Spring in Lisbon: Grato

The above was created by a street artist who comes from Ireland and has been living in Lisbon for 1 1/2 years. He painted “grato” which means “thankful” or “grateful” in Portuguese and has a similar meaning in old Irish. When I spoke to him about the word, we understood what it meant for both of us.

Two weeks ago I enjoyed my first trip outside of the Lisbon District since the first lockdown last April. It was a joy to be on a train, watching the landscape change from urban Lisbon to the landscape of olive trees and grapevines of the Alentejo.

My stop along the line was Evora, the first town I wanted to explore when arriving in Portugal and I was finally there.

I went to see the ruins of a Roman temple, the aqueduct and the walls around the old town of Evora. It still amazes me to see the reach of the Roman Empire along the Mediterranean Sea to Spain and Portugal. 

Templo Romano

One of the gates to the Old Town of Evora

The walled old town of Evora

First a coffee in the main square, Praça do Giraldo, before taking a walk though the old town.

They called this an Americano.

During my walk, I noticed that the majority of houses and shops were white with blue or yellow accent colors, particularly around the windows and doors. I was told the yellow is to ward off bad spirits and the blue to ward off flies. Some say the blue works for the insects but the jury is still out on the yellow.

Below is the entrance to Pateo, a pleasant restaurant on a large patio where I had lunch.

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This is Pousada dos Loios which at one time was a convent. I didn’t go in but the website shows a beautiful pool area. I imagine the interior is stunning.

There is also the University of Evora which was refounded in 1979.

Evora, Portugal

Evora is a comfortable train ride from Lisbon and an interesting day trip.

There are also some very nice shops in Evora.

O Cesto is one of those ‘must see’ shops.

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There is also a shop in Evora that sells beautiful handmade bags by people in the Alentejo.

There were many to choose from, all at very good prices. I finally decided on this bag and love it.

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Before leaving Evora, I took photos of some of the tile work at the train station.

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My next day trip was to Belem to visit the Jerónimos Monastery.

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The Monastery is a good example of what is termed Maueline architecture. Some refer to it as Late Gothic or Portuguese Late Gothic. I think of it as the Rococo of the Renaissance period. Whatever you want to use as a term, this style is unique to Portugal and quite beautiful.

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It is very ornamental and one can appreciate the detail on a column or an arch.

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The monastery was built in the 16th century and has been deemed a National Monument and is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

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A ceiling detail.

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A wall tile detail

From the monastery you can head to the river, going through a large park, and walk along the riverfront. There are some very good restaurants on this wide walkway and I suggest at least enjoying a coffee while watching people walk by in this large expanse.

Down the hill from where I live is Avenida da Liberdade and on the avenue appeared a newspaper kiosk converted into a little artists’ booth, Local Lisboa.

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Every time I go by, I stop and chat with one of the two artists who show their work on the avenue.

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A definite must when you visit Lisbon. Their kiosk is across from Rossio Square on the same side of the avenue as the Rossio train station.

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Lisbon is always full of surprises. You take a turn and come across an architectural wonder or a restaurant that looks interesting or a park with roaming ducks.

After leaving an appointment the other day, I decided to walk down the hill towards the river. It turned out to be a long walk, basically because I had to stop and peer through windows or go into an interesting shop. One street I discovered was Rua da Silva also known as Rua Verde.

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This is a wonderful street with restaurants lining the sidewalks.

And below is a little nook I came across in the Alfama one day.

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I have a little announcement to make.

Lost in Lisbon is being reconfigured so that it will be easier to find a category you might want to delve into.

Some of the categories planned are architecture (of course ;-), food (restaurants, holiday breads and candies, recipes of Portugal, etc.), events, Portuguese wines, neighborhoods, all things related to pets and pet care (a popular subject on expat Facebook pages), day trips from Lisbon and featured shops and other small, Portuguese owned businesses.

Até próxima,

Dora Taylor

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Street art in my neighborhood

7 thoughts on “Spring in Lisbon: Grato

  1. Wonderful post, Dora. I love the photographs and your narrative really takes the viewer on the trip.

    Bob V

    Like

  2. Dora, well done. Just figured out how to get onto your blog. Captures Portugal extremely well. See you soon.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Lost in Lisbon

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