Growing up Christian and not Catholic, I’d never heard of Fatima or the Lady of Fatima. But let tell you, this place is a big deal. The story goes: On May 13th, 1917 a ten year old boy and his cousins were looking after sheep (at the current location of Fatima) and they described seeing a woman, “brighter than the sun, shredding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun” Apparently the woman urged the children to do penance, acts of reparation, make sacrifice to save sinners, and to pray the rosary every day. She repeated many times that the rosary was the key to peace both in the world and personally. And this belief still resonates with people all around Portugal today. On our way to Fatima, there were stores and stores FULL of religious items. Rosaries, candles, Lady of Fatima statues for the home, etc. It was amazing, I wish I would have taken photos of the stores, it was basically a religious tourist trap. Shortly after the visions, the events at Fatima drew flocks of people to the site and Fatima gained fame due to the reports. A shrine was built to commemorate the apparitions called the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1930, the Catholic Church finally recognized the apparations and performed a coronation of the statue of the Lady of Fatima.  Today, this site serves as a HUGE sight for religious pilgrimage boasting numbers of over a million during May 13th and October 13th.

The Basilica

Can you imagine this plaza FULL!? simply amazing!

Inside the chapel in the Basilica. The stained glass was gorgeous!

Interesting that they chose to depict these series of murals in Grotesque style.

The other side of the plaza was home to a new chapel. Very modern in its architecture, it was interesting to see the blend of the old and new architecture.

Images like these lined the halls of the new chapel.

Sanctuary in new chapel, check out that altar piece!!

Ceiling in the new chapel, the lighting was beautiful!

And to end it, some vintage signage. I love this! There it is, Fatima. I would highly recommend going if you are ever near Lisbon. It is quite the sight to see and hard to believe over a million people visit it on two days out of the year!!

After lunch in Nazare, we headed to Batalha. The Batalha Monastary is, to say the least amazing, and one of the original examples of Late Gothic architecture in Portugal. It was built to thank the Virgin Mary for a Portuguese victory and took over a decade to build. Construction was finished around 1517 and spanned the reign of seven kings. As you will see, construction took an enormous effort and enlisted the service of 15 architects.

The exterior of the building was almost menacing reaching up towards the sky. The Gothic architecture can immediately be seen in the pointed arch windows, buttresses, and rib vaults in the interior.

 

The interior was even more amazing with all that stained glass and those huge vaulted ceilings! You really had to take the time to look up and appreciate every little detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the stained glass… It was amazing! Each panel told a story.


I cannot believe the attention to detail. Could you image carving this!?

 

 

 

Well there it is. Batalha in all its glory! Pretty amazing isn’t it!?

After leaving Alcobaca, we headed to the coast to old fishing village of Nazare. Today, Nazare is still known for being one of the most prominent fishing villages in Portugal and traditional methods of fishing are still in practice. Small, very colorful, wooden boats are used and catch of fish is still dried on nets in the sun right there on the beach!

Nazare is such a quaint little town, I would have loved to spend more time in this town. But unfortunately, the tour only stopped for about 10 minutes on the beach and then lunch. I guess next time I go back, I will just have to spend some quality here!

It was overcast and cloudy on the beach, so upsetting! Reminds me of being on the North Coast but WAY warmer! ;) People weren’t hindered by the weather though, still enjoying the beach.

Check out the little tents in the background, they were all over the place! They cracked me up, it’s like an alternative to an umbrella on the beach! Love how the town spills down the countryside as well, so beautiful!

Still despite the weather, the view was breathtaking!

 

Don’t you just love this city? Great architecture, mixture of textures and colors. So there we are. Nazare. Now shall we have lunch? :)

Next we headed up on the hill to have lunch. Which started with…

Wine, of course! We are in Portugal! Wine is absolutely a staple here and we were served it with literally every meal besides breakfast. Some of the best wines ever AND I can find some of them even in my little town of Chico!

And we cannot forget the cheese! Oh the cheese. I am drooling just looking at it. Portugal hands down makes some of the best cheese I’ve ever tasted. I miss it so much. My waistline not so much. Check out those plates too! Love them.

I was still getting used to documenting everything we did in Portugal and well, when I was hungry, I forgot to take photos of my meal! I will get better, I promise. So, let’s skip ahead… :P

After every meal we were offered, cafe. Not coffee, cafe… essentially espresso. It comes in this cute little cup with saucer and a package of sugar. And yes, the sugar is essential in order to drink it. Lol. It was definitely a nice little pep after a nice relaxing lunch.

And of course, if you didn’t want some cafe after lunch, you could always have some liqueur. :) This is amaretto, but they offer many other different flavors.

Next, we are headed to Batalha! Stay tuned! Some amazing architecture coming up soon!

 

So I am officially the worst blogger ever!! I’ve had enough people hounding me to get back to the rest of my trip so I figured I’d better give it another go. I am STILL behind on editing all the photos, eekkk! I can’t believe it. Hopefully I will have them done by the one year mark, haha! So without any further adieu….

After leaving Obidos on our bus tour, we stopped at a monastery called Alcobaca. It was founded by the first Portuguese king in 1153 and was one of the first Gothic buildings in Portugal. Let me tell you, it was absolutely breath taking to be standing looking up at something so massive and that dates back to 1153! Alcobaca also houses the royal tombs of King Pedro and his mistress who was assassinated by Pedro’s own father. Pedro himself later crowned the dead mistress Queen upon becoming King and according to folklore made his royal court kiss the dead queen’s hand to pay her tribute. Ewww. Talk about dedication!

Yes, this building was MASSIVE. And totally tickled my architectural fancy.

We definitely got blessed by the weather this day. All that gorgeous light flowing into through the archways, cracks, and crevices. I can only imagine what these courtyards would have looked like full of life. Check out those ceilings too! So cool!

This was the central sanctuary which is still functioning today. In fact, there is a mass currently going on in the photo. Could you imagine attending church HERE!? Look at the massive scale of this room! In very front of the room on either side is the royal tombs of the king and his mistress commissioned by King Pedro himself.

So there you have it. Alcobaca. Isn’t it amazing!?

 

P.S. Check jake out in that last one.. Really gives you a good sense of scale.

 

P.P.S. I am going to do this more often. I promise. I really promise this time :)

We took an all day bus tour through the countryside outside of Lisbon. First stop was a city called Obidos. Obidos in Latin means, “fortified walls” which describes this city exactly. Obidos was completely surrounded by fortified walls just like something out of medieval times. After being taken over from the Moors, the city was established in 1148 by the  first king of Portugal. In 1210, the town of Obidos was given as a wedding present from King Alfonso II to his queen. This set a precedence for the royal marriages to come and Obidos became known as “Queen’s Village”.

The architecture of the town is pretty plain and simple. Whitewashed walls, one color stripe accent, tile roofs, and cobblestone streets are the basic elements. The town is very quaint and has become a favorite tourist attraction among the area.

Because of its favorable climate, many vine plants like these are a common sight all throughout Portugal. They just grow up the sides of old buildings. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous and how neat to have this growing outside your home! Obidos is known for making a cherry liquer called ginjinha (jing jing a) and it is served in chocolate cups here! Very delicious! Well that is basically all I have to SAY about Obidos, we unfortunately didn’t get much time here, only about 45 minutes to shop, drink the ginjinha, and take photos! So, here is what I captured: ENJOY!!

Okay, I lied. I have one more thing to say about Obidos! The castle remained a residence up until around the 16th century. Today the castle has been converted to a hotel! How cool is that!? I wish we would have had time to go inside and see what it looks like!

So I finally got some time so here is an update, finally Day Two! I am only two days behind, LOL.  Day Two started out with us taking the trolley up the hill towards the Castle at the top of the hill. The trolley reminded me of the ones in San Francisco but not as classy. It was muggy and hot that day and let me tell you being shoved against a bunch of people on the trolley was not a fun experience. After a while though the people cleared out and I was able to take a seat and enjoy the breeze and the views! We stopped at the Thieves Market which was like a HUGE flea market with a bunch of vendors selling jewelry, clothing,  and every other thing you could possibly imagine. There was literally people there who gathered their random junk and came to sell it, but overall it was very cool! The Thieves Market took place behind this church:

This lady was selling tablecloths whom my cousin Linda has bought from the past three times she has visited Portugal. She was so nice and so accommodating! She even ran to her car to get more tablecloths for us to go through. It’s hard trying to find the right one! :P She also had one of the nicer set-ups of most of the vendors at the Thieves Market.

This is the trolley we took up to the Thieves Market and Castle. And it is totally a symbol for Lisbon. There is t-shirts, paintings, post cards, etc. that have the trolley all over the city on them.

View of Lisbon from this plaza outside a church we stumbled across trying to find the castle. Isn’t it beautiful!? Look at all those tile roofs!

This is the church we stumbled across…. Nice surprise eh!? Look at the detailing in the architecture! It is amazing.

So we stumbled across the church while we were trying to find our way to the castle so we needed to really find our way to the Castle. It was quite a little adventure and quite a walk, uphill when it is humid and warm! Took some photos while we were walking..

Everyone, and I mean everyone dries their laundry this way. I loved  this one! The white house, white and blue laundry, and it is arranged long to short! :)

There are plants like this growing all over the city. Gorgeous! This was outside this amazing jewelry store we found on our way to the Castle.

A view of the Castle from the church we stumbled across. It was built by the Moors in the 11th century.

The castle was amazing. It had several false entrances and other effective defense techniques. We got to wander all around, walk up to the towers, through the inner courtyard, and all along the defensive walls. The towers lent for some amazing views!!

Here are some highlights from the first night’s dinner and walk home. We def. had an adventure. Didn’t get in until almost 2 AM after being up for forever! I am behind of editing so you will just have to deal with UNEDITED photos!!! But at least you all can see what I’ve been doing and what it looks like here!! It is SO amazing! I love it here!

Our Sangria we ordered with dinner, DELICIOUS!

This was a ceviche salad with octopus! It was FANTASTIC!!

This was the window of our restaurant. This is very common for restaurants to have display windows with seafood, etc. in it!

This is the restaurant we ate. It was very good and def. a place where locals go. There is also an amazing purse store across the street! Check out the sidewalks!! It is like that EVERYWHERE!!

I love this! Random statue in an alley on the walk back to the hotel! :P

HOW ROMANTIC IS THIS!? It looks exactly like this EVERYWHERE!

Random alley art.

Made a pit stop for wine on the way home! :)

View from our balcony at night! :)

Welp, that is it for now folks! It is close to 2:30 AM!!! I am SOOO behind on loading photos! We have just been going and going, no time to stop and be on here! Love you all and miss you!!

Well it’s been quite the long haul but WE MADE IT after a few inconveniences of course! It is not a Dewey family trip without some bump in the road! So our adventure started Wednesday evening, we arrived in Sacramento to stay the night for our early flight out to Portugal the next day. We got into Sacramento around 7 and had a very nice dinner at the Virgin Sturgeon off Garden Highway. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it. The restaurant is actually a barge right on the river with great views. The restaurant does not look like much but the food is very good! I had a carnitas place which was to die for! After dinner, we headed to the hotel to check in. Walking into the lobby, it is FULL with high school students and their parents. Some kind of track meet had been going on all week. Mind you, it is already 9 p.m. and there is one girl working the front desk. So we patiently wait our turn to be helped only to find out that there was a mistake with our reservation. Apparently the third party we booked our reservation with messed up the date as well as contacting the hotel to book the room. Luckily the hotel had one room available, the only catch was that it only had a king size bed. So Jake and I got the pleasure of sharing a pull out couch bed all night! LOL. I told you it wouldn’t be a Dewey family vacation without some bumps in the road!

So we made it through the stiff, hard couch pull out, and woke up bright and early the next morning (6 AM) to catch our flight! Our flight schedule was Sacramento to Philadelphia (4 hour flight), a 4 hour layover in the Philadelphia airport, and then Philadelphia directly to Lisbon (6 hour 45 min flight). It had been a while since we flew to the East Coast so four hours went by slower than expected, but it was nothing compared to what we had coming!

We arrived in Philadelphia around 4:45 p.m. and killed four hours in the airport shopping, eating, walking around, and chatting. It had already felt like one of the longest days ever! And we still had a whole other flight to go! Our flight to Lisbon took off from Philadelphia at 8:30 p.m. and when we arrived in Lisbon, it would be 8:30 a.m. the next day due to the time change. So that meant if we wanted any sleep at all, we must get some on the plane. Now here is where I am going to stop and tell you, this was my first flight to Europe and it was TORTURE!  I def. learned next time that I am going to take something to help me sleep because nodding in and out of sleep was miserable. Not to mention you are sitting for almost 7 hours, in a plane seats. My legs were aching horribly! But, none of that is the airlines fault and they did a spectacular job of keeping us fed, hydrated, and entertained. There were two movies shown on the flight, we got dinner and a small pastry for breakfast as well as plenty of drinks. The eerie thing about it all was that we watched the sun set in Philadelphia and then watched the sun rise about an hour before we landed in Portugal. And as you could have guessed, I took plenty of photos of it all.

Amazing sunset, taking off out of Philadelphia!

Woke up to amazing sunrise!!

We were SO relieved to have finally landed in Lisbon and get off that horrible plane! Lol. We got through airport customs, etc. and found our driver holding up a sign with our names on it (LOL) with no problems at all. We all piled into a very interesting Mercedes van which took us to the hotel and also gave us a chance to sight see on the way. Unfortunately, our hotel check in time wasn’t until 2 that afternoon so we had time to kill. We walked around Lisbon and got our first taste of Portugal and the city.  It is such an amazing place to visit, totally booming with life. Reminds me very much of San Francisco BUT way older. There are small little shops, some run down areas, lots of graffiti, outdoor cafes, as well as high end retail stores. Very eclectic like San Fran!

This is a little café that we ate it. The man running it was very nice and from the looks of it, is pretty popular. His café was one of the busiest on the street. Our extended family that we are travelling with could not resist ordering grilled sardines along with our coffee we ordered. My dad and I ordered some “baby pig” platter as well as some calamari. The “baby pig” the shop owner called it was a suckling pig I would imagine and it was DELICIOUS! The calamari as well was fabulous! We also got our first taste of a cherry liqueur which I am forgetting the name of. It was some strong stuff but VERY good!

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to finally check in. We are staying at the Hotel Mundial located right in the center of Lisbon. The hotel opened up in 1958 and has been remodeled several times since them. The rooms are way more spacious than what I imagined and are actually very nice. Here is view when you first walk in.

When we first walked in, we tried all the light switches and none of them would go on. Actually NOTHING in the room had power. We looked around, trying to figure out what was up. My brother finally realized that right inside the door, there was a slot that looked like your room key went into, so we put tried it out and BANG instantly everything had power. Very interesting concept as well as very creative! You can never leave anything on in your room because it requires your key to be in the slot in order to power the room.

The best thing about our entire room is the fact that we have a balcony which overlooks THIS:

That’s all for now! I must FINALLY take a shower and get some siesta time! In Portugal lunchtime is around 1, siesta from 2-4 during which most of the stores close, and then they don’t usually eat dinner until around 8-9! So far Portugal is amazing! Oh I also don’t have FREE wifi at our hotel SO I may not be writing as much as I had hoped. Hopefully I can find somewhere close where I can get free wifi! More to come soon! Caio!

Just trying this whole thing out! I plan to update this while I am in Portugal so anyone who wants to can see what I am up to!

Image uploaded into text, check! :)

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