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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wandering through Lisbon - unexpected encounters

I spent a few days in Lisbon last week, soaking up some much needed sun and meeting friends and family. It's always a pleasure to go back to this beautiful city with its old charm, friendly inhabitants and (usually) great weather.

I arrived on Thursday in the early afternoon and set out to do one of my favourite things: wander around aimlessly, see where I end up. The call of my stomach being quite strong, I stopped at this place called Cister for lunch.

There was a football game on one TV screen, a telenovela on another. Welcome to Portugal! :D
I somehow ended up near Príncipe Real where I saw this fascinating building. The sketch doesn't do it justice at all, but it was really beautiful.

I particularly liked the cupolas with the spikes.
 After a while, I noticed that there was an unusual amount of activity, specially in the areas of Chiado and Baixa where most shops are. Apparently I had chosen the day of the annual Vogue Fashion's Night Out to arrive.

Shops were open until late at night and there were concerts and special offers all over the city. Lisbon was buzzing with activity and excitement and there were beautiful people everywhere.

Some elegant gentleman took a picture of me while I was sketching this
I was planning to go people watching and sketching after dinner at a restaurant called Relicário near my hotel, but I got side-tracked by my friendly neighbours, a group of jolly elderly people from Bermuda.

They were Portuguese descendants and were on their first trip to explore their ancestor's original country. They were very curious about how you said things in Portuguese and I was happy to teach them a little.

I was bemused that one of their surnames was Da Silva, my mother's maiden name. I like the idea that if we were to dig far enough in the past, we would discover that we are related. The world is so small after all.

They loved my sketch and even paid for my dinner
The following day I was meeting Eduardo Salavisa and some other sketchers from Lisbon in the afternoon. I had some time to sketch the elevador da Lavra on my way to our meeting.

I love to stumble upon one of these cute yellow fellows
More on that in my next post.