Building Finale

The final building I sketched in Portugal, the Igreja dos Congregados, while leaning up against the Porto train station on a very narrow footpath, with continual foot traffic going past and the odd person asking for money.

bluechurch

The Porto train station is a spectacular building with hand painted individual tiles to depict historic scenes.

train station

Goodbye, Portugal. You have been amazing and I toast you.

toast

Red, Yellow and Blue

In Sintra, not far from Lisbon, there is a magical, fairy tale-like palace, the Pena Palace.  They must have had so much fun building this outlandish, fantastical and ornate palace.  It is a must see but I strongly, strongly, strongly advise that you get there as soon as it opens.  Our tour group arrived at 9 am and we were basically able to walk straight in but on our way out, we were aghast to see the queue and there were hundreds more joining the queue for the two hour wait, in addition to another queue lower down, to buy a ticket to enter the grounds to join the two-hour queue to get into the palace.

PenaPlalace
Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
Penna Palace2
Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

After visiting the Pena Palace, we stopped at Cascais before heading to Europe’s westernmost point, Cabo da Roca. At Cascais, I drew this bright red building. I had to get back on the bus before I could paint it, so it was painted at the hotel.

Cascais building
The Loja Das Meias
Cascais 1
Photo taken from where I was standing to draw the Loja Das Meias

While waiting at the Santa Apolonia Station in Lisbon, to catch a train to Coimbra, Portugal, this bright blue building caught my eye.  So I drew it and was able to partly paint the picture before I had to board the train (I can’t understand why the train didn’t want to wait for me to finish my painting??! :-/ ).

trainstationbuilding

I like the yellow colour next to the bright blue.  I’ve painted a red, yellow and blue building in Portugal.  I wonder which colour is next?!

Thanks for visiting and take care.

Early morning discovery

Went for a wander early in the morning in Dubai before the heat set in and heading to the airport and came across the Garhoud Mosque.

My sketch of the mosque.

Some more discoveries.  I thought this collection of cranes looked cool.

On the trains in Dubai, you see such a variety of dress, races and cultures. It is all so seamless, ladies dressed in full black burqas, white, black, beige or colourful hijabs, colourful saris, Arabian white robes, western clothes and nobody stops to have a second look.  It’s such a good example of acceptance and respect that countries around Dubai should aspire to.

Thanks for visiting.  I’m off to explore Lisbon, Portugal!

An Eventful Train Ride

My ride from Vancouver to Edmonds, USA (a suburb in Seattle) was quite memorable.  The train was scheduled to leave Vancouver at 5:30pm.  When it got closer to 6pm, it was announced that the brand new locomotive wasn’t communicating to the older control system, so the train was going to be turned around and they will drive the train to Seattle using the back locomotive.  So, we travelled to Seattle backwards.  All our seats were facing forward but now they were backwards, which didn’t matter much because it wasn’t long before it was dark and you couldn’t see the passing scenic views.  The seats were comfortable and spacious.  Heaps of leg room compared to flying!

When travelling, the cars on the tracks do sway quite a bit and I found it difficult for painting or drawing, but I did this quick sketch of the passenger sitting across from me.

trainPNG

When we arrived at the US/Canadian border, at the Peace Arch, the American border guards came on board to collect train passengers’ Declaration documents and sight passports.  When a border guard collected the man’s, sitting across from me, Declaration card, they asked him what kind of meat is he bringing into the country?  He answered, “what do you mean?”  The border guard answered, “you’ve ticked meat on your Declaration card.”  He replied, “oh, that was my meat sandwich! I ate it.”  That was rather funny.

About an hour out from Edmonds, the train came to a screeching halt.  An announcement was made reporting that “we have a situation”.  I immediately thought that there might have been a person on the tracks.  Many train drivers suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this type of extremely distressing situation.  Thankfully, after a while, they announced that there was somebody on the track but they were able to stop in time and he was not injured in any way.  We waited for the police to come and safely remove him, did a brake check and then we were on our way again.  I was really amazed that we were able to stop in time, with presumably one less braking system when travelling with one non-functioning locomotive, and with the diminished visibility with the darkness.

The train arrived in Edmonds, without further incidences, an hour late.  Despite the delays, I prefer travelling from Vancouver to Seattle by train than plane.