’s Square, Belfast, completed in 1869. Below are pics of Belfast City Hall, completed in 1906, built of Portland stone with a copper-dome. Queen Victoria stands at the front entrance. We ate a late lunch at the Crown Saloon, Great Victoria Street, one of Northern Ireland’s popular pubs, renovated in 1885.
We then headed back to Dublin on the train!
Today, Nick drove us to their other home in Baltimore, Ireland (views below from and of his front porch). Then we walked up to a beacon, enjoying the countryside! Grandma Pat and Cory, couldn’t pass up chia head, without thinking of YOU!! Love ya!! Then we took Nick’s rib, (BIG dinghy), out for a tour of nearby islands, inlets, lunch (a pint, of course) and tour around Fastnet Rock!! Fastnet Rock, a small islet in the Atlantic Ocean, is 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the mainland and 4 miles SW from Cape Clear Island. It is the most southerly point of Ireland and 177 feet high. Many legends have formed around this famous landmark, due to storms, shipwrecks, and the tragic events of the RORC Fastnet Race in 1979. Nick gave us a unique experience to motor around such a landmark with sunshine and great weather! We even saw some seals around the rocks! A memorial monument to honor those lost during the Fastnet Race of 1979 on Cape Clear Above is the 1800’s lighthouse on Cape Clear Island that preceded the Fastnet Rock lighthouse. Then back to Baltimore for the “Pirate’s Party”!!
Our last night in Baltimore was a treat! Thanks, Nick and Jan!!