Fatima + Lisbon

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.

The Stats: 
36,617 Steps
2 Taxis
2 Trams
2 Trains
4 Buses
2 Plane rides

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— Fatima, Portugal —

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima


Cannot. Handle. The. Adorableness.


Approaching the entrance to the Church of the Holy Trinity (located opposite from the Basilica)




Burning candles – of all shapes and sizes – is a common show of faith at Fatima. This “pyre” pops and sizzles loudly from the hundreds of candles prayerfully placed in it daily.


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We were all very impressed with the “High Cross of Santuário de Fátima” by Robert Schad


— Lisbon, Portugal —

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View of Lisbon from São Jorge Castle


The most beautiful woman I know!


A great majority of homes and buildings were covered in beautiful geometric glazed tiles, a nod to the many years Lisbon was under the Islamic sphere of influence. Lisbon in particular was more adherent to the teachings of the Quran then the rest of Portugal. As a result, there are no tiles representing “God made creation,” only geometric designs.



Wine with a View




A tourist taking a photo of tourists taking a photo of three peacocks in the tree. #meta


Lovebirds in Lisbon



Because we had such a limited amount of time in Lisbon, we elected to join a free walking tour. Our guide provided us with a really interesting overview of the history of this ancient city.






Ordering Ginjinha, a traditional Portuguese drink made with sour cherries









3 thoughts on “Fatima + Lisbon

  1. Hi Rachel! Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your folks! Thanks for sharing your insight and pictures!! I’ll definitely check out the Fatima website! Can’t wait to see where you all venture to next! Hope all is well!!

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Hi Rachel,
    Love your Spring and Portugal posts.
    We are looking forward to a visit to Wichita next weekend. We’ll be thinking of you and will do our best to help David celebrate his graduation! We’ll stop to stay with Nicholas, Laura & Theo on the way down and on the way back.
    Much love,
    Aunt Julie


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