Yesterday Michael and I took the trolley to Belem, an outskirt of Lisbon and one of the only areas virtually unaffected by the earthquake. It was another full day and we woke up a bit later than intended, so I reached for my favorite graphic t-shirt and shorts to stay comfortable and cool while seeing the sites. I had also slept on my hair wet which proved to look something akin to a porcupine after a rumble through the dryer, so up into a braided bun it went!
Our first stop was the Museo de Coches, a beautiful and unique museum of over 50 wonderfully ornate and impossibly detailed royal coaches. Queen Amelia of Portugal had the good foresight to preserve these antiquated modes of transportation in the early 1900s, and today tourists like me get to share a glimpse of what life as part of the monarchy was like. The coaches were all so breathtaking I felt like I was looking at Cinderella's chariot!
After the museum we visited the Monastery of St. Jerome, a stunning example of "Manueline" (Portuguese gothic) architectural style. The transverse arches have Moorish influence as seen in the round emblems carved at their intersections. The painted ceilings and series of wooden carved confessional doors were also some of my favorite elements.
From the monastery we stepped through a (free!) modern art museum before continuing on to the Monument of Discovery, a statue of intimidating proportions dedicated to the scientists, kings, poets, and navigators who made the exploration of Brazil, Africa, and India possible. All in all, another fabulous day in paradise!