“The day was already hot, with a dark-blue sky and one of those shining festival suns that inflame the stones in the street, gild the dull dust in the air, throw mirror-like sparkles on to windows and give to all the city that white, chalk-like glitter, monotonously alive and implacable, that tires and somewhat saddens the soul in the slow summer hours.”
—Eça de Queirós, “The Maias,”
1888, trans. by Patricia Pinheíro and Ann Stevens.
|She has packed her bags, they are on the path for adventure this next fortnight. First stop is Lisbon - they have never been. A friendly gentleman on the plane tells them what not to miss, insisting they visit Pasteis de Belém. After arriving, they drop off their satchels and begin to explore. Climbing tall mosaic hills, the pair makes sure to pause at “les miradouros” - the viewpoints - to fully appreciate how far they’ve come. Making their way towards the city’s center, she runs her hands along the decorative tiles that blanket the walls. The streets form a maze of passageways camouflaged by beautiful bougainvillea and fresh laundry floating in the light breeze. At the day’s end, they refresh from their first adventure with a cool glass of vino verde.
Each tranquil day begins to melt into the next. One morning, as she sits down to sketch, melancholy Fado music gently drifts through the air. She recently unearthed an old black and white photograph depicting a woman bringing in freshly caught fish, and decides to draws her interpretation of the moment through lines, dots, and dabs. Her paint-set and watercolor papers have been well-used on this journey, helping her capture the city’s endless mosaic cobblestones and tie-dye sky.
He grabs her hand as they stroll and then pauses, pulling her into a small shop, Conserveira de Lisboa. Its shelves are filled to the brim with small tin packages wrapped in vintage illustrations. They begin to choose their favorites, stocking their basket for tomorrow’s adventure.
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