Portgual

One of the first things that strikes me as we reach the outskirts of Lisbon on our way to walled city of Evora is the quality of their highways. The roads are quite pristine and I think this is partially because they drive at such a high rate of speed on the AutoBahn’s in Europe. Most drivers keep to the right, shoulder lane and only use the inside lane to pass. When pulling out to pass you need to look waaay back in your rear view mirror for oncoming traffic because the faster vehicles are doing 130km plus. Very efficient and cause to pay attention.

Evora is a world heritage site and the walled city (old Town) is a warren of narrow, one way streets and ally’s. We arrived after dark and foolishly entered the old town thinking we could rely on our GPS to guide us to the hotel. The GPS attempted to guide us down side streets that looked barely wide enough to enough for two pedestrians to pass let alone a vehicle, even though ours was a compact. After two failed loops in trying to navigate to our hotel, we decided to park the car where we were and walk. This worked and we were able to orient ourselves to the vehicle using a map the hotel provided. This worked as well as I was able to walk to the car and drive back to the hotel in about 20 minutes . . . should have done this in the first place.

Everything in the old town of Evora was typical European in style. The streets, sidewalks and ally’s were all cobblestone and the atmosphere exuded a depth of history that was unmistakable. We averaged 20 to 25 km per day walking and we covered a great deal of the area inside the walled town during the daylight hours. We had an excellent dinner on the first night and afterwards we walked back to the hotel and I picked up my camera to head out for some night shooting. When travelling, my favourite times to shoot are in the very early morning or later in the evening. I re-visited some of the locations I had scouted during the day and came away with three or four solid images from this outing alone.

After two days and three nights in Evora,we headed south for the Algarve and our next location of Portimao. We arrived at the coast in late afternoon at Albufeira and had our first view of the ocean after walking down a narrow lane and onto a path about 80 to 100 feet above the near empty beach stretching off towards the west. We found a bar just above the beach and ordered our first taste of seafood. Sardines and beer were the on the menu, and we enjoyed the late afternoon sun and the sound of the waves breaking in the distance. . . And then on to Portimao.

We were on the beach at sunrise (thanks to jet lag) and had our first glimpse of the limestone sea stacks which I planned to photograph. Another couple of 25,000 step days and I added another half dozen images to my growing portfolio.

Lisbon is where we spent the least amount of time and also where I found the most potential and variety for photography. We spent both nights there in the Alfama neighbourhood enjoying Fado music and more great seafood. I rounded out my portfolio of images of street photography and felt that I barely scratched the surface of all that Lisbon has to offer visually.

The portfolio from this project has been added to the web site today!


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