The Monument to the Discoveries is today as just as much a part of the Belem landscape as the nearby Hieronymites Monastery (the ‘Mosteiro dos Jerónimos’ as it is known in Portuguese), the ornate Manueline structure which is today classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Casa das Historias Paula Rego - the ‘Paula Rego Houses of Stories’ - is an eye-catching centre for the display and appreciation of contemporary art in Cascais, 30km (20 miles) from Lisbon.
Portugal’s history, like that of all nations, is peppered with significant dates. The 1st November 1755, for example, is infamous as the day the Great Earthquake struck, resulting in fires and tidal waves that destroyed much of Lisbon and wreaked significant damage on a several other towns and cities.
Over recent years Greece has taken a lot of stick about the way it has managed its economy. For all the shortcomings regarding macroeconomic management, Greeks certainly know how to be outstanding hosts and make their guests feel welcome.
My legs feel weak and heart is thumping. Vikki looks into my eyes and offers calm words of encouragement; she’s come to rescue me from the practice loop of the ropes course at Tree Top Adventure, near Betws-y-Coed in North Wales.
If you’ve seen films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Reader, Inglourious Basterds, or Around The World in 80 Days then you’ve already caught glimpses of Goerlitz, Germany’s most easterly city.
Think of Greek holiday islands and it’s normally the likes of Kos, Crete and Rhodes that spring to mind. Ammouliani, in Greece’s Halkidiki region, is, by comparison, far smaller and much quieter.
Standing on deck, on one of the pleasure boats that criss-cross the shipping lanes of the river Elbe during harbour tours, the cool maritime breeze and sunlit waterfront skyline make me conscious of the understated allure of Hamburg.