18.04.2017 – 20.04.2017
As a side excursion from my parents coming to visit us in Zurich, we took a quick trip to Portugal. We first visited Fatima – a 90 min. bus ride outside of the capital city of Lisbon. This May marks the 100th anniversary celebration of Our Lady’s apparitions to the Shepard children at Fatima. We were all a little unsure of what to expect, but were incredibly impressed by what we found. The Fatima Shire is massive – built to accommodate the millions of pilgrims who visit every year. We visited the Tombs of the Little Shepards, prayed the rosary at the Chapel of Apparitions (an open air chapel marking the exact spot that Mary first appeared), and enjoyed the quiet calm of this important and beautiful pilgrimage site.
If you are interested in learning about Fatima, or perhaps want a reminder of what you learned in grade school 🙂 I encourage you to visit the website and poke around. It is really well done… http://www.fatima.pt/en/pages/the-event-of-fatima
The next day, we traveled back to Lisbon. We stayed in the Alfama district, the oldest part of the city. This neighborhood in particular consists of windy, steep, and narrow cobblestone streets. Parker suggested that we take a free walking tour of Lisbon – an excellent idea especially since we had one short day to explore. We learned about the ancient and deeply complex history of Lisbon and Portugal, how it has constantly changed and evolved over the centuries. We also learned about the more modern history, the rise and fall of the dictatorship and relatively newly won democratic system. This richly diverse and incredibly beautiful city feels untouched by time in many ways. Portugal was never “on our list” of places to visit, but we are so glad we had the opportunity to explore this unique slice of European life perched at the Atlantic Ocean coastline.
2 Plane rides
— Fatima, Portugal —
— Lisbon, Portugal —