A Few Blocks in Lisbon Offer a Glorious Microcosm

Walking a few blocks in Lisbon is a glorious microcosm of life. In this sense, it is like Manhattan. Never boring, always changing if only just the people who walk by.


The vibe is professional, blue-collar, touristy, lingering and lazy, and just plain alive.


The city moves—moves under the rhythm of feet, cars, trolleys, trains, subways, skateboards, people movers, hoverboards, and who knows what else.


I didn’t walk far away from the Avenida da Liberdade and the Botanical Garden next to the Hotel Lisboa Plaza to find a bustling world not unlike San Francisco.


Not only does Lisbon have a bridge built by the same architect who designed the Golden Gate Bridge, but it also has trolley cars of two kinds—one for very steep hills and another for the more typical hilly terrain native to Lisbon.



There is a particular kind of trolley car made for the especially steep hills of Lisbon like this one.


Though Lisbon is a beautiful city, graffiti is ubiquitous even on the trolley cars. Strangely, somehow it all works.


The city moves—moves under the rhythm of feet, cars, trolleys, trains, subways, skateboards, people movers, hoverboards, and who knows what else. The sidewalks on most of the streets are quite narrow, and you must stay aware of traffic and other pedestrians.


A man sells his art on one of Lisbon's many plazas.


A view of Lisbon and Sao Jorge's Castela (Castle) from one of Lisbon's plazas.


The tiled facades of the homes and apartment buildings are wonderful and so different than what we see in the United States. According to our guide Bruno, Portugal did especially well at adopting beauty from many cultures to create what is now typical Portuguese culture.


The tiled facades of the homes and apartment buildings are wonderful (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)



I am having a hard time reconciling how happy things can appear like all of the yellow buildings Lisboans tend to favor with the sadness I have felt within the people themselves. Perhaps I will understand it more as time goes on.


Lisboans tend to favor yellow-colored homes (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)


Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris


Eventually, all roads lead back to the Avenida da Liberdade. I spent a lot of time on the Liberdade walking to one of the main hubs of the city—Parque Eduardo VII, where a towering statue stands in the middle of a very busy roundabout. It is so central, that many tourist buses leave from this location.


In one of the main hubs of the city—Parque Eduardo VII, a towering statue stands in the middle of a very busy roundabout.


I made my way to the statue several days to take Schpilker, our wire fox terrier, to Chrysalena—her wonderful doggy daycare provider. Chyrsalena has a heart of gold. Check her out on petbacker.com.



Our doggy daycare provider, Chrysalena has a heart of gold (Photos by Chrysalena on petbacker.com)


In my initial blog entry, I stated that I would be discussing the poetry of Fernando Pessoa, the most famous poet of Portugal. Unfortunately, on my way to Lisbon, I lost the book. I have registered it as lost with two airports, but so far no one has turned it in.


If someone stole it—more power to them. For if you are going to steal anything, it might has well be a poetry book for reflection and beauty.


Until I write again, adeus.






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