Portugal - 4/13-4/20/2016

Parque das Nações Évora-Cathedral Roman temple Cocktail & Dinner

Parque das Nações- Park of the Nations -4/19/2016

Lisbon celebrated the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gamma's voyage to India by hosting Expo '98 here at Parque das Nações.  Vasco da Gamma was the first European to arrive in India by sail in 1498. The area underwent a tremendous transformation in the 1990s when it was chosen as the location for the World Exhibition. After the exhibition, the area got its current name (although it is not uncommon for the Portuguese to still refer to it as "Expo"), and more transformations occurred such as the new Vasco da Gama shopping mall, the Lisbon's International Fair complex, hotels and many new office and residential buildings. Many attractions built for the Expo '98 remained and keep drawing visitors, such as the Oceanario (Aquarium), Europe's largest aquarium.

Pictures on this page are taken on multiple days and once at night.

This is the view from our apartment on the 8th floor.  In the back ground you can see the Vasco the Game bridge over the Rio Tejo (Tagus river).  And  yes it is really a river even though it looks like a sea.


This is the back entrance of the Vasco the Gama shopping mall behind our apartment.

Popular shopping center decorated with an ocean theme. The stores are conveniently clustered by genre, and there is a 10-screen cinema and various fast-food outlets with outdoor seating and views.


We stayed on the 8th floor of the tower you see on the left.


This is the front of the Vasco de Gama front entrance facing Oriente Station was the main grand entrance to the 1998 World Expo. 

The city has done a good job of turning the remains of that fair into useful infrastructure. 


There are two twin towers in this area: São Gabriel and São Rafael twin towers -height 361 feet with 24 floors.

This area is about 5 minutes walk from our apartment and it is lined with restaurants.


Fun place to walk around and also to stop by to grab something to eat or drink.


The Vasco da Gama Tower is a 475 feet lattice tower with skyscraper built over the Tagus river. The steel structure represent the sail of a caravel ship.

The tower was built in 1998 for the Expo 98 World's Fair. On the top there was an observation deck and, just below it, a luxury panoramic restaurant. At the base of the tower was a three-story building that served as the European Union Pavilion during the expo. Both the observation deck and the restaurant were closed in October 2004. While they were open, the tower was the tallest structure in Portugal open to the public (excluding bridges).

The base building was to be leased for office space after the closing of the expo, but never found tenants. Instead, it was used for one-off events, like the world premiere of the new MINI car in 2001. In 2006 the tower was climbed by Alain Robert, a solo urban climber. He was sponsored by Optimus Telecomunicações, a Portuguese mobile phone company, that used the climb as part of a marketing campaign for a recently released product.


This is the marina and here you get a closer look at the Vasco da Gama bridge Europe's longest bridge (10.7 miles) was opened in 1998 to connect the Expo grounds with the south side of the Tagus river, and to alleviate the traffic jams on Lisbon's only other bridge over the river, the 25th of April bridge (the one that looks like the golden gate bridge).


The Vasco da Gama bridge helped connect north and south Portugal, back when a freeway was a big deal in this late to develop European nation.


 Built low to the water, the bridge's tower and cables are meant to suggest the sails of a caravel ship.


It was a beautiful day and it was such a pleasant and enjoyable walk around this area.



Promenade along the Tagus river.

The Atlantic Pavilion concert hall with the striped oval dome is  a 18,000 seat concert hall.

Lining the esplanade are 155 flags.  one for each country represented at the fair.  The flags are arranged in alphabetical order, so the first one you see are South Africa (Africa dul Sul), Albania, Germany (Alemanha).  In the middle you'll find the U.S. (Estados Unidos), Spain (Espanha), and Estonia side by side. 

On this day Son, Valerie, and Thomas came to see us and here we are walking to the Aquarium.

Loan and I at the Marina.  In the background you can see the Torre São Gabriel (left) and the Atlantic Pavilion concert hall (in the middle) with the oval roof.


The Lisbon  Oceanarium (Oceanário de Lisboa) built in a modern version of a ship at sea, the aquarium's enormous centerpiece is a central tank with lots of fish and the occasional hungry shark.

Thomas in front of the Aquarium.

The Lisbon Oceanarium’s conceptual design, architecture, and exhibit design was led by Peter Chermayeff. It is said to resemble an aircraft carrier, and is built on a pier in an artificial lagoon. Chermayeff is also the designer of the Osaka Oceanarium, one of the world's largest aquariums, and many other aquariums around the world.

Nice view of the area-very peaceful and so nice.

In the background on the left you can see the São Gabriel and São Rafael twin towers and in the center is the Atlantic Pavilion.

The entrance of the  Lisbon Oceanarium

The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large collection of marine species — penguins, seagulls and other birds; sea otters, sharks, rays, chimaeras, seahorses and other bony fish; crustaceans; starfish, sea urchins. etc... totaling about 16,000 individuals of 450 species.

Cool pictures of  Thomas.


This the front of the entrance of the  Lisbon Oceanarium.  Lots of students are waiting there to get in.

Tickets booth.

Son, Valerie, and Thomas bought tickets to get in as for us we decided to take a trip to Evora. 


Very nice walk way over the Tagus river.

Cable cars above us.  You can buy tickets to ride the cable cars and have a great view of the area.


The shopping mall at night.


This is the Oriente Station ( Gare do Oriente) at night- this station is in front of the shopping center.

Oriente means facing east. 


This impressive hub ties together trains to the Algarve and Evora, the Metro, and buses under a swooping concrete rood designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.  The design theme is the sea which was the theme of the 1998 Expo.







Our house


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