There's so much to see and do in Lisbon we all felt that there were not enough days to do it. That is the problem with guided tours - you are on a schedule and everyone has to follow that schedule. That first night we went for a real Portuguese dinner - complete with a fado - or a singer/ singers. This is in a way some form of Portuguese opera with the singer telling a story in a song. The singers were good - really strong and expressive so that even though we didnt know the language we still liked the songs. Then there were the Portuguese dances which is very similar to our own Portuguese dances here in Malaysia. I think I enjoyed this night very much and it was a good ending to a really wonderful day - the tour of Lisbon, the trip to Cascais and Sintra and finally the dinner and the Fado. We took a walk from the little restaurant and saw the yellow tram that is like a funicular train climbing up the hill. This was like icing on the cake - the tram was crowded but some of our group jumped up anyway and took a short trip down.
|The church at Fatima|
Next day we were supposed to drive to Seville but with a stop at Battalha and Fatima - two cities with a lot of religious significance. Fatima is a very small town and is only famous because of its saint - The Lady Fatima. It was said that the girl, Fatima who lived in the 15th century was the daughter of an Arab fisherman. She fell in love with a young Portuguese nobleman and of course there was a lot of anger on both sides of the family. In the end Fatima, because she loved her young nobleman passionately, decided to run away with him. They were caught and she was killed. However after she died the young nobleman wanted to take away her body and bury it himself. To his surprise, the body was intact and not even decomposed. He brought this to the attention of the town people and many declared that she was a saint. After this there were stories of people who saw her and they said that she always appeared to people who were in trouble and she would help them, which is why she is considered the patron saint of fishermen in Portugal.
Battalha is another small town with a beautiful and very old monastery. The day we arrived was a holiday so entrance was free and we all had a good look around. After 30 minutes though Repin and I went out and decided to have some coffee under the trees at one of the outdoor cafes.