31-5-2016 to 2-6-2016.
When I arrived in Lisbon it didn't take me long to get on the metro and travel to Rato station the closest one to my apartment. It was about a 10-minute walk from there but the narrow cobble stone pavements and steep hill made it difficult to roll my luggage but fortunately I only took one bag for the entire trip.
When I arrived there was no one there to meet me so I hung around for about 30 minutes. I had no access to the internet and my phone showed No Service so I couldn't call the owner.
I had forgotten that I was supposed to call Mauro the key holder of the AirBnB apartment, an hour earlier (not Pedro who is the owner) but I couldn’t call him, now I had remembered.
Eventually the guys staying the next apartment heard me banging on the door and let me in to the building and allowed me use their wifi and I got through to Mauro who came immediately and let me in to the apartment. It was a small but perfectly functional apartment, located in a street on the edge of Bairro Alto, a district known for it's lively night life - not that that that was my reason for staying there, it was more the short walking distance to city centre and places I wanted to see.
I stated exploring the city taking photographs as I went. It's a city is built on seven hills and it is extremely rewarding to find that every gap between the streets presents an opportunity to look across part of the city, down steps and streets built on hills, into the distance - a photographer's paradise - and I shot hundreds of photographs of these vistas over the first few days.
It’s been very hot here - 29c for the first 2 days but fortunately it has cooled down to 23c today. I’ve been walking around with my 3 cameras: - The Sony Rx100 M3 - the small high quality camera for general purpose shots and small enough to always have in my hands. In the backpack I also had the Panasonic FZ1000 with a super long zoom lens (25 to 400) which is brilliant for capturing street life and the city vistas at a distance and I’m very pleased with the results. And also my Sony A7 - a 35mm full frame camera with the super wide angle 15mm lens, for those special architecture shots. Over all its a great combination of cameras and lenses and this is the first time I’ve been able to bring them all together. It’s because I bought a new Lowpro ProTactic 250 backpack, which is a compact bag but extremely well organised - all packed very neatly and securely as it opens at the back so it is secure while walking around the busy streets and trains. (where backpack theft is common and I was nearly a victim last time I was here).
I posted my first set of photos for this trip on Google Photos (see link button below) - images taken while walking in the central districts and down at the river Tagus - and I’ve been out to Belem twice - once to view the Jeronimo Monastery and Belem Tower and the second time to the modern art gallery - the Berardo Collection.
I got a travel photo ID (which takes a day) and then I was able to buy a 35 euro travel card for a month’s travel by Metro, Bus and Tram all around Lisbon - a fantastic price and about 1/3 the price of a similar card in Dublin. Also the price of food and groceries is less than half the price of the same products in Dublin - An initial shop for basic food items and tolitaries, cost around €13 vs about €30 for the same items in Dublin. Also eating out is so cheap. I’ve also started to look at apartment prices which are half the price (rent or buy) compared to Dublin.
I started to plan the second book - getting the ideas together and doing research and once I’ve got in all planned I’ll start to write my 2000 words per day, probably in about 10 days time.
Really enjoying it here so far.