Sometimes visiting a new place doesn’t always go as planned. My visit to the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, was both wonderful and terrible. On the positive, we rented a delightful little apartment off Airbnb for next to nothing, right in the heart of old town Lisbon. What I did get to see of Lisbon was fascinating, a very unique city filled with quirks and old school charm. On the flip side, my traveling companions and I spent most of the time sick in bed, so our exploration of the city was limited to a few expeditions outside of our apartment. One day, when I had regained my strength, I decided to indulge in a breathe of fresh air and I spend a day solely sojourning the streets of Lisbon. It led me to a series of photographs and musings on my findings and feelings toward this place. So here is my photo diary and journal reflection from my time in Lisbon:
Lisbon, such a pleasantly peculiar place. Some buildings colored like summery fruits. Limes, lemons, peaches. Others covered in kitschy living room wallpaper. Peeling, cracking, fading.
Terra cotta roofs. Cobblestone paths. Wrought Iron balconies. Tram tracks. The occasionally burst of foliage hanging out of a window. Or a line of washing. Church bells ringing hourly. Then the streets fall silent. The occasional stir from a cat or dog. The rumble of a car engine.
Down the back streets, not a single soul roams. Only on occasion does a local stick their head out the window, checking for lurkers, wanting to rid of anything that will disrupt the sanctity of the place. An outsider in this city. Curious stares from passersby. A lone girl with her camera, sitting cross-legged on the side of an alleyway. Colourful masterpieces of graffiti burst out over derelict buildings, disguising their abandonment. Re-inventing the old.Explosions of colour appear around the place, delighting the eyes with visual stimulation that are not commonly found among the monotonous array of tones featured in most cities.
The sunset. Soft hues of magenta and cyan, contrasted with the golden ball of light that silhouettes the bridge. Lapping waves. A crescent moon. Happiness. A moment of serenity.
Illness, overtaking the experience. A sadden feeling washes over as day after day is spent inside, leaving a city unexplored. Still grabbing every moment, appreciating ever sight, taking in every smell, enjoying every taste when the body allowed it. Mind over matter.
An escape to Cascais, a seaside town conspicuous in charm and feelings of sentiment. Swirling patterns in it’s cobbled pathways, colorful street art strewn across aging walls, palm trees paired with brightly colored buildings.
The beach. Cold, crystal clear water. A last chance to bask in the sun, to turn those rays in to golden, sun kissed skin. Afternoon light falls, and suddenly everything becomes magical. The carousel turns hues of gold and amber, the grass and poppies shimmer in the sunlight. Children dance around the park like pixies. We lie on the grass, watching the world go by in a state of contentment. An ideal day in a not-so-ideal week.