Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A day at Parques das Nacoes in Lisbon

I think I've been putting off writing about our day at Parques das Nacoes in Lisbon for a few weeks simply because it's probably my last post about our Portugal trip and I just don't want the fun to end. But alas, there are more trips on the horizon this spring that promise to be just as wonderful. So out with the old, in with the new... We had a lovely few hours at this redeveloped part of the city, so I'll mostly let the photos tell you all about it.


We spent our morning at the Oceanario de Lisboa, which claims to be the second largest aquarium in the world. Naturally, the boys loved it. What's not to like about giant tanks of sea life?

But my husband and I appreciated the flow of the place (no pun intended). We've been to a few aquariums as a family by now, and this one stood out to us for its organization. It's divided into four main habitats (Antartic, Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans) but with a large central aquarium symbolizing that there's really just one big ocean on Earth. I came away with a better understanding of these separate, yet connected, ecosystems.

(Sorry to the cleaning staff at the Oceanario for all the finger prints. I tried to stop him, but it was a losing battle.)

Our favorite memory was the feedings we saw. And there's a fun superhero aquarium mascot called Vasco, who has his own model home/play area as your tour of the tanks comes to an end. A good spot to burn off some energy and learn about water conservation.


Next it was on to the Telecabine ride. We noticed them when we were walking into the aquarium and I thought it would be fun to get a new perspective of Lisbon.

Big Arrow really wanted lunch first, though, and was poised to make our ride miserable. Four-year-olds on an empty stomach are not pretty. Fortunately the view turned his rotten mood right around (I took these photos about 15 seconds apart).

 We enjoyed the ride quite a bit. It's hard to beat being hundreds of feet above such a pretty city (unless you're afraid of heights, I suppose!)

We decided to only take it one-way, which was plenty for us (and cheaper), and it put us closer to the train station where we needed to be to get back to our apartment anyway.

Parques das Nacoes is a good way of taking in modern Lisbon. And if you're tired of pushing a stroller up and down all those steep hills in the older parts of the city, you'll love its relatively flat and smooth surface. I'm always game for easy stroller pushing. In fact, that's how I would summarize our whole day there: easy. Which isn't always the case when traveling with a 2- and 4-year-old.

This post is a part of Friday Postcards at Walking on Travels.