A WALK TO ALFAMA AND FADO IN THE EVENING

April 21, 2015

Our first full day in Lisbon started out with a brilliant sunny morning. This Portuguese city is known as the city of seven hills and we were staying on the seventh hill. We were going to explore the Alfama area and were escorted by a long time Flickr.com friend, a commercial and travel photographer. We stopped off first at Bairro Alto Park with its stunning fountain and a magnificent view of the city below.

fountain in Bario Alta the 7th hill

There was a beautiful early light in the park with long deep shadows stretching out across the decorative concourse. We shared the park with a few joggers getting an early morning workout and a gaggle of tourists enjoying the view and a refreshing splash from the fountain.

strolling

We strolled along the narrow streets with no real purpose, aimlessly exploring the various neighborhood.

ruin

We passed the Ruins of the Carmo Church that was distorted, along with almost the entire city of Lisbon, in the earthquake of 1755.

looking down

We watched the tourists and locals negotiate the walkways that traversed the hills leading to the low parts of the city.

public laundry

We came upon a community laundry where a space has been set aside for those in the area without washing machines. Anyone is allowed to bring their wash to this launderette and though there is no dryer, they are able to use the lines strung along the cobbled area for drying their wet laundry.

looking down onto the river

A view from above the Tejo, a brackish river that runs from the Atlantic ocean and through Portugal, then continuing to flow up into Spain.

boys and soccer ball

I wondered what it was like for kids to live in such a stair-step environment with so little in the way of yards to play in. But these boys demonstrated that they could tuck a soccer ball under an arm and head off in search of a flat field to kick around a ball.

girls in angel alley

And I saw these little girls along side an alley of angels playing and talking and laughing like all girls

lunch

During our travels through this labyrinth of steps and confusing streets we stopped at a small eatery to have a typical lunch that might be enjoyed by the locals; fried eels, fried sardines, a salad of octopus, garbonzo beans and tomatoes, and a tomato salad with onions marinated in vinegar.

a shot of coffee

And to finish off our meal a delicious cup of strong coffee.

fado singer

Then that evening we had dinner at a local restaurant that also had Fado, a typical Portuguese form of folk music with a 12 string guitar and soulful singing. The lyrics are sometimes political, sometime satirical and sometimes mournful or sexually charged, but regardless of our not understanding the language, it is always delightful and entertaining.

fado musicians

The restaurant had delicious local dishes, and with the rustic atmosphere of peeling paint and the vintage environment, we could have believed we’d been transported back to another time.

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9 Responses to A WALK TO ALFAMA AND FADO IN THE EVENING

  1. Jeri on April 21, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Your photos are like “eyes” into an old and very beautiful city. It reminds me of the history we share and don’t share; the graceful remnants of another era. Thanks for sharing your trip and vision. Have a wonderful trip.

  2. Ann Saari on April 21, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Beautiful pictures and words as always, Margaret. You make me want to travel everywhere you go.

  3. ssermoneta on April 21, 2015 at 7:35 am

    A wonderful beginning to your trip – gorgeous photographs. And I feel like I’m enjoying walking, listening, eating along with you. Enjoy!

  4. thelma straw on April 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I agree with all the above comments. tjstraw

  5. Robin Lettieri on April 21, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Looks beautiful. Have a great time. Great photos.

  6. Sharon on April 21, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Thank you for sharing. What an interesting area to visit, it is like you have been transported back in time. As always great pictures.

  7. Pam Williams on April 21, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Looks like you got off to a great start! The lunch looked wonderful!

  8. Joel Nethery on April 21, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Lovely post Margaret. Thank you for sharing your adventures!

  9. Toddi on April 22, 2015 at 10:26 am

    This will be an amazing trip for the two of you. No can hardly wait for the next post of your adventures. I love traveling with you!

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