Sailing on the Tagus River from Lisbon into the sunset

Leaving the port of Lisbon on a cruise ship accompanied by seagulls with the 25 de Abril Bridge in the background.

The Port of Lisbon is the third largest port in Portugal after Leixões and Sines. It is where the River Tagus and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The Tagus is the longest waterway of the Iberian Peninsula. It begins in the Sierra de Albarracín of eastern Spain (150 km from the Mediterranean coast) and flows westward across Spain and Portugal for a thousand kilometres. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in western Europe. Its' history reaches back to the original settlement by the indigenous Iberians and the Celts, as well as the establishment of Phoenician and Greek trading posts (c. 800–600 BC).

Padrão dos Descobrimentos - Monument of the Discoveries on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos - Monument of the Discoveries
The Padrão dos Descobrimentos is a Monument of Discoveries on the edge of the Tagus River. It is a striking 52 meter memorial composed of concrete and stone, built to resemble the bow of a ship pointing towards the sea where ships departed to explore and trade with India and the Orient. This monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Sky and landscape on the Tagus river in Lisbon, Portugal.
Sun breaking through the clouds

Under the 25 de Abril suspension bridge in Lisbon.
Under the 25 de Abril Bridge
The 25 de Abril Bridge is over 2 km long and connects Lisbon to Almada. It is often compared to San Fancisco's Golden Gate Bridge due their orange/red colouring. But in fact, the structure is more similar to the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge as they were both built by the same company. Several movies have been filmed on this bridge, including the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. I mentioned a couple posts ago that this movie was also filmed at Estoril and Guincho Beach near Cascais. Portugal inspired Ian Fleming to write the James Bond series while he worked there as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Lisbon was filled with intrigue and espionage during World War II was called the City of Spies.

Belém Tower at the entrance of Lisbon harbour from the Tagus River.
Belém Tower from the Tagus river
The Belém Tower  is a 16th-century fortification and ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. It served as a point of embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers. It was built in the late 15th century on an island in the middle of the Tagus river. Back in 1755  one of Europe's most powerful earthquakes struck Lisbon. The epicenter of this natural disaster was 200 km from Cape Vicente in the Atlantic Ocean. This massive slip of the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault generated one of the largest tsunamis to hit Europe. Lisbon was hit with 3 tsunamis that day, all within 3 hours following the earthquake. These devastating events caused the Belém Tower island to move closer to the land and eventually merging with it over time.

View of a seagull in flight over the river Tagus in the Port of Lisbon.
Seagull flying overhead

View with the 25 de Abril bridge and Christ the King Sanctuary in Portugal.
25 de Abril Bridge
In the distance behind the 25 de Abril bridge you can see the The Sanctuary of Christ the King (Santuário de Cristo Rei). This massive 110 m tall shrine resembles Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) in Rio de Janeiro. While the statues are of similar size, the pedestal of Cristo Rei is 8 times as tall as the Redeemer's.

Sun shining through the clouds over the river Tagus in the port of Lisbon.
On the Tagus river

View of a cruise ship sailing from the port of Lisbon.
Sailing away from Lisbon

View of Lisbon's suspension bridge from the Tagus River.
Lisbon's suspension bridge

Seagull flying over the Tagus river in Lisbon, Portugal.
Seagull flying over the Tagus river

Sun breaking through clouds over an estuary in Lisbon.
Sky over Lisbon's estuary
Two hours after leaving the Tagus river estuary we were out on the Atlantic Ocean watching the sun go down below the horizon. Here are a few sunset captures to finish off this Portuguese adventure.

Sun setting on the Atlantic Ocean in October.
Sunset on the Atlantic Ocean

Sunset cloud landscape of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal.
Sunset clouds in the Atlantic

Sunset clouds on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal.
Sunset clouds on the Atlantic Ocean

An Atlantic Ocean sunset off the coast of Portugal.
Atlantic Ocean sunset

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