On my final day in Lisbon, I had hoped to visit the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Unfortunately, I had failed to notice that both buildings are closed on Mondays. Instead, I decided to explore the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which was very close to my accommodations. I took a leisurely stroll in the grounds around the Museum, first, enjoying the sight of ducks and ducklings in some of the ponds.
Gulbenkian was a British millionaire and philanthropist who lived in Lisbon for part of his life. The museum contains a fascinating and very eclectic collection, some of which were acquired by Gulbenkian, and others by the trusts he endowed. The museum is arranged in chronological order, progressing from classical antiquity, the ancient Near East, the Nile Valley, European Art, 18th century French Art and furnishings, and Lalique crystal. The pictures below are of the Persian section, which contains a large collection of rugs.
This Museum is not in the tourist part of the city, which might explain why the visitors were fewer in number (although there were a few). The collections of this Museum are well worth a visit, and I highlight recommend it.
I wanted to avoid the tourist crowds in the afternoon, so I headed to the Centro Colombo, which is the largest shopping centre in Lisbon. I was surprised by how busy it was, considering it was a Monday afternoon, but I have noticed that there are a lot of locals in cafe and shops at all times of the day. The centrepiece is, not surprisingly, a model of one of Columbus’ ships.
It was a good place to grab a bite to eat (an excellent veggie burger) and to enjoy the AC, although the temperature in Lisbon has been pleasant and not too hot. There were some excellent cafes in the centre, and I found some very good espresso. It’s so refreshing to not see the mediocre Starbucks everywhere. A fun spot was a cat-themed store A Loja do Gato Preto, which reminded me of the Pier 1 stores here, only with a lot of cat themes.
Back home tomorrow. I have enjoyed my time in Porto and Lisbon. I recommend both cities as travel destinations