SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
July 28, 2016
Docas de Alcantara, Lisboa, Portugal
Hot hot hot hot
We made it! We are in Lisbon! After our longest leg at sea we arrived early Tuesday morning. We were all buzzing with excitement at the sight of land; eager to finally see what we've been reading about in Cramer's copy of LonelyPlanet: Portugal.
We transited up the river Tagus with the assistance of a Portuguese pilot. On our way in to the dock we passed the large Monument to the Discoveries and the Torre de Belem on Lisbon's shore. There was lots of ooo-ing and aah-ing as we motored past this huge city's waterfront. Since all of us have a deep appreciation for the sea it was especially powerful to arrive in Lisbon in the same way that so many explorers have before us. One thing was also certain: this place is far bigger than Douarnenez.
Every morning here we have class to discuss Portuguese naval history and explore what made Portugal such an influential country in the world. The sea is such an integral part of the culture here. Essentially, sailing is what
built Portugal and it's empire, with Lisbon as the epicenter. Yesterday we went to the Museo de Marinha (Marine Museum) and today for class we walked around and discussed how specific monuments and cathedrals in the city relate back to the sea. It is mind-blowing to think about how much sailing has affected and changed the world as we know it.
After class in the mornings we break for lunch and then are free to roam the streets of Lisbon as we like. The group sticks together as we wind our way through the beautiful historic streets of colored and tiled buildings, and
hike up Lisbon's hilly streets. The breathtaking views and intricate architecture around every turn are well worth the blisters. We have done and seen some pretty cool things including walking in an old Arab castle, seeing the tomb of Vasco da Gama, eating tapas, and gawking at detailed baroque and Roman cathedrals. The photo is my favorite view of rooftops in the Alfama (the old and hilly part of Lisbon).
Tomorrow is our last full day in the city. In the morning we have class and I'm sure that we will learn and do some more amazing things. There was talk of potentially going to Sintra, a nearby village that has four different castles in it. I'm sure there will also be a scramble to check out monuments or museums that we haven't had a chance to hit yet. There is so much to see and do here. This city has an infectious and energetic heartbeat to it. I know I will have to return some day to Lisbon and do and see even more of what this place has to offer.
Although we all love this city, after being alone on the water for so long it is slightly strange to be in such a big place with so many people and moving cars! Every night after wandering, window shopping, and eating as much gelato as we can, it is always nice to return "home" to good 'ole Cramer who is here to rock us to sleep on the dock.
I miss everyone and Happy Birthday Dad!!!!