Sunday, August 14, 2011

Time Travels....LISBON, Part One

Time got away from me this Summer! In June we traveled back East to my 45th Cornell reunion and enjoyed the beautiful campus in Ithaca, New York. And just recently we returned from a wonderful trip to Portugal so that I could attend a three day sketching symposium in Lisbon. Between these two trips, and a few local excursions, we have accumulated thousands of photographs between us, and I've filled numerous sketchbooks! Once we got back, catching up with our normal home, garden, and vineyard chores hasn't given me much free time to spend blogging ... but here I am ... anxious to share all the wonderful sights that we saw while they are still fresh in my mind.

There are many stories to tell about Lisbon... hills .... cobbles ... trolley cars ...graffiti ... patterns ...color and light! Traveling around the compact city was an adventure! To negotiate the many hills within the city is a challenge.... steep cobbled streets and stepped pedestrian walkways are everywhere, but the most amazing solution are several huge exterior 'Elevadors' that connect people to the upper and lower areas of the city! One  of the most elaborate is the 'Justa Elevador', a 150 ft tall tower designed in 1902 by a student of Gustav Eiffel.

From the top viewing platform you can see many areas of the city, including Praca do Rossio, a large square with undulating patterns of black and white cobbles and a beautiful fountain. This was one of the areas where many of us met to sketch the urban scene.

One day my husband and I took both trolley and subway across town to the famous Gulbenkian Museum and gardens. Completed in the 1960's, the museum complex is known for it's outstanding modern architecture and garden....not to mention the wonderful displays of art and artifacts.

The garden contained flowing paths that wound through dense plantings of grasses, groundcovers, trees and water. I loved the simple, but bold  umbrella 'discs' that were interspersed along the pathways!

Large sculptures, such as this woven basket that was big enough to enter and move around in, were placed along the way.

Huge colorful pillows  for people to lounge on were placed under this tent of brightly colored fabric strips....

Several meandering water streams culminate in a large pond  that edges one of the two modern buildings.

Once inside the museum, views to the outer garden were softened with woven window coverings, making the garden appear as an  impressionist painting.

It was the perfect adventure on a hot day in Lisbon!
For more info on the Urban sketchers, and to see some of the wonderful sketches that were produced, go to our blog.

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