Just that name, that sound, those two syllables, fills my heart with a little bit of this warm emotion known to the general populance as joy. And nostalgia. And wistfulness. And a bit of anger because, Mother, why on earth did you need to birth me here when you could have birthed me there? It’s a mixed bag.
Hey wonderful winning sperms! How are you? Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the places my heart now calls home – one of the favourite places I have visited on this earth . . . Lisbon.
Earlier this summer, I had the absolutely wonderful opportunity to see Guns’N’Roses play live on their Not In This Lifetime tour – in Lisbon. In a few words: life-changingly good. (If anyone wants me to post about that concert, let me know! I’ll probably post about it anyway, but still.)
In movies, characters always seem to have these pivotal moments. These activities and memories that shape who they are and who they become.
I’ve always thought that was, quite frankly, unrealistic. Seeing someone across the room for the first time and feeling your life irrevocably just shift? Nope. Trying a new hobby, only to feel something just click into place within you? Nah. Stumbling across a photograph of a place and thinking “yes, I belong there” and finding your fate? Pfft.
But, I don’t know . . . this was a pivotal moment for me. Maybe it was the sheer magic of watching something I’d thought was impossible (there’s a reason it’s called the “Not In This Lifetime” tour); watching one of the defining aspects of my childhood live as I started my way into adulthood; maybe it was just the sheer fact that this is what life should be made of. This is what I want my life to be made of. Something about that concert, that trip, was my movie moment.
Side note: they were also amazing. Genuinely such a brilliant performance.
So that’s how I ended up in Lisbon.
I call fate here; in all honesty, Lisbon is not somewhere I would have chosen to go. It would have never even crossed my mind – I wasn’t even really aware of its existence before. (I dropped Geography when I was like 13, okay; don’t blame me, blame the British education system where you can only study 2 optional courses and the humanities such as geography and history are not mandatory and your GCSEs dictate your A-Levels which then dictate your University choices and, if I wanted to do something in media and graphics, my GCSEs needed to be art and Media Studies or I would’ve had no career relevant to my skills and become homeless and eventually died… or, at least, that’s what they teach us.)
But the people I went to watch GNR with were like “hey, we fancy going to Lisbon!” so there we went.
And, oh my lord, I cannot even describe to you the love I feel for that place. I don’t know where to start. Is it the beautiful scenery? The cobblestone hills? Lisbon is a city built on a variety of different levels – a fact we were immediately confronted with when our cab driver came to an abrupt stop and said “sorry, the car can’t get up here; you’ll have to walk the rest of the way” – and it’s a sometimes strangely setup place. Countless alley-ways and turn-off paths and dips and valleys . . .
If you read about my trip to Valencia (if you didn’t it’s linked and a beautiful place, so I’d recommend reading it), you already know how much I love architecture. It’s actually one of the things I find slightly depressing about living in London; a lot of our old-fashioned, Victorian-era buildings are being knocked down and replaced by the generic, ugly new-builds. I hope a shudder of revulsion and horror went down your spine at those words. Screw ghosts and zombies, that is what horror movies should be about.
Lisbon is home to many beautiful buildings – and time spent wandering the streets is time spent gawking in wonder.
I apologise about the quality of some of these images – I didn’t own a camera at this point and my phone is unreliable at best, so some images are . . . questionable.
One thing that photographs cannot capture (okay, well, I’m sure they can, but mine can’t) is the atmosphere of a place. The hustle-bustle of people going about their lives, the social culture, the relaxation. I’d have loved to go back to Lisbon with my best friend and spent a week or two strolling around the city, casually lounging in resturaunts and talking and eating for hours like the locals do.
But don’t let me fool you – this isn’t a lazy, relaxed place; it’s fun. Lisbon is bustling and lively. While we were there, over 3 days, there were at least three street parties dancing into the early hours. And there’s so much to do.
Admittedly random side note: one thing I did notice was the wonderful healthy food options everywhere. There were smoothie cafes (where they were made in front of you!), fruit stalls and salads wherever you turned. And absolutely all the food was delicious. There were so many cute little cafes and resturaunts.
We snuck into a castle (an open to the public castle, admittedly) and . . . look at the view. I really don’t know why I’m writing this post; I’m just making myself want to go back.
I’m so proud of that image.
Right, you beautiful people . . . I don’t think I can do this any longer. I don’t think my heart can take it. I beg you – I implore you – once in your life, take the time to visit Lisbon. It’s such a charming place; full of character and vibrancy. Oh, and there’s a rubber duck store – but that’s a whole seperate post.
So what did you guys think of this place? (Be nice, it’s dear to my heart.) Have any of you ever visited Lisbon? Did you love it? I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the tiles (and, honestly, the tiles are probably one of Lisbon’s most prominent features – I actually bought fridge magnets dedicated to them!). Would you ever visit? Have I convinced you to add it to the bucketlist? Let me know your thoughts down below!