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Europe Cruise Day 6
Saturday, September 11th
Lisbon, Portugal

Today's port of call is the furthest west location on this trip. Being as far west as it is puts it in a different time zone. Here is what time it is now in Lisbon. The time zone shown at the end of the time (either WEST or WET) stands for Western European Summer Time (our daylight time) or Western European Time (our standard time).


Here is the map to show just how far west it is.

Day 6 Map

The ship is scheduled to arrive at 8:00AM. At 8:30AM I am scheduled to go on a shore excursion called Fatima & Batalha . Here is Holland America's description (slightly edited due to a typo on their part).

Approximately 90 minutes from Lisbon is the "Lourdes of Portugal," which, according to Roman Catholicism, is the site of miracles. Your guide will explain the legends as you explore the area around the imposing modern basilica. After lunch at a leading restaurant, continue west to Batalha for a visit to the magnificent 14th-century Gothic church of Santa Maria da Victoria. Prince Henry the Navigator's tomb is located here. It is a great place to explore.

It is scheduled to be 7.5 to 8 hours long.

Departure time from Lisbon is scheduled for 9:00PM.

On to tomorrow and another At Sea day, then through the Straight of Gibraltar (probably in the middle of the night), then on to Cartagena, Spain on day 8.

How it actually happened!!!
(written September, 2011)

From the blog for today that was written tomorrow (huh!!!)......

The ship arrived in Lisbon right on time at 8:00AM for the start of Day 6.

One of the dangers of taking cruises is that you periodically get your picture taken by the ship's photographers. Here as I was leaving the ship for the shore excursion is the latest example of this.

Me 2

Wow!!!! does he ever look good.....(@%$!*).

And just in case you think this may not have been in Lisbon, I offer this.....

Me 2a

Ok, now that everybody knows where we are, on with the days events!

More from the Blog (today seems to be unusually well documented for some reason I cannot remember)..........

This days shore excursion started at 8:30 for the hour and forty –five minute drive to Batalha church and former monastery. Along the way I saw many wind turbines on top of mountains. As you will see from the pictures to come later, the construction of many of these must have been an interesting process. I suspect helicopters were likely involved, at least with some of them. Many are where old wind mills that were used to grind flour were, and in some cases still are, located. Many of the buildings of the wind mills are still there but most have been converted to other uses. Apparently there are still some that have been left for historical reasons. 

So, here are the above mentioned pictures, starting as the coach headed out of Lisbon towards Batalha first and then Fatima.

Leaving Lisbon 1 Leaving Lisbon 2
A suburb of Lisbon. Apartments in/on the hills.
Leaving Lisbon 3 Leaving Lisbon 4
Look familiar? The first of those old windmills.
Leaving Lisbon 5 Leaving Lisbon 6
New wind turbines. A redecorated old wind mill.
Leaving Lisbon 7 Leaving Lisbon 8
The old (just left of centre) and the new. Another old one all by itself.
Leaving Lisbon 9 Leaving Lisbon 10
A castle on a hill. The last of the old wind mills for now.

At this point the coach stopped for the morning break.

Rest Stop 1 Rest Stop 2
Gas prices, in euros per litre. Waiting for the coach to depart.
Rest Stop 3 Rest Stop 4 (Coach)
It gets so hot here that they provide sun shades for parked cars. Our motor coach.

From here it was on to Batalha and the former monastery and current church of Santa Maria de Victoria. From the blog......

There is a pile of history at Batalha and the church is a very impressive place. It is not very ornate, but it is big but not huge. It looks rather like some of the big British Cathedrals with the flying buttress arches and the like. Prince Henry the Navigator’s tomb is in the crypt beside the sanctuary. I saw it but was unable to get a picture of it.


Bathala 1 Bathala 2
The group being briefed outside the church. The church.
Bathala 3 Bathala 4
The main entrance. What one sees inside the main entrance.
Bathala 5 Bathala 8
A bit wider view. A view without people in the foreground.
Bathala 6 Bathala7
A taller view without people. One of the stained glass windows.
Bathala 9 Bathala 10
The alter decorated for a wedding later this day. The organist and a violin soloist practicing for the wedding.
Bathala 11 Bathala 12
A closer view of the alter area decorated for the wedding . A different stained glass window.
Bathala 12 Bathala 14
The vaulted ceiling. The left side in the previous pictures taken from the front looking back.
Bathala 15 Bathala 16
One of the tombs in the crypt.
Unfortunately it is not Prince Henry the Navigators.
The crypt is on the right of the entrance just slightly right of centre in this picture.
Bathala 17 The former monastery is on the far end, the church in the centre, and the crypt on this (or the right) end.

From here it is on to Fatima. Here is one picture taken along the way.

To Fatima


The blog entry explains what Fatima is all about in as much detail as most people who may look at this probably would want to know. Here is that......

From there it was about a twenty minute drive through the hills to Fatima. I would imagine that most of you would know Fatima is an extremely spiritual place for Catholics. The story about what is believed to have happened there is fairly long so I won’t try to explain all the details here. Simply put it goes like this: Three children aged 10, 9 and 7 were tending their flock of sheep on May 13th, 1917. Around noon they saw a brilliant light which they first thought was lightning. They started home and then saw another flash and saw on the top of a holmoak tree “a Lady more brilliant than the sun” holding a white rosary. The Lady told them to pray much (their term not mine), and to come back during the next five consecutive months on the 13 day at that hour. All of these happened except the one for August which was on the 19th in a different location because the children were in a different location that day. Initially the children did not mention this very much but gradually it got out and by the last one on October 13th 1917, 70,000 people were there to witness it. The apparition told them that she was the “Lady of the Rosary” and a chapel was to be built there in her honour. The Lady had promised a miracle to the children in a couple of the previous appearances and one was given. I will not try to explain it here but it sounds like it was most impressive. There are some additional fine details but this is the basis of everything to do with Fatima.   

Here is a large collection of images, chosen from an even larger collection of images, taken at Fatima.

Fatima 17 Fatima 1
The "Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima" in the centre, with the Chapel of the Apparitions to the left. The Chapel of the Apparitions is under this covered area.
Fatima 3 Fatima 4
The Chapel of the Apparitions with the statue of the Virgin Mary right on the spot where the apparitions appeared. A slightly different view of the Chapel.
Fatima 6 Fatima 5
A wider view of the Chapel area from the steps of the basilica. The entire Fatima area from the Basilica steps.
Fatima 7 Fatima 12
If you can read Portuguese and roman numerals you should be able to understand this. I think it is the dedication of the Basilica. The inside of the Basilica.
Apparently there is an organ here with about 12,000 pipes.
Fatima 8 Fatima 9
Lots of people here. There are 15 alters here "dedicated to the 15 mysteries of the Rosary".
Fatima 10 Fatima 11
The high alter. The painting above the high alter. It "depicts the Message of Our Lady to the little shepherds, prepared by the Angel of Portugal, through their encounter with Christ in the Eucharist".
Fatima 13 Fatima 14
The Chapel from the other side of the Basilica steps. Many of the Pilgrims that come here do the Pilgrimage
walking on their knees.
Fatima 25 Fatima 15
You can purchase candles to be lit here.
These are no small candles!
Where the candles are lit.
Fatima 16 Fatima 18
A candle being lit. The Basilica. There is a statue of the Virgin Mary in the centre above the main entrance sculpted and donated by an American priest based on a description provided by one of the three children who saw the apparitions.
Fatima 2 Fatima 19
The crown on top the Basilica's tower. The Church of the Santíssima Trindade or the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in English.
Fatima 21 Fatima 22
This is ranked as the fourth largest Christian church in the world.
It seats approximately 8,500 people and was built between 2004 and 2007 for a cost of 80 million euros entirely paid for by gifts from the pilgrims to the Fatima Sanctuary.
I believe this is the Crucifix.
Fatima 20 Fatima 24
The main entrance/exit. People toss coins into these nets above the entrance.
Fatima 23 Fatima 28
The nets. The dark spots in the bottoms of them are the coins. Our last view of the Chapel of the Apparitions.

From the blog......

An additional, and quite unusual, sidelight to this excursion was that the Catholic Father on the ship went on the excursion. Guess who I got to sit beside on the bus. Yep, you got it. He is a very nice fellow. I got to hear about his 19 visits to Rome and some of his training there. It was actually interesting. When we got to Fatima he asked me to take a picture of him doing something and then disappeared and did not really understand what he wanted. The visit went on and I went about looking around and taking pictures etc. Every day at the Chapel of the Apparitions there is a service at 12:30PM. I get back to it and look at who is involved performing and assisting with the service. Well, you can probably guess what is coming next. Yes, he was assisting. So I took several pictures and he is very happy. He has someone he wants to send them to who was taking some exam that same day and wanted him to know he was praying for them. The two pictures are being printed in the ships photo lab as I write this.

Here are the two pictures......

Fatima 26 Fatima 27
The daily 12:30 service. The ships Catholic Priest is the one on the right.

From the blog again......

After Fatima the group had lunch at a hotel just half a block from the site. It was big and most of it was very good.

More pictures.......

Fatima 29 Hotel

The hotel where I had lunch.

Fatima 30 Fatima 31
Need a statue of the Virgin Mary? Many to choose from! Here is a whole bunch more. These stores were just across the street from the hotel where lunch was.

Last bit from the blog about today.......

After lunch, there was the hour and forty-five minute drive back to Lisbon and the ship. The bus arrived there at approximately 4:15PM, long before the scheduled 9:00PM departure time, this time. I did not get to see much of Lisbon but one has to pick and choose sometimes.

Here are some pictures taken during the return to the ship.

Return to ship 1 Return to ship 2
More of those wind turbines. Some scenery as the coach drove back to Lisbon.
Return to ship 3 Return to ship 4
Olive trees, I think. More scenery!
Retuirn to ship 5 Return to ship 6
A river that had flooded not too long ago. A restaurant just across from the ship in the Port of Lisbon

Here are some pictures taken of the ship at the dock.

Return to ship 7

The ship from the coach as it approached.

Ship in Lisbon 1 Ship in Lisbon 2
Ship from the dock looking forward. Ship, looking to the rear.

Here is a group of pictures taken from the ship of the dock area around the ship.

Dock 5 Dock 4
Looking off the stern (back) of the ship out into Lisbon's harbour. Just to the right of the previous one.
Dock 3 Dock 2
A bit farther to the right. As far right as I went for some reason.
The blue building is the train station.

Here is a group of pictures taken as the sun set over Lisbon.

Evening 1 Evening 3
Lisbon's version of "Christ the Redeemer" as the sun sets.
Taken at 8:16 PM.
Slightly different composition taken at 8:18 PM.
Evening 2 Enening/night 4
This one was taken between the two above at 8:17 PM.
(Not in sequence because the page formatting
worked better this way.)
Christ the Redeemer with the 1/4 moon above taken at 8:32 PM.
Evening/Night 5 Evening/Night 6
A couple of churches taken 3 minutes after the previous one. Another moon and statue shot taken at 8:37.
Evening/Night 7 Evening/Night 8
The main road by the dock. The road, the statue, and the moon taken at 8:55 PM.

The blog reported this.....

The ship sailed from Lisbon at 8:50PM heading for Cartagena, Spain arriving at 8:00AM Monday.

This last group of pictures were taken as the ship sailed out of the harbour.

Departure 1 Departure 6
The two churches above taken as the ship sailed away at 9:06. The Lisbon shoreline as we sailed through the harbour.
Departure 2a Departure 3
Here is a series of pictures of Christ the Redeemer as the ship sailed past it on the way out of the harbour.
This one taken at 9:15 PM
This taken at 9:18 PM.
Departure 4 Departure 5
This one at 9:19 PM. And this one at 9:21 PM.
Departure 7 Departure 8
More shore line of Lisbon as the ship sailed away. One last shot taken at 9:38 PM.

So endith Day 6 in Portugal!

On to Day 7 at sea on the way to Cartagena, Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar in daylight, surprise, surprise!

Page Created: August 2, 2010
After Trip Update Started: September 12, 2011
After Trip Update Completed: September 15, 2011
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 10:56 AM

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