Parque Das Nações- Expo
Parque Das Nações is a modern island in the middle of the other traditional and historic city, built as the site of the world fair 1998 expo, it is still widely referred to as exactly that, expo park or just expo by the locals, the entire park is build with an ocean theme as a honour and representation for the 500 year mark since the famous explorer Vasco da Gama arrived in India 1498.
The ocean theme can be seen all throughout the park with a obvious one being the large oceanarium located here, even tho it only got four pools that are all representing four different types of ocean environments, it is one of the worlds largest aquariums and with its clever design so you can walk both over and under the different waters it will give you a a perspective you don’t normally see in an oceanarium.
The ocean theme continuously follow throw the whole park, another clear and beautiful ocean representation is Lisbon’s tallest building “Torre Vasco da Gama” which is built to look like a ship’s mast with raised a sail, a crow’s nest and a flag pole on the top, another being the two apartment blocks standing above the large Vasco da Gama shopping centre, these two buildings represent two of Vasco da Gama’s ships that he used of his epic voyage to India, the Sao Gabriel and the Sao Rafael.
Smaller ocean related statues and water features can be find throughout the site as to bind it all together,
Jardim Garcia d’Orta is a small garden next to the river that even here brings the Age of discoveries in to thought and represent five different countries discovered by Portuguese explorers: Brazil, Goa, Mozambique, Indonesia and Azores. All of the plants and styling of each of the five gardens reflect their country of origin, and many species are non-native to Portugal.
To get a good look of it all from a different side why not jump on one of the cable cars that extend the length of the park and silently floating 30 meters above the famous sites and the river Tagus
One of the most famous site in the area is the Vasco da Gama bridge which was built to ease the traffic on the older 25 de Abril bridge and the traffic through the city center, The build of the bridge started in february 1995 and was when finished the longest bridge in europe and opened to traffic just in time for the world fair 1998, before the opening, the bridge was used to film an tv ad for fairy liquid where tables was set up all over the 12.5 kilometer (7.6 Mile) long bridge and invited 15000 hungry people to feast all along the bridge for fairy to then wash all plates up with one bottle, this event made the guinness world record.
It is easy to get to Parque Das Nações with both trains and busses, metro being the easiest way from the older historic areas of Lisbon, the red metro line stops at the Gare do Oriente station, a sight in itself with its beautiful metal and glass arches reaching 19 meters over the roadland
One important aspect of the station is its link to the urban environment in which it was constructed. The decision to elevate the rail line eliminated a physical barrier between the city and the Tagus River margin.
This impressive station host much more than just trains and busses and you can find art galleries, a underground link to the Vasco da Gama shopping mall and a police station located inside as well.