50 year snowfall
January 29, 2006
We woke up to pouring rain which confirmed it would be a museum day today. One of the great things about Portugal is most of the museums are free on Sundays. Once the rain turned to a sprinkle we hit the streets to walk to the Museu Calauste Gulbenkian. We were caught in the a complete down pour on our walk and had to find shelter for twenty minutes as our little umbrella wasn't doing the job to cover both of us. We continued on and the sun began to peak out as we entered the museum. The Calouste Gulbenkian museum, named after the filthy rich petroleum magnate, is Gulbenkian's collection of art he assembled in the four decades as a collector. The 6000 pieces cover various periods of the history of art, from classical and Oriental Antiquity to European art of the twentieth century. Tina was quite fond of the velvet rugs from Persia while I enjoyed the Greek coins and the Abukir medallions. As we began to leave the museum we were halted by the down pour of rain once again. We decided to wait it out inside, on the nice comfy chairs, in the museums common area. We passed the time by watching the rain and at one point I swore I saw flakes of snow mixed in with the rain. Our cleaning lady told me yesterday it doesn't snow in Lisbon so I shrugged off the idea. With the rain not letting up and with the next museum, the Centro De Arte Moderna, close we decided to quickly walk over there. While walking through the Modern Art museum we looked out the windows and there was definitely snow mixed in with the rain. All the locals were running outside or staring out the windows. We later found out it hasn't snowed in Lisbon for 50 years. The museum had a few good pieces but we thought most of it was crap.
Later in the evening we went to the Centro Cultural De Belém to attend the Ballet Nacional De Espana
. The is a ballet with an emphasis on Flamenco dance and music. The show began with showcasing a Folk style of Flamenco and was a little slow in the excitement department. After the intermission however, the full on Flamenco show began and WOW! We were both blown away by the performance. The intimate Flamenco performance we went to in Seville was nice, but this was a first rate show. I can't praise this show enough. We would recommend this show to anyone.
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