Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Well Done, London!

I  really appreciated  the way how monuments are so well cared in London...

Not only the great ones...

From Londres 2011

like the White Tower of William the Conqueror...

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but also the little shinny details...

as these ones ...

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I also enjoyed how they keep their History so alive and kicking...

During our visit to the tower we found here and there actors representing historical figures...

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"So, you are Portuguese...We are old friends." he said. "We'll send very soon an army to your country." he added very seriously. I think he was predicting the future, talking about the Peninsular War. ;-)

Almost at the end of our visit, we saw the place where Anne Boleyn and other well known historical figures had been decapitated...

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Of course, the Queen's Crown Jewels (I saw it twice) and the prisioner grafittis in Beauchamp Tower were also very special and interesting parts of this visit!

Time went fast... and after 5 hours in the Tower and many, many, steps later, it was time to leave...

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and visit the magnificent Tower Bridge...

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where we have been able to see more little shinny details, like this steam engine,

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and, at the end, to enjoy a beautiful sunset :-)

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

London at night

We spent all of the following day in the Tower of London and in the Tower Bridge. We arrived at the Tower of London around 10.30 and we ended our day on the other side of the Thames, already in the evening.

The Tower of London

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The Tower Bridge

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We found many people on this side of the river setting up all the proper equipment to take good pictures during the evening, which was not my case.
I took my little, light and handy Lumix with me.

I regret I didn't take a picture of the photographers, so I could be able to show you all the atmosphere they give to the place. I perfectly understand their care. The spots are quite amazing, like this one for example, with Saint Paul's Cathedral behind the bridge.

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We ended our day in China Town in the restaurant Four Seasons where we ate very nicely for an affordable price. The restaurant was crowded and we needed to wait standing up, but the service was quick and efficient and the food delicious. I read many different opinions about this restaurant, but our experience was quite positive.

From Londres 2011
What is your favourite restaurant in London? 

Sunday, 27 November 2011


Last year, we didn't appreciate so much the hotel where we've stayed in London. So, this year, we decided to look for another one. We chose the Best Western Victoria Palace Hotel , which revealed itself to be a great budget solution. Happily situated nearby Victoria Station, we were very close to
the beautiful and wealthy district of Belgravia.

Looking at the buildings around and specially when we were being led to our downstairs room (why do you think we got a good price for it?;-)), I could only think of Rose and Mr Hudson of the unforgetable Upstairs, Downstairs, a British television drama I used to watch on TV in the late seventies...


The episode I chose to remember this televison drama was "Guest of Honour" and I did it for a particular reason. As you may know, Edward VII was the king of the United Kingdom when the story of Upstairs, Downstairs began. In this episode, he is the guest of honour of Lady Marjorie Bellamy. Trying to guess who was the famous guest, the cook, Mrs Bridges, suggested, on minute 3.48, the name of a very important gentleman and close friend of the king, the Portuguese ambassador Marquês de Soveral (Marquess of Soveral), honored by Queen Victoria and considered London's most elegant gentleman.

I read that the father of Dame Eileen Atkins, one of the authors of Upstairs, Downstairs has worked as the under-chauffer of a Portuguese ambassador, and I wonder if it was Marquês de Soveral.

We were still talking about Upstairs, Downstairs, that evening, when we went for a very nice walk in Belgravia to admire the beautiful buildings and we passed by the house of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. A nice journey beginning, I thougt.

From Londres 2011
(the photo isn't good as it should, sorry.)

Fado: World Intangible Heritage

Fado...our national song is from today World Intagible Heritage! Congratulations Portugal!!!!!!

Some of my favourite Fados...

Mariza, Oh Gente da Minha Terra

 Dulce Pontes, Canção do Mar

 Amália Rodrigues, Barco Negro

 Carlos do Carmo, Os Putos

Thursday, 24 November 2011


The cookies made by my goddaughters's mother and sent to me as a gift. My friend L. likes to decorate cookies and cakes. In these cookies, you will find the words "Parabéns Sandra" which means "Congratulations Sandra". They were my birthday cake :-) I blew the candles yesterday evening. The cookies were absolutely delicious!!

From Coisas Minhas II

I coudn't get them earlier in the post office because I was in London. So, I can say I had a surprise party ;-) Very private, but a surprise party ;-)

From Coisas Minhas II

We arrived at home last Tuesday evening. Look at the surprise I had in my living room! No, this is not my cat, but the cat of one of my neighbours. My cat was on the sofa.They were both very quiet when we got in the living room. I didn't see him right away because his colour is very similar to the colour of the new TV furniture.

From Coisas Minhas II

He must have gotten in when my neighbour J. opened the backyard/living room door a little bit so that my cat could go to the backyard for a couple of minutes. J. was here taking care of the cat litter, his food and water supplies. My neighbour lives next door and generally when we go away, he comes twice a day.

From Coisas Minhas II

Yesterday, I was also in the post office to get my mother's present: a book about the European Royal Families who came to live in Portugal during World War II.They stayed mainly in the towns of Sintra and Cascais. Never in history there were so many crowned heads living in the same place at the same time. This book was written by the French Prince, Charles Philippe D'Orléans, married with the Portuguese Duchess Diana of Cadaval.

From Coisas Minhas II

Previously, my mother sent to me another book about a great lady I admire very much, the Portuguese Princess, Adelaide of Braganza. In times of crisis, the story of this Princess is in fact an inspiration. She almost got killed by the Gestapo. By the way, she married a Dutch doctor ;-)


I leave you now with the trailer of the musical I went to see in London: "Les Misérables".

Stay well :-)

PS1:I know I have been away. Sorry. But I've been very busy.

PS2: Thanks again to the ones who sent me emails and sms's of congratulations. :-)