Lisbon - Day Trip to Belém

Another quintessential experience in Lisbon is taking a day trip to Belém.  The sun was shining so we hopped on Tram 15 at Praça do Comércio.  We arrived in Belém and took a stroll around since the sun was shining.  We passed Praça Afonso de Albuquerque.
We walked along the Tagus River and caught a glimpse of the beautiful 25 de Abril bridge.
We soon spotted the Monument to the Discoveries with Prince Henry the Navigator at the helm.
The monument commemorates the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.
We paid a small entrance fee and climbed up the inside of the monument to enjoy panoramic views of Belém and the surrounding area.  We could see the Torre de Belém in the distance.
I liked this view of Prince Henry from above looking out over the water.
The plaza in front of the Monument to the Discoveries is also impressive when viewed from above.
We continued along the river to the Torre de Belém which was built in the 16th century for both defense and as a symbolic gateway to Lisbon.
We walked into town and detoured into the grounds of the Centro Cultural de Belém.  We found this 'house' sculpted entirely from cork as a concept piece.
Of course, we had to walk inside.
Again, good things come in threes.  This time, we saw 3 golden retrievers lounging on the grounds of the Cultural Center.
Our next stop was the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a fine example of Manueline architecture.
On Sunday mornings, entrance to the cloister is free.  We took a walk around the ground level gardens and 2nd story.
Sunday services were being held so entrance into the church itself was limited.  We waited our turn and went in to see the final resting place of Vasco da Gama.
Our next stop was of the tastier variety.  We stopped at Pasteis de Belém to try the famous egg custard tarts.
We enjoyed our treat while steeping in the neighborhood views.  To be honest, I liked the pasteis de nata from Quinta do Caracol (served with breakfast) and Casa Brasileira better but it was fun to try the famous pastry warm out of the oven.
We ate lunch at Queijadas de Belém, a local cafe.  We enjoyed the dish of the day (turkey with rice and salad) and a glass of wine on the cheap.  It's a nice economical option for lunch and the service was very good.
We passed the Palácio Nacional de Belém, the official residence of the president of Portugal.
We even witnessed the changing of the guard.
We decided to check out the National Coach Museum.  We got there at 2:02 pm so we just missed out on the free Sunday morning museum entrance policy (runs from 10 am - 2 pm).
It was worth the entrance fee.  We were transported in time to the days when royalty and other dignitaries bounced down the road on ornate horse-drawn coaches.
The museum itself also had an impressive interior.
As we were walking along the second story, I noticed that there were faces in the wallpaper on the ceiling.  I'm not sure who they were, but I found it to be a little creepy.
The museum also had the coach on display in which the king and his eldest heir were shot and assassinated in Lisbon on 1908.  You can see the bullet holes in the carriage door.
Our final stop in Belém was the Maritime Museum (Museu da Marinha).  We especially enjoyed the maps and artifacts from the Age of Discovery.
There was a section of the museum dedicated to royal barges and other seafaring transportation.  I liked this colorful boat on display.
We took the Tram back to Lisbon and decided to head to Parque Eduardo VII. After a steep uphill climb from Praça do Marquês de Pombal, we were rewarded with sweeping views of the park and bay.
We had walked a long way exploring Belém and beyond (more than 5 miles), so we decided to head back to our apartment to eat the last of the pasteis de Belém that we bought.  This time, we made sure to try them the proper way -- drenched in cinnamon and sugar.
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Sidewalk Safari: Lisbon - Day Trip to Belém
Lisbon - Day Trip to Belém
Sidewalk Safari
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