Explorers & Maritime Museum

July 21, 2008


Looking at a world map, it is simply amazing that a small country the size of Florida made so many significant discoveries!  It really struck me when I looked down from the top of the Monument to the Discoveries to the large world map below and then later at the Maritime Museum world map.

We were excited to see and learn more about Henry the Navigator, Vasco de Gama, and other important contributors to this exciting time in history. They played a little film at the Monument to the Discoveries about Lisbon and we were surprised to find out that legend says that Odysseus was the first to discover Lisbon. Mozart is a near fanatic fan of Homer's stories, so that made us all smile.

We really enjoyed the Monument to the Discoveries and went to the top where there is a great view of much of the city. It is a huge monument sitting right on the edge of the harbor, not far from the Belem Tower, with lovely views.  There is a bridge nearby that reminded me a little of our Golden Gate Bridge and a towering statue of Jesus on a city hill that reminded me of the one in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil that I visited long ago. We liked the big world map that we could walk around on too, but I think the aerial view is the only way to really grasp it, so I'm glad that one of my photos from the top looking down at it, shows it quite well.

One of the quirky things we saw there was a man riding a bike on the embankment underneath the monument and the bank was at a 45 degree angle, so it looked like he was riding sideways. I am not sure why he was doing it, but it certainly caught everyone's attention as it looked like he was defying gravity and might fall into the water any minute if he made a false move. We have some video of it which captures the visual experience better than a photo.

The Maritime Museum is in a part of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and is filled with interesting things including some full size boats and a famous seaplane called Santa Cruz that was the first to cross the southern Atlantic from Lisbon to Brazil. Recently we watched The Lion in Winter and when Katherine Hepburn as Queen Eleanor arrives in a boat, we felt like we had a special peak at it from this museum.

Another huge statue of Henry the Navigator greeted us surrounded by important Portuguese explorers and another impressive world map detailing Portugal's discoveries. Mozart ran around enjoying it all from imagining what it was like on a Royal boat to pretend steering one of the great old ships. Here and here are a couple of sites that you might enjoy to learn more about the Portuguese explorers. This one from Enchanted Learning has a printout for younger kids. This was a homes school field trip well worth taking!












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Hello there Jean, DaVinci, and Mozart! Just wanted to drop in and say how much I love this blog. :) I feel like I learn so much about the world that I would otherwise never think about!
You've inspired me to make this type of travel my dream goal in life. (I'm still in high school, lol)

Continue having fun and living life to the fullest! :)


Hello Elizabeth!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with us as we really appreciate hearing it!

So glad to know that we have inspired you. That is a great goal and dream....hang on to it!!

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