Back now from two weeks in Portugal, sightseeing and sketching and participating in the annual International Symposium of Urban Sketchers in Porto. Carole and I arrived in Lisbon after 15 hours of travel with a whole day ahead of us to try and stay awake so that we could go to sleep at the “right” time. Since we couldn’t get into our AirBnB apartment yet, we had the taxi drop us off at a cafe.
A lucky break for us, the waiter was a friendly young man who enthusiastically started our education right away, with a focus on food and drink. Another barrista suggested I try a mouth watering pastry made by his mother.
He handed me a gift of a chocolate truffle, also mother-made as we left to trudge up the street with our luggage and drop it off while the apartment was being cleaned.
And then more wandering in our zombied state. The sketching seemed to help to keep the eyes open!
And later, after we’d moved into our lovely apartment we discovered that the street behind ours was lined with intriguing tiny restaurants and shops such as this and even
a Museum of Marionettes, which we vowed to visit. (more on this later)
We chose this restaurant and were unfashionably early at 7pm, so once again we had three young waiters all to ourselves, and a fabulous dinner served with flair. This vacation was after all not just about sketching.
Next morning we took the bus to an area along the river called Belem.
The Museum of Arts, Architecture and Technology is an architectural wonder that we explored, on the outside at any rate, since we were anxious to start sketching while also seeing as much as possible.
We had not really done our homework of reading the guidebooks in any detail and I assumed I’d found the famed Tower of Belem, only to have sketched a more modern monument to the Explorers, which I loved for its simplicity.
I just couldn’t bring myself to tackle sketching the infinitely intricate Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, also in Belem!
Well, that’s day one and two. Jet lag has set in at the moment, but please stay with me. There’s lot more coming up!