17-06-2016 to 18-06-2016
On Thursday evening on my way back from Quinta Do Mocho I stopped at the airport and photographed the murals painted on the hoardings outside the terminal 1 building - they do a good job of hiding the ugly construction work, but unfortunately they are only temporary - but that’s the nature of street art; it won’t last forever; it gets painted over, or buildings are knocked down, or something changes - you just have to enjoy it while it’s still there. I remember painting a 20’ x 20’ mural in a local community hall (a former church) in Stillorgan Co Dublin in the late 70s and 15 years later I returned to the building and it had been sold for use as a commercial fruit market, and when I came into the building, the mural had been painted over. I was disappointed until I realised that it was still there, just hidden behind a layer of paint - probably just as well. :)
Anyway this city is just chock full of murals, every corner you turn; and I’ve shot tons more of them in the last few days (see more images link below)
On Friday I went to view the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, near Belem. It's housed in the former electric company building, which is a stunning arty-industrial building (like the way the Tate Modern in London, housed in a former electric power station). Unfortunately they had closed it temporarily for renovations and will not be open again until 29th June, the day after I leave Lisbon. But I’ll see it when I’m back here again. So I decided to walk to the Royal Palace of Ajuda which looked relatively close, but actually it was a mile up quite a steep hill, but worth it when I got there. It has a commanding view over the river Tagus and beyond. It was built initially as a wooden structure to house the royal family after Lisbon suffered the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 1755. The permanent palace was built there in neoclassical style in the 1800s and the royal family used it as a residence up to 1910 when the monarchy was deposed and Portugal became a republic after 1910 revolution.
I went to Cascais on Saturday at lunchtime. It’s a small holiday town about 40 minutes train ride from Lisbon, passing Belem and Estoril on the way. It was originally a fishing village; then it became popular as a holiday location for the royalty in the 19th century, and was referred to as “a place for kings and fisherman” and today its a popular holiday destination but still maintains some of its rich old houses and also fish restaurants (but then nearly every restaurant in Lisbon is a fish restaurant - sardines are the staple diet. And that's what I had today for lunch - four large grilled sardines with boiled potatoes, a salad and a glass of house white, followed by a coffee - total cost - €6 - delicious and amazing.
I've been reading another novella while I've been on the train: "A Malmo Winter" by Torquil MacLeod - It's about 100 pages and it gets right into the story fast and holds you there. I'm quite enjoying these short reads - 1 to 2 hours for the complete story - It's like watching a film and quite a different experience than reading 400-page novel which normally takes me a week to read. A novella is mostly a single plot whereas a novel tends be be much richer in descriptions and a number of subplots - like having a snack versus a full meal - both are satisfying in their own way.