The Navigators……


Padrao dos Descobrimentos

Lisbon, Portugal is a great Tourist destination.  There are Museums, Art Galleries, Churches and a great many Architectural Treasures recording and representing both Lisbon’s History, but also Portugal’s centuries of achievement.

One of Portugal’s most significant achievement, is perhaps, the period what was know as the Age of Discovery… the Age of Exploration  which ran across the 15th and 16th centuries.  A multitude of the adventures and stories are told in the Cities Museums and Galleries.

On the waterfront of Lisbon, overlooking the River Tagus, is a much more modern contribution to these achievements.  Created in 1960 and dedicated to recognise the five centuries since the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, the expeditions he lead, and those that followed, resulted in the discovery of  countries and continents, creating a map of much of the world, a world that we would recognise today.

A symbolic Sailing Ship, surrounded by its crew of explores, map makers and religious evangelists headed by their leader Prince Henry.

There is indeed much to see on any visit to Lisbon.  But do make time to view this modern Sculptural Tribute to Portugal’s Maritime achievements.  It is a great contrast to the more traditional Museums, that also have to be visited.

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

3rd April

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday….. Off to Church


Good Morning Lisbon, Capital City of Portugal

Towering above  the Lisbon skyline, dwarfing all below, is the National Pantheon.  Originally, I understand, it was a 16th century Baroque style Church…..  but converted to become the resting place of Tombs for the Portuguese Greats.

A peaceful place to visit is such a busy City, a place to pause and ponder.

Wherever you are this Sunday…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

24th January

(C) David Oakes 2021

What ever floats your Boat…… in Lisbon


The City of Lisbon is a mix of ancient and modern architecture.  Built over seven hills, it is a city  with some fabulous palaces, ancient castles,museums, more modern buildings and lots of areas to explore.  But for me the most memorable of sights was at the Maritime Museum.

Portugal was for centuries one of the leading adventurers in nautical travel…I guess explorers may be a better word.  The nations close association with ocean travel enabled it to build up trade across the world.  Its nautical heritage lives on today.


But preserved and so well displayed in this purpose built museum is the fantastic display of  ” Royal Barges “.   They must really have created a dramatic colour packed,  spectacular flotilla as they sailed up the River Tagus…. the oars men in uniform and the Royal passengers in their royal regalia.  At least we are given to opportunity to visualise those long gone days with these very special Barges

With 38 oars this barge must have moved at a pace!  ….


The colour and skill of both the boatbuilders and painters are clear to see, but I hope that you do get a good impression as to the shear size of these rather special vessels.

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

6th April

(C) David Oakes 2020

Lisbon….. Portugal’s Ancient Maritime Centre


Dawn and a new day and a new port of call…this time Lisbon. As the sun rose in the sky the colour and architecture of the town that hugs the coast was revealed in all its colour, layer upon layer of red roofed houses all crowded together above the harbour.

Portugal has a proud history of Maritime Exploration and Discovery of far flung lands around a world they went into the unknown.  Each sea trip was a big adventure. Lisbon was the centre of this activity so it is not surprising is that they have a fantastic Maritime Museum.  It has been created in the old Jeronimos Monastery at Belem. Vasco Da Gama along with many other explorers are celebrated but pride of honour in the display is the map of Portugal’s ‘World of Discovery’…


The Museum is also home to the colourful collection of Royal Barges.  As you explore you get a true impression of there enormous size, there intricate design and vibrancy…..all powered by man.  There are also a couple of early Seaplanes…



Close by is the famous  Belem Tower on the banks of the River Tagus..

(sadly due to a Military Parade we couldn’t get nearer)


Close to Belem is the much newer, dramatic and ornately sculpture monument…

“The Monument of the Discoveries”


In fading light as evening descended we headed off back up along the Tagus taking a last look at Lisbon’s waterfront and then out under the giant ’25th de Abril’  bridge.


8th October

(C) David Oakes 2018