We had rented the top floor of the tall, yellow house just below the castle walls ( Castelo de Sao Jorge) It had exactly 74 spiral steps leading up to the remodeled apartment. Small balconies , a back patio and skylites gave us unparalleled views of the surrounding city of Lisbon.
The day after our arrival I walked down the cobbled streets and across the flat part of Lisboa called the 'Baixa', then up the hill into the 'Chiado' district ....around the corner to the Faculade de Belas Artes, where the sketching symposium was based. It took about 15-20 minutes, depending on how many times I stopped to take photos! What a lovely way to start the morning.
The sidewalks were a marvel in themselves.....each with a different pattern of black and white cobbles!
Trolley cars went by along the winding tracks and past buildings both sculpted or dressed with tile. ....like pretty packages waiting to be opened!
Looking up, you would often see a collection of plants growing along the roof lines , brought in from the constant winds that cooled the air on a warm July day.
Trolleys were a constant presence clattering up the steep hillside.....
Once down on the flat streets, a view off to the left brought into focus one of
the great plazas ... the Praca do Comercio, with its magnificent arch. At the end of the symposium, this would be the site of the sketch crawl where over 300 sketchers would congregate!
Along the way, the smaller details of the streets would come into focus...small alleys, doorways, balconies, street lanterns....and graffiti! As in many cities around the world, graffiti has become a common sight.....sometimes taking over all the surfaces below 6 feet!
A counterpoint to the graffiti were the occasional tiled panels or 'azulejos', that depicted various historical events.
My final destination was the college...where we all met to break out into the smaller workshops that fanned out across Lisbon.
After a full day of sketching I would often meet my husband and we would discover another wonderful viewpoint over the city before searching for a cafe for a late supper. What an adventure for this 'girl from the country'! Discovering a new city can be pretty exciting.