Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Portugal Day 1

Our first day in Lisbon we went visit the neighborhood of Alfama. While there we toured the Castelo de Sao Jorge. This citadel built in 1100's was turned into a residence for the Portuguese Kings in 1511 by Manuel I. It was partially destroyed during the 1755 earthquake and then partially rebuilt in 1938 but not authentically.

View of the Castelo from the Alfama neighborhood. We took a cab to the gates of the Santa Cruz neighborhood which is within the walls of the castles.

Santa Cruz street leading up to the castle, very narrow cobble stone streets.

Walls outside the castle

Defensive positions along the walls from a later period

King Afonso the First who successfully took Portugal back from the Moors in the 12th century.

This gentleman was playing Portuguese music in the ruined court yard of the palace.

The walk way along the Battlements

View of the city from the castle walls

I am linking this post up to the Home school Field trip hop:)!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Holiday in Lisbon, Portugal - Part 1

This Thanksgiving our family decided to fly to the Continent for the holiday. We love exploring new places and going to Portugal was on my list of places I wanted to visit. So we packed our suitcases and headed to Lisbon.

Once there I realized that I really don't know much about the history of Portugal. I didn't realize that there was an massive earthquake in 1755 that destroyed most of Lisbon and it needed to be rebuilt. I also realized that I didn't know much about Portugal maritime history and Age of Discovery. So for the whole family there was a lot of learning happening on this trip which I will go into in another post:).

For this post I am going to concentrate on the architectural style of the city. Tiles are very prominent throughout the city, on shops, homes, bus stops, palaces, pretty much everywhere you look. Portugal is known for the blue and white tiles know as "Azulejos." Black and white cobble stone streets and sidewalks were everywhere and many had pretty designs. Here are a few of my favorites tiled building and cobble stone streets.

I am linking this post to the Home school Field trip hop

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Art glass work shop

A while ago my children took a art class at a glass studio and we just got our lovely creations back from the firing. Princess had done this once before and enjoyed it so much she wanted to sign up again and do another piece. This time the ladies running the studios agreed to let Little man have a try.

First the kids had to decide on a pattern for the pieces.

Little man chose cars

Princess chose the Phoenix mythical bird

Next they cut out their paper designs.

The children began to use thin pieces of metal to recreate picture design. We had aluminum, brass, copper foil and a few other items to choose from.

The metal foil was then placed between two think pieces of glass.

Princess's before firing

Little Man's piece before firing

The results after firing

Princess also made a few smaller pieces to make necklaces.

If you would like to see more of this style of art work you can see our previous projects here.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Re-enactors market at TORM

This past weekend my family went to a reenactors market. This is the place to go if you are a history buff and and need to purchase "kit" in order to portray your character. There were market stalls going back from Greco-Roman times to the American West.

First stop was for my husband he wanted to find out how much it would cost to buy a longbow and arrows. He wants to learn how to use this weapon sometime in the future. Next stop my husband stopped and purchased his chain mail. He has been waiting 2 years to make this purchase and was super happy to finally own his own chain mail. Isn't this what every modern family needs!

Shoe stalls for all periods

Animal furs mostly sheep and goat. We even saw vellum (the ancient way of treating skin in order to write on it) for sale which was pretty neat to see. If we hadn't bought the chain mail I might have bought this to bring home and try it out;)

Lots of ancient games for sale.

Leather in every color imaginable

Don't want to make your own shield you can buy one:) And after having made one shield in the past we bought a second one:) (a Norman teardrop kite shield like the one in the middle).

Jewelry booth for every period, who knew that certain glass bead were acceptable for certain periods.


Pretty period dresses, this was styled after the Elizabethan period. Why couldn't my husband be interested in this period. I love this dress!!!

Animal horns which can be turned into cups, spoons, hair clips and so much more!

Wig and other hair pieces

Hat for every period and the styles were very interesting to say the least:0


iron cooking items for the fire

Weapons; there were some very scary looking pieces for sale.

We even saw the American West represent in at least 3 stalls. Although I have never seen a reenactment group here, I was told there are a few of them. I think that would be neat to see, going to have to look for one and attend a show:)

This was just a few of the stalls I believe their were almost 200 of them. It was so fun looking thru all the stalls and asking questions. My family walked away with wooden bowls, plates, spoons and horn drinking cups. We also bought chain mail and sheep skin. Somehow in the next few weeks I am suppose to figure out how to sew the sheep skin together and make a bag for the chain mail to be stored in. Skills every modern women needs these day, don't you think:)!

I am linking up to the Home school Field trip hop hope to see you there

Friday, 18 November 2011

Sir Isaac Newton's Childhood Home

Last week we visited Woolsthorpe Manor the childhood home of Sir Isaac Newton. Isaac return to his child hood home during the plague and it is here where he worked on his theories of light and gravity.

Sir Isaac had a rough beginning in life as his father died prior to his birth. He was born prematurely on Christmas Day and not expected to live! His mother remarried but left Isaac at Woolsthorpe where he grow up very lonely and was often bullied by other children due to his unusual ways.

The house, we were not allowed to take pictures inside. Most of the furnishing inside were replicates of the period. The house is not grand but still large for the period.

Right outside the front door is a small apple orchard. It is here that the famous apple tree can be found. And in case you are wondering the type of apple tree it was it is called Flowering Kent Apple tree. In 1820 the tree blew down in a storm, luckily the roots remained strong and it regrow and this is the tree today. There are several descendants of the tree planted around the world, USA, China and in England so should this tree ever die their will be another to carry on its claim to fame:)

View of the house from the orchard

Sign next to the famous apple tree

Front door of the house. Above the entrance is the family crest of the Newton family. It is believed to be two sheep bones as the family were wool merchants.

After touring the house we went to the Science center where the kids could learn more about his experiments.

Separating out the colors of light

Learning about the 3rd law of equal and opposite reaction.

Using prisms to make white light and to separate out the colors of light

Centripetal force

We also learned that there were lots of rivalry among scientist with them often trying to steal one another's work. Sir Isaac Newton was particularly difficult to work with according to other scientists. We have since read that Sir Isaac had large amounts of mercury in his body which may account for some of his strangeness in later years.

We had a fantastic day learning about Sir Isaac Newton and learning all about him. I am linking this post to The Field trip hop

The voting begins via Homeschool Post. Life's Adventure has been nominated for Best Nature/Field trip blog, if you feel so inclined please head over and vote! It is much appreciated:)