Lisbon Portugal – The Belem and Tejo River District


It was time for us to join the tour company for further exploration of Lisbon and the sites near the Tagus River (Rio Tejo). Our fist stop was the Coaches Museum. This was quite a unique collection of a variety of coaches used for historical events in Europe.

Not part of the actual collection, but quite interesting was the huge elevator which was able to accommodate dozens of people at a time. Here is our very knowledgeable guide, Paula, commenting on the unusual shape and size of the elevator.


The coach pictured below was fairly typical of the items on display. Notice the photographs projected on the walls. There was as much information as one could want about the various coaches and their history. Some of the more modern vehicles had videos to show them in use. In addition to being modes of transportation, these carriages were distinctive works of art.

An exhibition note found online about the coach below describes it as follows:

Car Infantas

Car of the apparatus used by Infantas (children) D. Maria Francisca (later D. Maria I), D. Maria Ana, D. Maria Francisca Doroteia and D. Maria Francisca Benedita, daughters of King D. José I.


Read more about the coaches Museum HERE (click the EXPLORE button to see additional coaches and their history – some descriptions are in Portuguese)

A short ride by bus took us to the Monastery of St Jerome, one of the major attractions and UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Belem district (west Lisbon).

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos was built along the Tagus River and completed around 1600. King Manuel I decided to build a monastery in honor of the Virgin Mary and as gratitude for one of its premiere explorer’s, (Vasco de Gama), successful expedition to India. Precious commodities from Africa, Asia and South American expeditions plus spice trade taxes mainly subsidized the monastery’s construction.
via The World Is A Book

Vasco da Gama and his crew reportedly slept at the Monastery prior to leaving for their voyage to India.

The south portal (pictured below with the statue of Our Lady of Bethlehem) is perhaps one of the most stunning features of the monastery. It was designed by Spanish Architect João de Castilho (also known as Juan de Castillo). There is an abundance of sculptured filigree, statues of saints, noted historical figures and fine details. It is hard to believe that this is not the main door, however this is where visitors were entering the building on the day we visited.


The details on the outside of the building were not the only impressive architectural element of the monastery. The vaulted ceilings of the attached Church of Santa Maria de Belem were massive, interwoven stone and masonry webs. It is an amazing and impressive structure bringing to mind descriptions from Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth.


There is ample artwork to impress visitors as well. The alcoves were covered with paintings, statues and icons along with gold and silver ornamentation.


This old, blemished wall looked its age and was a good foil for the stained glass window of the Virgin Mary.


Perhaps the most famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, is entombed in the Monastery of St. Jerome.


This is a very popular site and there are often long lines so travelers should plan accordingly.


Not far from the Monastery is the Tejo or Tagus River. There are a number of sites to be seen along this waterway. The Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge spans the Tagus River. Visitors may notice the similarity in constuction to San Francico’s Golden Gate Bridge

In the Alameda district across from Lisbon is another impressive attraction, the Cristo Rei Statue which is reminiscent of Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Those so inclined can walk across the bridge or take public transportation to within walking distance of the statue.


Along the waterfront is the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) which pays homage to the brave Portuguese explorers and navigators who risked their lives to find new lands and resources. There is a park-like area with the stylized pavements and decorative inlays.


People can mount the monument to get a closer look at the artwork, nearby boats and the waterway.


The main statue pays tribute to Prince Henry the Navigator who played a major role in the Portuguese Age of Discovery. Other statues call forth images of Vasco da Gama and Magellan among others.


Read previous posts about our adventures traveling in Portugal and Spain:

Portugal – Alfama District, Lisbon Part 1

Portugal – Alfama District, Lisbon Part 2

Portugal – Lisbon Streets & Garden


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Photography: Videos – Landscape Hints and Ideas

There are many, many videos on the Internet related to almost every aspect of photography ranging from the technical to the artistic and abstract and everything in between. One field of photography in which I have a strong interest is landscape photography and hobbyists can spend days on end watching nothing but videos about landscape photography.

I have seen dozens over the years and I want to highlight the two resources below because I feel they are especially well done and they have worthy ideas that may be new for many.

My TOP 5 best TIPS for composition in Landscape Photography
by Mads Peter Iversen

Mads Peter Iversen offers his most important tips for successful landscape photography. What I liked about this 16:35 video is that Mads not only offers his ideas, but then he demonstrates what he wishes to convey by showing examples. This makes it immensely useful!

Here are his five areas of concentration in the video below:

  • Focal point
  • Leading lines
  • Brightness, contrast and faces
  • Balance
  • Elements within the frame and the need for “breathing room”

Simple IDEAS for CREATIVE outdoor photography
by Nigel Danson

From the YouTube page:

The possibilities in photography are endless. Landscape photography is no different. Whatever the light or location you can get great images. In this video I talk a bit more about getting creative with out of focus elements and intentional camera movement ICM. And preview the ICELAND series coming soon….

See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site HERE showcasing a number of landscape photographs.



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Pickleball Video: Dink Disguise for Hard Drive Surprise

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports, offers a hint to help catch our opponents off guard.

While watching the video, also notice how Mark uses his whole body to execute the dink. The movement is subtle, but his legs and torso give a motion of “lift” to the paddle/ball.

Another good hint he provides is to use a short back swing to help keep the shot soft.

Sepaking of dinking, here’s another hint. Many players already know this, but just in case…

I hope this helps with some new ways to think about the dink!


More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

2017 US Open Pickleball Championships Televised

According to word from, the 2017 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships held in Naples, FL will be broadcast on television as per the following…

On CBS Sports Channel (221 Direct TV)
May 19 8pm ET, 5/26 8pm ET (2 shows)
Repeat 5/26 7pm ET, 5/26 11pm ET

Check your local listings for CPS Sports

For those who want a “teaser,” here are a couple of videos including some of the venues and highlights from the tournament.

Highlights from the 2017 US Open Pickleball Championships

Look for an amazing between the legs shot somewhere between 1:06 – 1:07
[ Don’t try this at home! ]

2017 US Open Pickleball Championships Open Air Arena

It is gratifying to see our sport portrayed in such a professional manner.

Pickleball Paddle Repair – Re-Grip and Over Grip

One would think that a pickleball paddle needs little attention and that day-in and day-out it just works the way it was intended to work and basically this is true, but there are a couple of things to consider about maintaining your paddle. One item which may need some care is the grip. Just think about how many times you might grip and re-grip that paddle. Consider how much perspiration might be shed onto that paddle over time.

It is only logical then, that whatever material the paddle grip is made of will change texture, thickness and perhaps position over time. If your paddle grip is slipping or slippery, perhaps it is time to get an overgrip. An overgrip is one that goes on top of the existing grip and sometimes they are made of materials designed to keep the moisture collecting on the handle to a minimum to avoid slippage.

NOTE – If your paddle feels just large/wide enough with the grip you already have, then you wouldn’t want an overgrip and perhaps replacing the grip with a different material is the solution (see replacement videos below). Of course these can all be done by some sporting good stores that carry pickleball supplies, etc., but it is something that can be done “at home” by most average players with relative ease.

The videos below demonstrate the various techniques involved.

Add an Overgrip

(to an Existing Grip)

How to over-grip your pickleball paddle’s existing grip — with Mark Renneson

How to over-grip your pickleball paddle’s existing grip — Jennifer Lucore and Bob Youngren

Changing the Grip Completely

(with a New Grip)


How to Change a Replacement Grip on your pickleball paddle — Jennifer Lucore and Bob Youngren

How to Change a Replacement Grip on your pickleball paddle — Neil Friedenberg

Are you ready to get a grip?