12-08-20 HOff to Portugal we go looking for this week’s travel theme challenge – illuminated.

On our final evening of this trip two years ago, Hubby and I sat at an outdoor table on Praca de Commercio (Trade Square) in Lisbon. For the first time since our arrival in Portugal the wind coming off the sea had turned cool. Perhaps a sign to bid farewell to Europe after our amazing adventure. (We actually had a sign earlier in the day that it was time to get back to a healthy routine when we found ourselves ordering a pre-lunch snack of Portuguese pastries and beer….and thinking it was a totally reasonable thing to do at 11:30 in the morning!)

At the edge of this massive square, the setting sun silhouetted the statue of King Jose I. On his horse, Jose sits triumphantly facing the sea in the middle of the square, as if he just trotted through Lisbon’s Arch of Triumph which stands at the back of the open area.

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King Jose is credited with assigning the rebuilding of Lisbon post earthquake to Marques de Pombal. Pombal was a guy who got things done to be sure, rather ruthlessly truth be told, but fast, efficient and earthquake proof. Jose meanwhile headed for the suburbs. The Royal Palace had crumbled on this very spot  during the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and the King would live the rest of his days nervously in a wooden home in the area of Belem where buildings had withstood the earth’s shaking.

For more photos and a summary of this Spanish Portuguese adventure click on Abracadabra.