Monday 27 June 2016

Monday Mural - the giant

If you enjoyed last week's mural by Perth artist Kyle-Hughes Odgers, here's another one! 
This gigantic mural, 3 floors high was painted on building 405 at Curtin University, (visible from Hayman street).
The mural is part of the 40 odd murals painted at Curtin University in April this year as part of the Public Form 2016 initiative.

For other murals from around the world check this link.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Monday Mural - Child in flower garden

Created for the "Underline - Freo Rail Bridge Mural Project", this mural painted by Perth artist Kyle-Hughes Odgers is one of the six murals found under the rail bridge on Tydeman Street in North Fremantle.

For other murals from around the world click here.

Other Kyle Hughes-Odgers murals in my blog that you might enjoy:

Saturday 18 June 2016

5 year blogging anniversary

I can hardly believe that 5 years have gone past since I first posted my first blog post!
I haven't remembered to celebrated the milestone every year, but being the 5th year I thought I would mention it.

I've gone from 0 to over 1,2 million views, have viewers from 157 countries, and 96 registered followers.
Not bad at all. On my 1 month blog anniversary I only had 500 views...

All I wanted to achieve was to register my experiences for the future, they are a powerful reminder of our good and bad times, although I only seem to register the good times, which is probably because I'm a a very upbeat and positive person.

I've made blogging friends, some virtual, others I've actually met, have learned a bit more about other bloggers,  have learned a lot more about blogging, and still learning... it's important to never stop learning!

To all those that read my blog, I hope that you find my stories interesting and a big thank you to those that regularly comment my posts. It's much appreciated.

From left to bottom to right - all about my blog -  Perth, my family (our son, me, our daughter and my husband), my art, my cats, murals and travel (Amsterdam).

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Portugal - Lisbon I

The historic city of Lisbon faces the river Tagus and is built on seven hills, giving impressive views across the city and river. The city if full of beautiful buildings and interesting cobbled streets, so join the tour with me.

My daughter (who was visiting from Amsterdam) and I, travelled from Cascais, (where my family lives) into Cais do Sodre Station by train.

 Commerce Square (Praca do Comercio)

Commerce square with the Arch on the north side and statue of King Jose I in the centre

Navigating through some road works, we headed to the pavement by the riverside until we reached Praca do Comercio (Commerce Square), also known as Terreiro do Paco (Palace Yard), as it was where the Royal family's palace was before being destroyed by Lisbon's earthquake of 1755.

Statue of King Jose I in the centre of Commerce Square

After the earthquake, the square was rebuilt with symmetrical buildings on either side.
The buildings used to house Customs and Port activities offices, but now house shops and restaurants. 
In the middle of the square stands a statue to King Jose I, that was built in 1775.

This square also saw the assassination of King Carlos I, the penultimate King of Portugal in February 1908. Two years later Republican party members overthrew the monarchy.

Beer House restaurant & Museum (Museu da Cerveja)

Top left - the advert that caught my attention. Right - stairs to the Beer Museum and bottom photos - the restaurant

While collecting maps from the Lisbon Story Centre (Tourism office) on the right side of the yellow buildings, I spotted a restaurant advertising "pasteis de bacalhau com Queijo da Serra". That all means "codfish cakes with goat cheese" (from the highest mountain of Portugal).  The cheese version is a recent invention, so I was keen to try them!

The gigantic codfish cakes
The Beer Museum  is upstairs, and you can visit that for the history of beer (small entry fee), or to enjoy a beer, either Portuguese or from all over the world. 
Downstairs, The Beer House restaurant is a pleasant and modern space, and we will have to return for a meal on our next visit to Portugal. 
In the meantime we just ordered a codfish cake to take away. They were bigger than the normal codfish cakes, not cheap, but I enjoyed the taste.

If you have the time visit the Lisbon Story Centre  for an interactive exhibition that relates the main events of the city of Lisbon from past to present. 
Entry costs 7Euros for adults and 3Euros for children from 6 to 15. They are open from 10am to 8pm, with the last entry being at 7pm.

Rua Augusta Arch

The Arch on the north side of the square is known as the Arco da Rua Augusta or Augusta Street Arch.

Rua Augusta Arch, seen from the other side of the Commerce Square - entry is next to the left column
For the first time ever we climbed the Arch and enjoyed amazing 360 degree views of the city.
The arch is open every day from 9am to 7pm and entry costs 2,50euros and is free for under 5's.
First you take a lift to the clock floor where you can read about the history of the arch, and then you have to climb a narrow round staircase with over 40 steps all the way to the top for the views!

The Arch was built in 1873 to commemorate Lisbons's reconstruction after the earthquake, has a clock in the middle on both sides. At the top of the arch stand the statues of Glory (7mt high/23feet) above the statues of Ingenuity and Valor, done by a French sculptor. Below on the sides and front are the statues of  well known Portuguese leading historical figures such as Viriato, Nuno Alvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and Marquis of Pombal.

The clock floor

The views from the Arch
Statues of Glory, Ingenuity and Valor
Another statue further below and part of the buildings in Commerce Square
Commerce square from above

Views over one of Lisbon's 7 hills with the Castle of St George at the top encircled by green trees
The Saint Justa lift (dark structure) and the ruins of the Carmo Church on the left

To the north of the Arch, you can see Augusta Street, which links to another traditional square - Rossio, 6 or 7 blocks away.

We went to lunch next, but I'll have to leave the rest of the tour for another day!
Hope you enjoyed the what I've showed today.

Monday 13 June 2016

Monday Mural - between Holland and Portugal

On one of my walks around Lisbon I came across this mural near the Rua de Sao Bento not too far from the Portuguese Parliament in the suburb of Sao Bento.
It was painted by Portuguese artist Pedro Campiche also known as AkaCorleone and Dutch artist Hedof, to commemorate the 75 years of air services between Lisbon and Amsterdam by KLM.

For other murals from around the world click on this link.

The air-hostess

The Portuguese crosses

The blue colours of the KLM planes

Sunday 12 June 2016

Portugal - Sintra II

Some more photos of the day I spent walking around Sintra.
My parents had left me at the top of the village while they went to the "Third age University". Apart from both attending classes my Mom also teaches.  I had a few hours to roam around and later on would meet them where they had left me.

 Quinta dos Lagos

The rendezvous spot - Quinta dos Lagos (Lakes Villa). I love that gate!

Sintra City Hall

After a 20 min downhill walk along "Volta do Duche" , I came across the Sintra City Hall with it's lovely tiled tower.

Street art and crafts

Walking downhill I came across a whole row of different statues, some amusing, others serious, mostly portraying royalty in various forms.

Along this area there were a few people selling crafts. They are registered with the municipality, and there's a variety from jewellery to paintings (forgot to take a photo).
I negotiated a painting of Lisbon's yellow tram which I would collect on the way up.

Moorish Fountain

Further down is this Moorish fountain (Fonte Mourisca), built in 1922 by local sculptor Jose de Fonseca.

Town's Palace

From here you can see to the right the Town's Palace (Palacio da Vila), from my previous post.

Moorish Castle

To the left, looking up the hill you can see the Moorish Castle, (Castelo dos Mouros), which was built during the 8th and 9th century.

You can actually take a bus from the Town's palace all the way up and also visit the Pena Palace (Palacio da Pena) while up there. 

Avoid bringing a car into Sintra if you can, as it's a nightmare to park near any of the attractions when the town is full of tourist buses, etc.

Moorish castle - amazing photo from the net.

Across the Town Palace is a tiled building.

One of the cobbled laneways with restaurants and little shops. 

The old church (photo below) is now the Post Office.

Sintra specialities - Queijadas

Before going back up to meet up with my parents I bought "Queijadas", moorish little tarts traditionally made in Sintra, and I collected my painting from the sidewalk craft market.

Where I will hang it I still don't know as my walls are full of art already, but I couldn't resist a little memento of Lisbon and I enjoy supporting local crafters. 

I also bought a few pieces of jewellery made with cork and fridge magnets made with cork too to give to friends.

                            Queijadas de Sintra - (photo from net)

The painter - Paulo Pasoca - with the Lisbon streetscape I bought for 15Euros.

Windows and doors

Sintra's doors and windows
Instead of walking, you can hire a bycicle too as this advert attached to the bike says. Cute too. There are also tuk-tuks and romantic horse-carriages...

This concludes my visit to the beautiful village of Sintra, hope you enjoyed getting to know it.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Portugal - Sintra I

The beautiful town of Sintra, 30km west of Lisbon is another gem loved by tourists and locals alike.
Set atop the Serra de Sintra (Sintra Mountain), it's home to historic palaces, castles and lush gardens designated as Unesco World Heritage sites.
For many centuries, the cool and humid climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal to Sintra for their summer holidays.

The lush entry to Sintra with the white Town Palace in the background

Palacio da Vila (Town Palace)

The Palace of Sintra or Town Palace as it is also know, has it's origins in the 8th century during the Moorish conquest, when Sintra had two castles - the Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) atop the hill (now a ruin), and the Town Palace below.

The Palace was continuously inhabited from the 15th to the late 19th century by Portuguese royalty, and it's one of the best preserved medieval royal residences in Portugal.

Although nothing remains from it's original Moorish origins, the earliest part of the castle dates back to the 14th century and was built by King John I. 
When Portugal became a Republic in 1910, the Town Palace became a national monument. The Palace was restored in the 1940's with the addition of old furniture from other palaces and the restoration of tile panels, and it has since become an important tourist attraction.

A drawing of the Palace from 1509, where the conical chimneys can already be seen.

The interior of the Town Palace

The rooms are furnished with opulent and ornate furniture, beautiful tiles and tapestries.

The Ceilings

On the left of the above picture - top and bottom, is the ceiling of the Swan's room, in the Manueline* style, and so named because of the swans painted on the ceiling.

On the top right is the ceiling of the Galleon room, painted with assorted ships representing the Portuguese naval powers of the period.

At the bottom right is the ceiling of the Magpie room. This was named so because King John I was caught kissing a lady-in-waiting by his Queen, Phillipa of Lancaster. As a rebuke to the gossiping ladies, the King had the room decorated with as many magpies as there were women at the court.

Coat of arms Room

A photo collage just wouldn't do these images justice!
The Coat of Arms room is an amazing great room with the ceiling covered in carved gilded woodwork. 
The centre shield is the royal coat of arms of King Manuel I (1495-1521), which is surrounded by those of his eight children. Surrounding those are armorial bearings of 72 noble families. 
The walls of this room are totally covered in blue tiles which were added from the late 17th to the early 18th century, and depict court scenes and hunting scenes. 

The Kitchen
If you look back at the exterior photos of the Palace you will see two 33 metre high conical chimneys, and those come out of this kitchen (first photo on left)
The kitchen is huge to match the size of the palace, with sinks, wood fired ovens and roasting spits. 
Built by King John I in the 14th century, it was used to prepare the royal banquets.
The coat of arms that can be seen on the bottom right photo dates back to Queen Mary I, the last inhabitant of the Palace.

The Chapel


The private Chapel was built during the reign of King Dinis at the beginning of the 14th century. It had a few alterations during the 15th century - the addition of the decorated ceiling of Islamic influence, the ceramic "tile carpet" and the wall frescoes featuring white doves. The frescoes were restored in the 1930's.

The tiles and the views from the Palace

Some of the beautiful old tiles in the Palace.

Views of the Palace gardens and views from beyond it's walls to the village of Sintra.

***A Manueline window from the Palace - this ornate building style is named after King Manuel I (1495-1521), who transformed and enriched the village of Sintra during his reign with construction.

Sorry about the photo overload, but I think the Palace deserves to be shown...
There will be more to come about Sintra in my next post.