The desire to sketch and paint the orange roofs of Lisbon, the wine country of the Algarve, and Alvor's tiny fishing villages in water colors was a strong motivator for a trip to Portugal last October. The locale offers a vibrant and effortless traditionalism combined with ultra-European luxury. Friendly, warm people. Early morning crowds of young and old running the streets to get to soccer practices and games were a sight of sheer fanatical fanfare. Although advised to take the historic Tram 28, I decided the best way to see the city was on foot. Wandering. I encountered the train many times en route the trek but resisted the temptation to hop on. The walk to Santo Antonio De Lisboa through the stairways and back alleys was a workout. I documented what I could on my camera phone but my sketches provided an innate satisfaction of capturing the city in pen and colors.
Bright orange roof tops (not unlike those in Prague and other European cities), café tables ready and waiting for customers under loud screaming primary color sun umbrellas, and street vendors selling hot roasted chestnuts all resonating the assonance and dissonance of the city. With the descent of darkness, an unexpected turn into a café where an Indian cook from Bhatinda obliged me with a hot cup of elaichi chai (cardamom tea) was all it took to energize me for the next day. Nothing like the taste of home!
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