Sunday, January 22, 2012

USS Bataan Visits Lisbon

The USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, is visiting Lisbon these days.  On Friday, she steamed past our base on her way up the mouth of the Tagus river, and work pretty much came to a standstill until she disappeared from sight.  She's not as big as the Eisenhower, which visited last year, but she's an imposing sight, nonetheless.

Yesterday Americans in the area were treated to tours by the ship's crew.  They were very gracious and friendly, despite the fact that, were they not showing us around, they would probably have been able to be on shore liberty.
The stern of the ship is open and can be flooded, so that these enormous hovercraft can be deployed.
Looking forward over the flight deck, you can see the osprey aircraft.  Beyond them the Cristo Rei statue presides over the Setubal Peninsula.
Here, the ship's superstructure makes a frame for Lisbon's Panteão Nacional.

It was such a nice day that I did some walking around Lisbon after the ship tour.  I took a lot of photos of the scenes I want to paint in the Al Fama quarter, which is characterized by narrow alleys and old buildings.

While I was walking around, I couldn't help noticing all the young Americans from the Bataan.  They weren't drawing attention to themselves, but they were unmistakable.  There were three eating at the little hole in the wall restaurant where I had lunch.  They were very quiet and polite, and they wanted to eat authentic Portuguese food, which made the proprietor happy.  They made me feel proud, for some reason, so I secretly paid for their meals before I resumed my walk.

1 comment:

Ran said...

WOW. Thanks Steven!