2016年9月30日 星期五

The Road to Fatima (花地瑪之路)

After the river cruise, it's time to leave for our hotel.

When we did so, it was still bright: Prince Henry the Navigator standing proudly against the blue sky

2016年9月29日 星期四

The Douro Cruise & Igreja de São Francisco (斗羅河遊與聖方濟各堂 )

After visiting the Sandeman Museum of port, we were driven to an embarkation point on one of the banks of the Douro River for a river cruise.

This is where we got on to the boat.

2016年9月28日 星期三

Port Wine Tasting in Porto ( 在波多試波持酒)

Our next destination is Porto or Oporto" ("O " meaning "the" ), the second largest town in Portugal, the town whose name some say is one of the possible etymological origins of the name of country as "Portugal" (The Latin-Celtic Portus-Cale" from the Celtic name of "Callaici"  meaning "Port of Cale") and others say the name of Portugal is so called is related to name of port wine, that sweet fruity wine produced by slowing the fermentation of the grape sugar into alcohol with a special kind of brandy.  Some 1.4 million people are said to live in this town..

Our first glimpse of that town from our coach: full of small houses of not more than 6 stories with plenty of church spires

2016年9月27日 星期二

2016年9月26日 星期一

Pastèis de Belèm.( 正宗葡撻)

I do not know how many times those of us who work in Hong Kong have had a simple but very delicious afternoon snack called  Portuguese egg tart ( 葡撻) or in Portuguese "pastéis de nata" when taking a break.

This is the place which made it famous. It's just less than five minutes from the Jerónimos Monastery, which is in fact the real place where this recipe originated. Its creation is an excellent example of clever recycling. There's a little story behind this tasty snack: They were invented in the 18th century by the tart loving French monks and nuns of the monastery, who used huge quantities of egg whites as part of the starching of their shirts, collars, habits etc and had to think of a way of not wasting the egg yolks produced in the process. After a Liberal Revolution in Portugal in 1820, many monasteries and convents were threatened with closure. To earn some money, the monks of the Jerónimos Monastery started selling such pastéis de nata at a nearby sugar refinery to get some income. Notwithstanding this, the Monastery was closed in 1834 and when they did so, they sold the recipe to the owner of the sugar refinery who opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in 1837. Ever since that moment, the same family has  been operating the same business here right up to the present day. 

2016年9月25日 星期日

Jerónimos Monastery (熱羅尼莫斯修道院)

From the Monument of Discoveries, we just had to cross the street and we'd be met by another World Heritage Site since 1983, the famous Mosteiro dos Jerónimos or Jerónimos (or Hieronymites ) Monastery belonging to the Order of Saint Jerome, which like the Belèm Tower, exemplifies the so-called late Gothic Manueline architectural style incorporating decorative marine motifs. When Portugal joined the European Economic Community in 1985, the formal ceremonies were held in the cloister of this building and on 13 December 2007, the Treaty of Lisbon was signed at the monastery, laying down the basis for the reform of the European Union.

It was a group of magnificent buildings built and renovated repeatedly between 1501 right up to 2002, surviving many dynasties and changes of government. Originally, it was the old Hermitage of Restelo (Ermida do Restelo) dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém, where the monks of the military-religious Order of Christ helped protect seafarers in transit in the harbour of Praia do Restelo close by. It was in disrepair in 1497 when Vasco da Gama prayed there before embarking on his perilous sea journey to India. The idea for the new monastery was that of King Manuel I (1469-1521). He intended it as the final resting place for members of the house of Aviz. 

2016年9月24日 星期六

The Discovery Monument Lisbon (里斯本, 發現者紀念碑)

After Cabo da Roca, we were told that we'd be driven to town to see a monument for various people connected with the Portuguese Age of Discoveries called "Padrão dos Descobrimentos"( Monument to the Discoveries), north of the Tagus River estuary from which various ships left Portugal in the 15th to 17th centuries to explore and trade with India, China and Japan and other South East Asian countries...

But before that, we were taken to a park where we found the one of first aeroplanes which crossed the south Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon Portugal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between March 30 and June 17's. 1922. This daring feat was executed to mark the centennial of Brazil's independence. It covered a distance of some 5,209 miles. It was done in stages by two Portuguese naval aviators Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral, using three different Fairey III double-winged amphibian.planes.

2016年9月23日 星期五

Cabo da Roca , Sintra, Portugal (葡萄牙, 辛特拉, 大石角)

We were told by our tour leader that we'd not be making a city tour of Lisbon as originally scheduled but would be brought to see another sightseeing spot, the Cabo da roca, some 42 km southwest of Lisbon

On our way there, we passed by this shopping mall with a slightly twisted shoe sole like roof. 

My first glimpse of our destination.from the coach window

2016年9月22日 星期四

45,000 feet above ground (四萬五呎上空)

Before the take off, I looked outside the cabin window

and discovered a whole fleet of Emirate planes all lined up for action or for inspection

2016年9月21日 星期三

Fly, fly fly away (飛飛飛)

I always feel a tinge of  excitement at the departure hall. You'd harbor all sorts of mental images about the fascinating places you'd be visiting from the hurried research you did on the internet . Many of them may be much better than some of the places really turn out to be and many others much worse. You'd never know until you're actually on the ground. Whatever the outcome may be, your mind is already thousands of miles from the departure hall. And seeing so many people of all races and colors, both men and women, with or without children, busily dragging along their trolley suit cases in all kinds of shapes, sizes, their back packs, dressed in tatters or in their holiday finery, rushing here, rushing there on the smooth floor of the airport is already enough to make you feel a little tense with anticipation.  

After fidgeting a hundred times in the crowded sofa bench of the departure hall amidst people talking loudly to their traveling companions or shouting into cell phone to the recipient  as if they were trying to make themselves clear over actually huge physical distances or suffering the dull and unimaginative bleeps from video games from the electronic mobile devices of the young or the dialogues from free online film or TV programs and after having stowed my back pack on the overhead compartment, I could finally sit down and relax in my plane seat and switch on the in cabin TV screen to see if there's anything interesting.

2016年9月17日 星期六

The Precious Sun (可貴的太陽)

The moment the first man looked at that disc of fire in heaven called the sun, it has been worshipped. I leave it to anthropologists to tell us why. But from the moment I first took up amateur photography, I have become an incurable sun chaser. So when the sun is out, it's difficult to resist the temptation of going out too. I succumbed on Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. I went to one of the best beaches in the Sai Kung area, Long Ke.

But before I go there, I had first to reach the end of the huge East Dam at High Island Reservoir

2016年9月15日 星期四

秋 (Autumn)

今天是中秋,朋友傳來一首詩,饒有趣味,信手拈來, 借祝部落格友人中秋快樂


此詩可由上而下讀; 亦可由下向上讀,