Here is day 3 of our August adventure in Portugal a.k.a. a sunny Sunday in Belem. In case you have never heard of this place, it is an area in Lisbon, west of the city centre. Belem is well-known thanks to the Belem Tower and most of all, because Vasco de Gama departed from there on his journey to India – his body actually rests here in the monastery (see below).
Between architecture, history and mojitos, let me take you on that day trip.
In August, the toughest part to get to Belem is to survive the crowded tramway in the summer heat. Once we did, we discovered a place where nature and architecture meet, with very traditional buildings, some ancients, some more recent, and some amazing parks and fountains.
I think this place was one of my favourite in Lisbon.
We started with a quite long walk by the water towards the ocean. Both the water and the sky were crystal blue and as always the air was fresh and windy which makes it so easy to bear the heat – to those who were wondering!
On the touristy side, here are my architectural favourites:
The Belem Tower
The Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos
We got the chance to go inside the monastery’s church and had a look at Vasco de Gama’s grave. Such a symbolic and meaningful place for all the travelers out there.
We ended the day with a visit of the Botanic Garden of Belem. You’ll get to discover it as I tell you about our trips but we are very big fans of botanic gardens. I love the atmosphere and the feeling of being so far away from the city when you might be right in the middle of it. Belem Botanic Garden is specialized in tropical plants.
On our way back to the tramway, we stopped at one of the many food trucks along the water, grabbed mojitos in the sun and chilled with some fishermen – the end to a perfect day.