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About Batyr


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Life Missions

(2 out of 5 complete)

To eat real Swiss or Dutch cheese in the country of origin, m-m-m, yummy:)

To become friends with a cat

To sail

To send at least 5 postcards from different countries - 3/5

Last, but not least: to visit Cologne (Germany), and especially Behringstrasse and its surrounding

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Travelog for: Batyr

Emjay's place, Delft, Netherlands - 3rd January 2015

By: Emjay

On December 5th we celebrated Sinterklaas (St. Nicolas' Day) with a traditional gift: chocolate letters! Yum!
And then it's time to go into my box and travel to Henna. Hopefully the postman will find her house this time  :D


* Posted Jan 10, 2015, 7:24 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Nuuksio, Finland - 4th January 2015

By: Eohippus

Hello, mom! Hello, all friends!  :D

We are all here dancing for joy and singing, because the toyvoyagers page is online again!  :D

I have been three weeks in Finland with Henna and Zoe and the rest of the gang, and next friday we´re all going to Portugal.

Henna has already put some of these photos to facebook, but I'll put them here anyway, because I'm not sure if my mom has seen them or not. :)

In this photo we are in a place called Porkkala, heating up glögi (Finnish version of Glühwein) on the open fire. I had just arrived, so it was kinda wellcome celebration. :D

It was very yammy!  :)

This is the little cottage in which we live here.
Doesn't it look rather romantical?
Weeellll.. it is less romantical when it ismidnight and -25 degrees and you have to go to the toilet outside!  :rolleyes:

Here you can see all my new friends (except my host Henna who is too heavy to sit on this tree branch).
In the front row are, from left to right: Mr Shaun from Germany, Racko from Netherlands, Mr Casanova and 3*Euros from Germany.
On my left side sits Petunia, who is Henna's brat, and on my right side Zoe, whom Henna has adopted.
They are all very nice, though crazy.  :rolleyes:

We have been lots out of doors, in the forest wondering the ice and snow.  :D

And following the tracks of many different animals. We have not yet found the horrible bigfoot, though!  :rolleyes:

Here we are sliding down a rocky shore in a beginning snow storm.  :)

The christmas was umm, typical.  :D
We all ate about a kilo of chocolate. I also ate a kilo of cheese!

In the evenings we have often been sitting round the fire on the yard, just chatting, telling stories and singing.  :)

One day we went for a sleighing hill, it was really fun!  :D


This is our ice lantern, isn't it beautiful?  :)

Many kisses from Batyr!
Next time you heard from me I'm maybe already in Portugal!  ;)

* Posted Jan 4, 2015, 5:49 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Emjay's place, Delft, Netherlands - 10th January 2015

By: Emjay

Hi dear Batyr, Henna, Galiya, Racko and all others!

So nice to be back online!

I have many pictures of Batyr during his stay in Holland. I will post them here, if you don't mind, so they come BEFORE Henna's pictures. I hope Batyr's human Galiya will see them, too.

Have fun in the snow! Henna, your pictures are beautiful!

Big hug,


* Posted Jan 10, 2015, 2:56 pm Last edited Jan 10, 2015, 8:53 pm by Emjay [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Up on the air, Between Finland and Portugal - 11th January 2015

By: Eohippus

Olá, Galiya apa, and hello, auntie Emjay too - nice to hear from you!  ;)

A I told you we flew to Portugal on friday, day before yesterday.  :)

But fisrt we had to go around Nuuksio and say goodbye to the snow and ice and winter.

Goodbye, ice! See you (maybe) next winter!  ;)

Goodbye to you too, frozen lake!
Sleep well until springtime, and lull the hibernating frogs into beautiful dreams about fat flies!  :)

The little brook wasn´t sleeping, no, it was running as fast as it could - maybe it was trying to escape into warmer climate too!  ;)


At last all the farewells were said, and we were ready to go! Yippee!  B)

We had two flights, first from Helsinki to Frankfurt, Germany, and then from Frankfurt to Lisbon.

After getting through the security control we had lots of time to wait for the gates to open.
We were wandering around the small Helsinki airport.
(All right, all right, Henna is saying to me that I shouldn´t be saying anything about smallnes of airports before I have seen the airport in Ivalo, Finnish Lappland.  :rolleyes: )

We were watching the other planes to come and go, and the suitcases being kicked out from the planes.  :thinking:

The Joulupukki (Santa Claus) had left his sleigh to the airport!  :thinking:
I didn´t see the reindeers anywhere, so I guess they have all taken a plane and travelled to someplace warm to enjoy the sun.
Although I have some troubles in imaagining the reindeers in bikini!  :rolleyes:

The gates were opened at last, and we entered the plane!  :D

It was great to watch the clouds!
Only the clouds were rather thick, and when the plane went through them it was shaking and jumping like a gangaroo and dropping downwards do that my stomach wasn´t able to follow fast enough!  :thinking:

Otherwise the flight was peacefull, except for ourselves causing some slight disturbances..  :rolleyes:

..well.. what else can you do than to tuck in a sock if the guy sitting next to you is snoring like a brontosaurus, his mouth gaping wide ajar?  :stare:

We were served a very wellcome dinner!  :p

Then we landed and spent some hours in the Frankfurt airport waiting for the next flight.
We were playing a bit with these moving gangways, but to tell the truth we all started to feel the length of the day and become sleepy!  :)


So we all slept through most of the second flight. Henna woke us up when we were starting to land to Lisbon.
I´m happy I didn´t wake up a sock in my mouth!  :rolleyes:

Here is Lisbon at night, seen from the sky!  :D

In my next updates I´m going to show you a bit more of it!  ;)

Hug from Batyr!  :stare:

* Posted Jan 11, 2015, 2:31 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sightseeing in Lisbon 1., Portugal - 14th January 2015

By: Eohippus

Bom dia, Galiya apa, and all others!  :)

It took us couple of days to adaptate ourselves to the 30 Celsius degrees warmer temperatures here in the Atlantic coast of Portugal.  :p
At first it felt like we had been in a sauna all the time, although the locals are talking about harsh winter temperatures.  :rolleyes:

Here we are in the "harsh Portuguese winter temperatures" as you can see.  :rolleyes:
The flowers are blooming and the butterflies are flappety flapping around them..

On our first day here we went for a little nature walk.
It was really amazing to see all the greennes and the summerlike conditions of the midwinter around us!
We didn´t walk much, we were mainly just sitting on different meadows, enjoying the sun and the fresh smells.  :)


We found a very odd carbage heap on the bushes.  :thinking:
Someone had get rid of a big collection of different saints and angels and whatnot, but there was also one Santa Claus figure and some artificial fruit on the heap.
We didn´t quite know what to make out of it.

On the second day we had gained enough energy to go for our first sightseeing walk in Lisbon.

We started the walk from Praça do Município (Municipal Square).
The building in the middle is the City Hall.  :)

We then continued to Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square).
On the middle of the square is the Statue of King José I, by Machado de Castro (1775). The King on his horse is symbolically crushing snakes on his path, which I, personally, think a very disgusting habit.  :mad:
Snakes are usually quite nice fellows! 

This is a triumphal arch, usually called the Arco da Rua Augusta.
It has a clock and statues of the Glory, Ingenuity and Valour, Viriatus, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and, of course, the Marquis of Pombal, who built the square and most of the whole town anew after the big earthquake 1755.  :)

Before the earthquake one of the royal palaces was on the square, and it was also used as a hanging place and for other nasty purposes.  :thinking:

There was also a shipyard next to it, and the Portuguese ships set sail from it towards the new lands to invade.

This is Cais das Colunas ,Columns Wharf, the actual spot from which the ships set sail, and to which they returned, loaded with treasures.


We took a little ride in one of the wonderful, old Lisbon trams.
The driver of this tram was very nice, he let me to sat on the window a bit.  :D

Here I´m inside the tram.
Although the trams are taken good care of, they´re technically still the same vehicles from the 1930´s - 1950´s, and they make wonderful loud noices when they push trough the streets.  :D

We saw still one square, called Rossio.
On top of the column stands one of Portuguese kings, Pedro IV.
i don´t know why. One would imagine a king to have better things to do than to stand on the top of a column.  :thinking:

He could, for example, plunge into this fountain, populated by mermaids.  :rolleyes:

We were then walking on the shore of river Tejo.
This is the memorial of Amália Rodrigues, the biggest ever fado singer of Portugal.  :)

Here is river Tejo, which the Romans new as Tagus.
Until 1980´s the river was in really sad condition - many towns used it as a sewage and dumped all their trash straight into it.  :thinking:
But since there has been a huge cleaning program, and the river is again celan enough for the dolphins to visit it every now and then!  :D

Here you can see the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, which is named after the 1974 Carnation Revolution, which ended the long period of dictatorship in Portugal.  :)

The sun was setting, and it was time for all obedient toyvoyagers to go to bed.
The rest of us didn´t.  ;)

See you soon again!

* Posted Jan 14, 2015, 4:17 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Kazan, Russia - 14th January 2015

By: Vunder

Dear Batyr, Henna and others!
Today is Batyr's birthday!! I'm so happy!! And I guess, Batyr, you should be happier than me))) Just look how your live has changed! B)
I wish you happy jouneys and wonderful host like you already have had!!
Без сине бик сагынабыз!(Tat.=We miss you very much!)
Galiya apa

* Posted Jan 14, 2015, 5:40 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cascais, Portugal - 16th January 2015

By: Eohippus

Galiya apa!  :D Thank you for the birthday wishes!

Here is how we celebrated my birthday.  ;)

We had a wonderful birthday lunch on the Cascais beach, with coffee and cakes.  :p

Henna gave me a sheep milk cheese as a present!  :D It was soooo good!  ;)

I wish you have had some good cheese too!
See you soon!

* Posted Jan 16, 2015, 8:21 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Emjay's place, Delft, Netherlands - 16th January 2015

By: Emjay

Hi Batyr!

Happy birthday from me and the TV bunch too! I can see you have a marvelous time in Portugal with Henna!

Big hug,

your auntie Emjay

* Posted Jan 16, 2015, 9:02 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cascais beach, Portugal - 20th January 2015

By: Eohippus

Olá, Galiya apa! Beijinhos da Portugal! :D
Greetings to you too, auntie Emjay, and thanks for congratulations!  ;)

This time I´ll show you pictures of our walking trip along the shore from Cascais to São Pedro do Estoril.  :)

It was a rather brisk day - the sky was overcasted by heavy clouds and the wind was blowing hard.  :)

It is a very popular walk along the beach in wintertime.
People come here with their dogs, or to feed the seagulls, or to just enjoy the nice landscape and the fresh sea air.
In summertime the beaches are full of sunbathers and surfers.  :)

We didn´t see many other people, though.
Maybe it was the weather keeping them home. It was nice to get the whole beach for ourselves!  ;)

The wind was getting harder and made the waves  grow bigger and bigger.
Henna didn´t let us walk anymore, being afraid the wind could blow us away, especially after listening to the midday news, which were telling about five missing fishermen in a nearby town.  :(
So we had to travel in her pockets.

Inside the pockets, we were having a vivid discussion about what each of us would do, if we ever happened to get lost.
Zoe was mentioning something about lichen only growing on a certain side of treetrunks, but she wasn´t sure if it was North or South or maybe East.  :rolleyes:
Mr Shaun remembered that also ants always build their nests on some certain side of the trees, but he wasn´t sure either which side it was..

Mr Casanova said he would be certain soon to be surrounded by local girls from whom he could ask for directions  :thinking: and Racko said he would call his mom and ask.  :rolleyes: 

I just read a scientific research about the orientation skills of mice, humm humm..  B)
It said "Mouse has good orientation skills. It can easily find way and return back to its territory from a distance of 2 miles."
So I´ll always be safe as long as I don´t get lost farer away than two miles (3,2187 km) from home.  :rolleyes:

"Gaivotas em terra, tempestade no mar" (The seagulls on land, a storm at sea) says a Portuguese proverb (according to Henna).
We saw lots and lots of seagulls, and they were all on the land, sitting on stones, waiting the wind to die away.
"Sissies", said Zoe", who is always fast to critizise other birds.  :rolleyes:

Even Henna had difficulties to walk against the wind, and every now and then the wind blew sand into her eyes.
On those occasions I heard her uttering some words I didn´t recognize, but the others adviced me not to repeat them here.  :thinking:

A exceptionally high wave was shattered against the rocks nearby, and I got a big load of cold water into my right ear!  :mad: I suggested we could maybe soon head towards home and come back when the weather is a bit more peacefull.  :rolleyes:

The others agreed, phew!
My ears are very sensitive!  :thinking:

Hello, beautiful beach! We´ll come back when the sun is shining!  :D

Back to home, I was having a little snack.  ;)

See you soon again!
Hug from Batyr!  :)

* Posted Jan 20, 2015, 3:22 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Óbidos, Portugal - 26th January 2015

By: Eohippus

Bom dia de novo, Galiya apa!  :D

As you can see, Henna and Zoe the Kiwi have been teaching me some Portuguese frases.
It is nice to be able to say some little things in the local language to people.  :)

We visited on weekend Óbidos, a very small town not far away from Lisbon.

We took a bus from Lisbon. The trip took about an hour.
I was watching landscapes through the bus window.  :)
We saw many electricity -producing windmills along the route.

The bus stopped just in front of one of the gate towers, through which we could enter the town.

Óbidos is a fortified town - encircled by a wall built during the Roman and Medieval periods.
The town's name is derived from the Roman word "oppidum" - meaning just that - a citadel/fortified town.  :)

It is possible to climb on the wall and walk along it round the whole little town.
That's exactly what we wanted to do!  :D


The wall was rather high on some parts, and narrow for people to walk, but for us toyvoyagers it was wide and comfortable as a boulevard.  :)

We were peeping into the little gardens and houses perched between the walls.

There is about 3000 inhabitants in the town. In summertime there is lots of tourists, and in every August there is a Medieval Fair.

There are towers along the wall, and we stopped to rest and admire the views on the top of one of them.
We could see an old white windmill.  :)

It is the time of the year when the aloes are in their brightest bloom.
They formed big bushes and looked marvellous against the grey walls. :)

While we walked along, Henna was reading from a leaflet that there has been some kind of fortified town here on the same spot since the Bronze Age.  :thinking:
A settlement was constructed by early Celt tribes, that was later a centre of trade for the Phoenicians.
After them the Romans, Visigoths and Moors continued the construction on their turn, and so did the early Portuguese kings, starting 1148. 

The surrounding countryside was beautiful, the fields in this time of the year show so many different shades of green and brown.  :)

We were discussing how it would be like to live in this kind of town.
I think it is great place to visit, and spend some hours.
The countryside looks like a nice place to make hiking trips too, but.. .. I wouldn't like to live here!  :rolleyes:
In such a small place everyone knows each others comings and goings a bit too keenly - it is hardly possible to sneeze today without everybody asking if you've got a cold the next day.

On the other end of the town there is a small castle, which was built in the 14th century, by King Fernando.
Sadly it is now turned into a hotel, so it is not open for visits without staying overnight.
I also doubt if there would be much to see in the modernized hotel rooms.  :rolleyes: 

We decided to climb down the wall, to see something of the town from the street level too.  ;)

All the houses in the town were whitewashed, and their corners and windowsills were painted blue or yellow, which is the traditional custom in the Southern and Central Portugal.

The streets were very narrow, and every now and then we saw a cat running behind a corner.
I was happy to see that most of them looked well-fed and taken care of.  :) (Not just because I happen to like cats, but also because it is safer for a mouse to be around fell-fed and satisfied cats).  :rolleyes:

In the Portuguese style there was lots of plants planted everywhere on the yards and next to the walls and stairs.  :)

We saw also fruit trees on many yards.

I tried to reach an orange, but they were too high!  :(

Henna told me not to vorry, because she always has something or other for hungry voyagers on her bag.
We sat on a small park outside the wall to have snack of great grapes.  :p

There was also a nice swing for children we were trying.  :D

We saw a nice loking old church.
Henna told us the church is famous because some Portuguese king got married in it with his cousin in the 15th century.
The king gave the town of Óbidos as a wedding present for his new queen.
Can you imagine?  :thinking: How is it possible to give a town for a present to somebody? What about the people living there?  :thinking:

I took a look inside. It had nice, blue-and white wall tile decorations.  :)

Then we walked the small town criss cross from West to East and North to South, and saw the small houses of the 3000 inhabitants, and also about 30 inhabitants  (1% of the population).  ;)


Some people were clearly trying to camouflage their doors.
Maybe to be able to sneeze in peace.  ;)

There was some interesting looking little bars and taverns, but Henna told us they're not suitable places for toyvoaygers, hmph.  B)

We saw a little garden.  :)

And sat on a flowerpot.  :rolleyes:

We saw the castle from a different angle.

And met more wonderfull, blooming aloes.  :)


Then we watched the town with a telescope, and then we decided we had certainly seen everything there was to be seen, and decided to return home.  :rolleyes:

Back at home i had a bit of cheese..  :rolleyes:

A hug from Batyr!  :D

* Posted Jan 26, 2015, 2:15 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Palácio da Pena, Sintra, Portugal - 2nd February 2015

By: Eohippus

Boa tarde! Como está hóje, Galiya apa?  :)

Here the weather continues very variable - it is raining every day and shining every day.
I guess my host Henna had too little clothing on last week, because now she has an awful flue!
That is very boring, because we can't go anywhere without her. So we're just trying to entertain her.  ;)
Luckily I have an update to make from last week!

We heard that the Palácio Nacional da Pena had been opened again after the renovation works.
We all wanted to see it.
So we took a train to Sintra, which is a small town about 35 kilomters from Lisbon.
This is the Rossio train station where we took the train.  :)


We walked through the Sintra town.
The whole town has been classified as an UNESCO World Heritage site, because it has always been a popular spot for the Portuguese royal and upper class families to spend summers in, and there is many palaces from different times.
In this pic we can see the two white chimneys, which belong to the Palácio da Vila.  :)

We walked upwards along many narrow alleys and staircases, since Palácio da Pena is situated on a hill.

The famous lunatic poet, Lord Byron, lived in Sintra in the beginning of the 19th century.
"Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes," he frothed after his 1809 sojourn, "in variegated maze of mount and glen."
Writing home, the poet raved about "palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts and precipices; convents on stupendous heights . . ." "

Nowadays Sintra is a very popular tourist site, and also very popular place for outlandish people to buy houses and land.

Which is easy to undertand, watching these landscapes.

Sadly the popularity has started to destory the area. More and more forest area has been cut for very well off people to build their huge houses.  :(

After some more stairs we entered a park, where there was picnic tables here and there, and more stairs leading upwards.  :)

I peeped into a small greenhouse, in which they grow more plants for the park.

It was a beautiful park - not too tame, more like a wild little forest.  :)

There was some black and white photographic art, showing themes which had to do with the forest mythology.

We reached the old staircase which leads towards Monte da Lua (Moon Hill).

It was a VERY long staircase!  :thinking:

It was such a long staircase, that when I reached the top, I noticed I had grown a beard!  :o

He hee!  :D Just fooling you a bit. This is some kind of lichen growing on the tree trunks.  :)

After the long climb we rested a bit over a cliff called Penedo da Amizade, where there is a fantastical viewpoint over the Sintra area.  :)
But it was so windy, we soon started to feel cold, so we had to keep moving on.

Palácio da Pena was still a bit higher up.
We could now see it. So we continued climbing towards it.

It is also possible to just take a bus near the SIntra railway station and pay some euros to reach the palace in an easy way, but the easy way is often the boring way.
By walking and hiking we see much more!  :)

We reached the Palace garden, which surrounds the palace, and walked through it.
We saw there some wonderfull things, like a fern garden.
It was planted by a queen, who loved ferns. There was even fern trees!  :thinking:

It looked like we had suddenly entered some tropical part of the world instead of Europe!  :thinking:
But it certainly didn't feel like it!
The weather was so humid and cool here up on the hills, that we had to hop around to keep warm!  :rolleyes:


This is an "Angel's trumpet" on Brugmansia.
It smelled so good I felt like roaming inside the flower!
Happy bees!  :)

There were also these quite amazing trees.
I don't know what they are. I tried to find their names from the Pena Palace garden web sites, but they are just showing some pretty boring statues.  :rolleyes:


We reached the palace at last.  :)
It is really a very stunning building!

Originally there was a medieval monastery on the spot, but it was badly ruined first by a lightning, and then totally by the Lisbon Earthquake 1755.

In 1838, the king Ferdinand II decided to acquire the old monastery, all of the surrounding lands, the nearby Castle of the Moors and a few other estates in the area.
King Ferdinand then set out to transform the remains of the monastery into a palace that would serve as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family.

We could see the ruins of the Moorish castle on top of the next hill.
Henna says we are going to climb to see those too some other time! :)

The construction took place between 1842–1854.
The plans were made by a German amateur architect, mining engineer Baron Ludwig von Eschewege.
He had  traveled a lot and very likely had knowledge of several castles along the Rhine river.  :rolleyes:


King Ferdinand and Queen Maria II intervened decisively on matters of decoration and symbolism. Among others, the King suggested vault arches, Medieval and Islamic elements be included, and he also designed an ornate window for the main façade.

This is how the weather looked, seen from the palace yard! Not very tropical!

After watching the palace from this and that direction, we entered it.
Sadly the lightning inside was so lousy, that it was not possible to take many photos, and those we took are of very bad quality.  :thinking:

We walked through many amazing rooms.
I don't remember what they all were.
Queen's private salongs and king's smoking rooms and whatnot.  :D

I quite like the colors of this room.

It all looked very grand, but you can't imagine how cold it was in those rooms!
The royal family of course only lived here during the summer.

I felt very sorry for the poor workers, who were there guarding the rooms and the tourists. They have to stay there, without moving much, eight hours every day!  :thinking:

This is the small chapel of the palace.

This must be some kind of reception hall, where the royal family received the important guests.

This inner yard is what remains of the original monastery.


I must say I felt most at home in the kitchen!  :D
There was big owens too - if we could lit fires into them, it would soon be warm..

But alas, no fire!
We were feeling so cold we really run away from the palace!  :rolleyes:

I wish Henna gets soon better, so i can show you some more things!Hug from Batyr!

* Posted Feb 2, 2015, 7:36 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Almada, Portugal - 11th February 2015

By: Eohippus

Greetings again from Portugal, Galiya apa and everybody else!  :D

The last weeks here have been a bit subdued, because our host Henna has been mainly groaning in bottom of her bed with influenza.

We tried to nurse her, by making her tea and by feeding her medicine, but that didn't help.  :(

Then we organized The EFS - Entertainment For Sick committee, and started to practice choir singing etc.
After our first show, which we did on Henna's bed, she announced she is quite, quite healthy and thus there's no need to practise any more numbers!  :rolleyes:

So, today we dragged her out from the house, to make a small walk.
This picture is taken near our house here. It is an area with typical blocks of flats from the 70's and 80's, some smaller, old houses still surviving in middle of them.

We walked from Laranjeiro, where we live, to Cova da Piedade (The Valley of Pity), where we sat for a while in this nice little park. Henna said she had to rest a bit, and she looked so tired we got very worried and asked if she needed more entertainment, since it seems to have a wonderfully curing effect on her, which made her to jump up from the bench and to say that so it certainly has.  :thinking:
And then we continued our walk towards Almada.

We saw the Almada culture centre, where there is the library nearest to us, and room for art exhibitions etc.  :)

This is Cacilhas lighthouse, and behind it is the river Tejo.
Henna told me the Spanish people call it Tajo, and the Romans called it Tagus.
Just imagine the thousands of years of history on that river!
Ships of ancient civilizations gliding along it, the Phoenicians, the Celts, the Romans..
..and all the ships with a pert population of ship mice willing to travel the globe! Hey! I'm following your example!  :stare:

Zoe lead us forward, along roads, which followed the rivershore.
There were small kitchen gardens and nice glimpses over the town and river.

Then we reached a hilltop, and climbed an olive tree.
Sadly this is not the time for ripe olives. They have been picked in November.

We saw the river Tejo again, and the bridge Ponte  25 de Abril, which connects Almada and Lisbon.
The bridge resembles a lot the famous Golden Gate bridge in California.
It is almost two and half kilometers long.  :)

This bridge was originally named by the Portuguese dictator Salazar, after the Carnation Revolution 25.4. 1974 it was named again.  :)

We watched a cruise ship gliding under the bridge, and talked hihihihi, about what if someone on the bridge spitted a chewing gum just when there was a ship passing under it, and it would hit someone on board on the head.  :rolleyes:
Henna told us that was a disgusting subject.
But that could happen, couldn't it?  :thinking:

Then we went to see the giant statue, Cristo Rei (Christ the king) of Almada.

It was erected to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II.
It's building started in 1941, but the statue was only inaugurated in 1959, because the economy of the country was in deep crisis.
The monument consists of a trapezoidal pedestal of 82 metres height,  supporting the 28 metres  image of Christ.

There is an elevator inside the pedestal, and we took it up.
"Hello, Cristo Rei!" we shouted to the statue.
"Hello, toyvoyagers!" it answered, with a deep, deep voice, and almost made us to fall!  :thinking:
"Uh.. I didn't know statues can talk!" said I.
"Well, little mouse, we only answer if someone first talks to us, and there are not many people doing that, you see!" it answered.  :thinking:
"But it is a very nice interlude, I must say", it continued, "it is a bit monotonous to stand here, decade after decade!
So, you're very wellcome to come and talk to me whenever you feel like it!"
"All right!" said I, "I will tell other toyvoyagers too!"  ;)

The views from top of the tower were wonderful!
This is the view towards Almada.
As you can see, it is actually built on a peninsula on the South bank of the river.

And this is the view over Tejo towards the old town part of Lisbon.   :)

We said goodbyes to the statue, and returned to the earth.
Then we climbed to pose for Henna over an old buoy.

We saw young palm trees.
Don't they look like pineapples?  :stare:

The sun was descending, and we started to descend too, to the rivershore.

We saw many empty houses, or just ruins.
They have all been busy factories or warehouses, to do with fish- rope- and boat building industries.
Nothing of that is left, but the decadence is beautiful in it's own way. 

The old walls are now full of graffitis.
many of them are really skilled work, some are just smudges.

There is some bars now on the shore.
This is one of them, called Ponto Final.
I am mentioning it specifically, because the people working there are good people, who feed homeless cats living in a park near to the bar, and so I think the bar earns some advertizing!  ;)

We walked back home, and when we reached it, it was already dark.  :)

The Cacilhas lighthouse was lit.  :)

At home we ate great pizza!  :p

I wish you've had some too!  :D
Kisses from Batyr!

* Posted Feb 11, 2015, 12:29 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sightseeing in Lisbon 2, Portugal - 19th February 2015

By: Eohippus

Bom dia e beijinhos da Portugal!  :D

How are you, Galiya apa? I wish it is not too cold back home!
We watched Aura's updates and saw beautiful, snowy photos!
The photos made me to miss to be home and with you again, but on the other hand, this travelling is so very interesting!  ;)

My host Henna is back on her feet, which is great!
She has again enough energy to take us to see new things.  :)

In last Saturday we went again to Lisbon.
We took one of the small ferries to cross the river Tejo.

The ferries are all painted orange and white, and they are called "cacilheiros", because they leave from Cacilhas, near the lighthouse I show to you in my latest update.

It takes about ten minutes to get to Lisbon.
There is a ferry in about every ten minutes in the weekday mornings and evenings, because there are lots and lots of people crossing the river to go to work in Lisbon.

It was nice to watch out from the window and see the foam caused by the ferry, and seagulls flying over the river, catching fish.
I tried to spot any dolphins, since I have heard they visit the river every now and then, but sadly I didn't see any.

Soon we reached Cais de Sodre, which is the ferry station on the Lisbon side of the river.

We were going to visit a flea market, which takes place every saturday and tuesday, and started to walk to that direction.
I saw again many of the cute old trams. They look like toys!  :D


We passed the Sé cathedral, which is the oldest excisting church in the city.
It's building started in 1147, and after that it has been growing in size and rebuilt many times after various earthquakes.
Many of the old Portuguese kings and other royalty are buried here.
We didn't go inside because there seemed to be a mass going on.

We continued our walk and saw many more trams.
Some of the alleys were so narrow that it was scaring to be standing flat against a wall while the tram was passing.  :thinking:

We passed also the Lisbon National Pantheon.
It was also originally a church, but it was turned into a pantheon in 1916, after the first Portuguese revolution, when Portugal became a republic.
In it are buried many politically important people - former presidents etc. 

The flea market area starts behind the Pantheon.
It is called "Feira da ladra" = market of the thieves.  :thinking:

Henna told us that a market of this type is thought to have been in place in Lisbon since the 12th Century and the name Feira da Ladra was first mentioned in the 17th Century.

It has probably gained its name, because on the past centuries some unhappy vidowed women, trying to keep their children alive, were stealing clothing from the lines, and sold them on the market.  :(

We walked around and watched everything.
There really was whatever!  :thinking:
From rusty nails and old books to very expensive antiques, and everything between.

Henna bought a book, but I didn't see anything I would have wanted to buy, although there were some toys which could have maybe been suitable for this toyvoyagering - thing.  ;)

But I saw some cakes I wanted to try in a small outside cafeteria!  :p
They had marzipan filling inside and almond covering outside, and I can tell they were really jammy!

After the flea market we continued towards some famous viewpoints.
On our I saw these beautiful tiles (azulejos), showing the Praça de Comercio.  :)

There is a very nice custom inPortugal to decorate the walls with different tiles. It is a custom brought here by the Moors, who ruled the Southern part of the land in early middle ages.

This photo is taken on the Miradouro das Portas do Sol viewpoint.  :)

It is a very nice view over the old town and the river from it.  :)

And then, oh!  :o We saw a wonderful, blooming almond tree!

I climbed the tree, and just sat there for a long time, breathing in the marvellous, sweet smell of the flowers, and listened to the busy bees buzzing around them, so that I became almost a bit dizzy with the delightful sensations!  :D

When we had heart to climb down from the tree again, we went to see another viewpoint, Miradouro da Craça.
There was more azulejos, showing the profile of the town.  :)

This is the view I saw from there.
The sky was turning a bit cloudy!  :thinking:

Henna suggested we could still visit the central park of Lisbon - Parque Florestal do Monsanto.

When we walked to the bus stop, I popped into a small bakery to buy some more cakes.  :rolleyes:

And then we were eating them in the bus.
Gee, they make good cakes here!  :p
If I lived here for a longer time, I would soon be a somewhat fatty mouse!  :rolleyes:

In the central park we wandered along beautiful, winding paths.  :)

It is a large park, which is great.
It was started in the 1920's, because the Lisbon city council realised that the city was becoming so big and so densely populated, and its air was so polluted, that the inhabitants needed a place where they could escape it all and be near the nature every now and then.
They also though that a forestry area could make the air of the town fresher.
They were very smart!  :)

We saw various flowers!  :)
I don't know the names of them all.

This, I know, belongs to the family of orchids.  :)

There was whole blooming meadows!  :D

We all went a bit crazy with the beauty of it, and made flower garlands..  :rolleyes:
Henna said we looked like The Spring itself, and that she thinks it is much better to become a bit drunk by the beauty of the nature than anything else.

There were remains of old limestone mines.
The Lisbon pavement stones are mainly from here, before the area was turned into a park.

We found opuntia cactuses (Ouch, I should not have sat here!)

And do you know what this is?
No, it is not a flute!  :stare:
It is wild asparagus, and I am sitting in the asparagus plant!  :D
It is possible to collect them here in springtime and cook wonderful souffle.  :p

Here is a view from the park towards the city.

When we came out from the park, we went to see the aqueduct of Lisbon.
It was built in the 18th century to bring a solution to the problem of constant lack of drinkable water in Lisbon.
The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km.

Before taking the ferry back home, we walked stillto see a park called Parque Eduardo de VII.  :)

Back at home, we ate delicious green soup.  :p

And a good salad with potato noisettes.  :p

I'm sure you would enjoy them too!  :D

Kisses from your little mouse!  :stare:

* Posted Feb 19, 2015, 1:46 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cabo da Roca, Portugal - 23rd February 2015

By: Eohippus

Muito boa tarde, Galiya apa!  :D

É o seu ratinho pequeno que está a escrever da Portugal de novo! (I´m not sure if this is hundred percent correct, but I´m trying to say: it is your little mouse writing from Portugal again!)

This time I'm going to show you pics on a hiking trip we made onto the westernmost point of the European mainland.  ;)
We went there by a bus from the town of Cascais.

As the westernmost point of the continental Europe (and Eurasian landmass), Cabo da Roca has always been an important point for the sailors.

This is the Cabo da Roca lighthouse, which was built in 1772.

This is the stone erected to point the geographically most western point.
It is a very popular object to become photographed with, so I wanted a photo too!  :stare:

The cliff of the Cabo da Roca is very steep, and it rises about 150 meters from the sea.

The landscapes were absolutely stunning!  :D

Most of the tourists stayed near the memorial stone, but we wanted to see a bit more, and soon we found a small path, which we started to follow towards North.  :) (Yes, we always have a compas with us.)

I saw plants, I had not seen before!
This one originates from the coast of North Africa.
It was brought to Portugal some hundred years ago, and it has since spread along the coastline.  :)

Henna told us that Cabo da Roca was considered a holy place throughout yearthousands.
The archaeologists have found some limestone and bone idols from the Calcolithic era (~3000 bC) from the area, which probably had to do with a cult of the Moon.  :thinking:

To the Romans Cabo da Roca was known as Promontorium Magnum (The Great Cape) and during the Age of Sail as the Rock of Lisbon.

The 16th-century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões described Cabo da Roca as the place "where the land ends and the sea begins" (Portuguese: Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa).

It has often been called also as Finisterre (The Land´s end).

We spotted a stony beach on the root of the cliff, and wanted to go there!
But we didn't know if there was any path leading to it.

It seemed to be so far below us!  :thinking:

I was peeping over the edge of the cliff downwards, while Henna was holding my feet.
I got a bit odd sensation onto my stomach.  :rolleyes:

We were following a promising looking path, hoping it would turn down towards the beach, and Henna was preaching us about the dangers of the steep cliffs and sea and harsh wind and the suddenness of the changing of the tides and what not.  :rolleyes: uuh!


We found some Macrolepiota proceras, or Parasol Mushrooms.  :D
Sadly they were already a bit too old. Otherwise we would have taken them with us and turned them into a delicious dish.

We were still getting nearer the beach!  :)

At least the path started to lead us down!  :)
We were all delighted!

After some time the path turned pretty steep and hard to follow.
I had to use all my four paws, and even my tail to hang on stones or roots or whatnot!

We had to stop to rest every now and then.
I was already thinking of the hard climbing back up, but I didn't say anything, because, well..  there was also many girls in our team, and no one of them said anything either..  :rolleyes:

We were already rather near, phew!  B)

We climbed the last part down with the help of a rope!
Without it it would have been very difficult indeed!

At last we were on the beach!  :p
It was very beautiful spot, with odd rock formations standing on the sea in front of it.

The stones under our paws were all round and smooth, and felt almost soft, polished by the sea during the long years..  :)
Do you think the sea knew that one day little tired toyvoyagers would enjoy the smoothness of the stones?

Here you can see part of the cliff we climbed down!
Can you believe it?
I hardly can myself!  :thinking:

There was a small stream of water running down the cliff on one spot.
This has been a very dry winter, says Henna. Otherwise there would have been a small waterfall.

There was all sorts of interesting debris brought by the sea - fishing nets, buoys and planks, also polished by the water.
It was nice to rummage through them, thinkin of the far away places they could have come from.  :)

[color=green][size=2]We enjoyed the beach, and we were even sunbathing a bit over the smooth rocks, but quite suddenly the sky started to look grey, and the sea didn't look so friendly anymore. It was hissing to us round the stones! :thinking:
Henna said we bettert get up again. Uh huh.


We climbed back up again.
It took much longer time than coming down!  :rolleyes:
I was trying to hide my panting from the girls, who seemed to be climbing up like gazelles!  :thinking:
Maybe I should start to do some gymnastics, what do you think?

Back up again we started to walk slowly back towards the lighthouse, where the busstop is.

I found a wild narcissus on our way.  :)


Somehow the size of everything there made my head feel like I had been in a carousel for a too long time.
Henna advised me to concentrate on small things, like these flowers, to make the carousell in my head to stop. It worked!  :D

Soon we could see the lighthouse again, but we still had to cross two valleys.

I really liked the green hills of Cabo da Roca!
They made us all feel like we had suddenly stepped inside the story of Little Heidi on the Swiss Alps.  :rolleyes:


[color=green][size=2]Soon we were back in the bus again, on our way to home.
I wish you have enjoyed my photos!

See you soon again! Tight hug from

Batyr  :stare:

* Posted Feb 23, 2015, 3:44 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Belém and saying "Good bye", Portugal - 4th March 2015

By: Eohippus

Hello, Galiya apa!  :D

This is my last update from Portugal, and when you read it, I'm already on my way to my new host and new adventures!  :D

On my last day in Portugal I wanted to go to the area of Belém in Lisbon, because I had heard it to be beautiful.  :)

This is the Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery of Belém.
It was classified an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.  :)

The Jerónimos Monastery replaced the church formerly existing in the same place, which was dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém.
Near by was the beach of Restelo, which was a safe anchorage spot for ships, and so the church became the place where seafarers prayed for safe trip and good winds before going to sea.

Vasco da Gama and his men spent the night in prayer there before departing on their expedition to the Orient in 1497.  :thinking:

The construction of the new monastery and church began in 1501, and was completed 100 years later. The building was funded with tax on commerce from Africa and the Orient, equivalent to 70 kilograms  of gold per year.
So the architects were not limited to small-scale plans!  :rolleyes:

This is the South portal.  :rolleyes:
It is 32 metres high and 12 metres wide, extending two stories. It has  gables and pinnacles and many carved figures, for example Henry the Navigator, standing on a pedestal between the two doors.

Above the double door are two scenes from the life of Saint Jerome: on the left, the removal of the thorn from the lion's paw and, on the right, the saints experience in the desert. There are also Madonna (Santa Maria de Belém), archangel Michael and a selection of saints.

I rather like these doors. Couldn't we have similar at home?  :stare:


The construction of the monastery stopped in 1580 with the union of Spain and Portugal, as the building of the Escorial in Spain was now draining away all the allocated funds.

There is nowadays a garden in front of the monastery, and next to it is a planetary and a modern culture center.

We went to walk in the garden.  :)

There was a beautiful fountain, but it was sleeping!  :(

But then it woke up, the water strated to run and look! I managed to catch a rainbow in the pic!  :D


Then we made a little walking trip to the Mula artificial lake.  :)

It was very beautiful there!
The mimosas were in bloom and looked golden under the sun.  :)


We had a little farewell picnic near the lake shore.  :)

After which we took a nap.  :rolleyes:

We saw some horses and sheep.  :)

And ruins of some very odd buildings.  :thinking:

Back at home I made food for everyone.
Did you know I'm such a good cook?  ;)


Then it was time to say good bye to eveyone.
We were hugging each other.
Maybe we will still meet in future somewhere else - who knows!  :D

"Good bye" "Fare well!!"
I roamed to my travel-envelope.  :)

Next time we'll meet in Canada!
Kisses from Batyr!  :stare:

* Posted Mar 4, 2015, 4:03 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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