Thursday 15 May 2014

Rooftops and fado

In the words of a popular fado, it's the bairro mais alto do sonho, the highest quarter of dreams. From the narrow cobbled streets of the Bairro Alto you can look up to slices of blue sky 

and over the rooftops of Lisbon to the river on one side

view from a terrace in the Bairro Alto

and the castle on the opposite hill.

view from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara

You can drive up here, though good luck manoeuvring a car through the narrow alleys once you get here.

(I learned to drive as a 19 year old in this city and credit the experience with giving me nerves of steel behind the wheel; I can drive literally anywhere with sangfroid). 

Or you can do it the old-fashioned and more fun way via a wood-panelled and brass interior-ed funicular. 

Elevador da Gloria

Look up at the windows here and there's always life going on

Drying hair over the balcony

Student playing guitar for friends. I snapped this with my phone from where I sat at a restaurant table across the street!

Lunch at this place at the top of a steep alleyway in the Bairro is a mandatory ritual ...

Give me queijo fresco, azeitonas and pão caseiro with a glass of vinho verde and I'm all okay with life

Later at night in the Bairro Alto there was arroz de marisco (seafood rice) and ... fado, the music invented here in the oldest, poorest quarters of the city.  

Dark, grainy iPhone snaps. For the best Portuguese food blog I know and superb photography see here: Pratos e Travessas

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