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The Tagus Bridge

The Tagus Bridge

Last night was black and white night, and everybody looked very glamorous – I would say that we saw the best dresses so far. After the dinner we went to the show which was by Kevorkian – he’s billed as the world’s only Armenian comedian. He was pretty good. Some of the jokes were a bit forced, but the main part of his act is music-based and was very funny. He’s actually a really good pianist. I particularly remember three of his musical numbers – an updating of the Moonlight Sonata to something he called ‘Moonlight Groove’ (think Robert Miles and ‘Children’ and you’ve got the style); a summary of a typical opera, with him doing all the parts; and his accompaniment of a song performed by one of the Ventura singers – he rolled out all the evil tricks that an accompanist can do, to upstage the performer.

 

Today we’re at Lisbon. We came up the river in convoy behind Amadea (which we saw at Funchal), and in front of Oceana. Because our arrival time was at 8 o’clock it was still quite dark when we passed under the Tagus bridge. I was out on the balcony to see it. The bridge deck looked quite close to Ventura, but I gather that in fact there was about 6 meters of clearance.  We docked at the main Alcantara cruise terminal; Amadea docked a bit further in, at what looks like a ferry terminal; and Oceana berthed at the Apolonia quay, which is actually the other side of the town centre.

We did an excursion today, “Walking Tour of Lisbon” which was excellent. We’ve never been to Lisbon before and this was a really good introduction to the city. We started by walking through the old city (the Alfama) and visited the Cathedral, which is mainly romanesque and gothic architecture; then we dropped down to the Baixa, the lower town, and walked along some main shopping streets and onto Rossio square. From there we took a funicular ride up to the Bairro Alto, and after a stop to take pictures from a viewpoint, we visited another church, Sao Roque. This was insanely baroque, a wonderful building but decorated to the point of bursting. Then we walked back down to  Rossio square through rain to get back on the bus. All in all an excellent taster of Lisbon city, and enough to make us want to return.

After lunch (taken today in the Saffron restaurant) we decided to go out for a walk – our guide this morning had mentioned a walk along a river-side promenade under the bridge out to the west. It was cloudy and grey when we set off, and having walked for maybe 10 minutes the clouds descended even lower and the rains came. We turned round and headed back to the ship but by the time we got there we were soaked through. We were so ridiculously wet that it was funny, in fact – we needed to change everything we were wearing. When I got to the top of the gangway I turned round, took off my cagoule and shook it out, to the general laughter of the ship’s security staff. Val hung her skirt in the shower as it was so wet it was dripping. The rain looks as if it’s set in for the day; if so, the ‘Great British Sailaway’ at 5pm on decks 15 (Lido) and 16 (Sun) will be a wet affair.

 

Oceana passing under the bridge

Oceana passing under the bridge

 

 

Postscript: in fact, at about 4 o’clock the rain stopped, the clouds rolled away, the sun shone, and the sailaway was great. I got some good pictures of Oceana (which left before us) going under the bridge, and then some pictures of the bridge as we went under. I had expected that we would have to push off a long way from the quay-side and go under the middle span (i.e. between the towers) but in fact the Captain just moved 50 yards or so off the quay and then straight ahead, under the northern end-span.

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