Since Belem is Portuguese for Bethlehem it seemed appropriate to go there on Christmas Eve.  Other than everyone wishing us Bom Natal, it was too sunny to feel like the season.

There is a beautiful church and monastery there.

The far end of the monastery houses the Maritime museum.  Even knowing something of the early Portuguese explorers, I got a new sense of the depth of their involvement with the sea.  At the end of the exhibition are the fancy royal barges for sailing on the broad river.

Belem itself is a charming small town right on the water with lovely parks.  Great place to hang out.