Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Start of the Swiss Christmas Season!

It's that time of year again! The weather here is officially COLD and snowy, the Christmas displays are out in full force and the Christmas markets are open, selling fondue, hot wine and Christmas crafts! We got into the Christmas spirit last weekend by putting up our Christmas tree.

Mark getting his "decorating" on!


Our little tree!

All finished!

The Christmas display at the Globus department store in Lausanne made us laugh!

The "American" ornaments included a surfing Santa!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our Portuguese weekend in Lisbon!

We had a whirl-wind trip to Lisbon last weekend, leaving Geneva on Friday evening and arriving back on Sunday evening. Scroll down below as I take you through our weekend tour of the city!

Lots of "statue-centered" round-abouts in town!

We ate breakfast on Saturday morning and then bought tickets for the "hop-on, hop-off" sightseeing bus tour around Lisbon. When pressed for time, this is a great way to fit in a lot of sights that you might not normally have time to see.

Lisbon's bull-fighting ring, still in use today

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon's largest park, provides a nice city view!

We hopped off the bus at Stop 16, Lisbon's river-front area, Belem, to check out the sights. Above is the Torre de Belem, the fortress tower completed in 1521

Ducking out of the dungeon in the tower!

Check out Lisbon's bridge that links to the 2 banks of the Tagus River! It is modeled after (and identical!)to San Fran's Golden Gate bridge! The statue on the far bank is modeled after Rio's famous Criso Redentor
Lisbon's riverfront

The Monument to the Discoveries, built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator

Portugal's Cristo Rei

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
Monastery commissioned in 1501

Cool view of the church's beautiful nave from up above. Most churches don't let you ascend to the upper level at the rear of the church, so this was a great vantage point to see over the whole interior.

Portugal's famous custard desserts, pastelas de nata


We enjoyed our desserts at Lisbon's famous bakery, Pasteis de Belem

Time to get back on the bus!

A view of Castelo de Sao Jorge from town

We headed up the hill to the castelo and enjoyed some amazing views of Lisbon from the observation terrace

Checking out the castle ruins

Lisbon's famous street trams

Statue of King Jose I in Praca do Comercio

Now a huge open square, the Praca do Comercio housed the original royal palace for 500 years until it was destroyed in a big earthquake in 1755
After our long day of sight-seeing, we headed back to our hotel down Avendia da Liberdade, Lisbon's famous and most "chicest" street

When in Portugal, enjoy some port! Looking forward to going back to check out more areas of Portugal in the future! I hope you enjoyed the tour of Lisbon!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autumn in Switzerland!

Loving these Fall colors in Lausanne!