Monk in the Museum

Mike had a meeting in Lisbon today, and I was helping a friend think through her final paper on the course she's doing. Always seems a waste to me to go all the way to Lisbon and not see something new, so Mike humoured me and we drove to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (decorated tiles), which are a big thing in Portugal.

Good thing to do on a day that was too hot to wander about outside. It's housed in an old convent, I loved the leafy, shady inner cloister with a café and turtles in a pond. There are loads of tiles on three floors, the highlight is the 23 metre panel, showing Lisbon before the Great 1755 Earthquake, completed only a few years beforehand. Sobering to think of all those grand buildings just gone in a day, they could never have imagined it.

There's more than tiles; like the gold encrusted chapel, which is where I liked this detail of a panel showing monks going about their business, and an incredibly lifelike typical Portuguese Nativity scene, including loads of scenes from daily life, like slaughtering a pig (!) and this young couple with their breastfeeding babe and clamouring toddler wanting to take the place of the turkey in his Dad's arms (extra).

- lots of interesting conversation with good people
- being able to visit Lisbon on a day trip, such a beautiful city
- getting home safely, and with Spanish avocados for supper, can't wait!

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