I discovered this bench on Sunday. The lane is called
“Travessa do Cabral” – Cabral’s Lane “Travessa da Portuguesa”. Very little traffic noise. Just the occasional person walking up or down the stairs. Some of them might huff and puff by the time they arrive at the top. People who live on this lane must have stronger calves and thighs than most. Do they have stronger hearts from a lifetime of walking up and down the stairs? The cars at the bottom are not moving; they are parked. Wonder by what system they are parked. Do they know who can sleep in and should therefore park closest to the other stairs we can see in the distance, and who needs to leave early in the morning and should therefore park in front of the others? I sat down on the bench for a little while. It’ll be even nicer when the tree in front of the bench gets taller and gives shade in the middle of the day. A woman came up the stairs, out of breath from carrying a big bag. I got up and walked away, to offer her the bench to herself. I hope she sat down and enjoyed that bench. It was still in the shade.
Sunday morning I left the apartment at 0730 to take a walk. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go but I put one foot in front of the other foot and ended up discovering that sections of street I knew actually belonged to one and the same road. I walked nearly six miles and enjoyed every second of it. When I looked at the photos I noticed how many of the images had a pink-ish color in it. It was a rich photographic bounty and I will post more images from that walk. So often the aimless walks turn out to be the best.
Do not attempt to drive down this street. I may be fragile but I am taking a stand. You shall not pass. You can destroy me easily but here is where I will remain. It’s the right thing to do and now is the time.
Jardim da Estrela–Garden of the Star. Lisboetas really makes use of the many parks and gardens in the city. Early in the morning many people use the park like a giant gym. There are runners, of course, but also lots of yogis on their mats, sometimes alone and often in groups. There are groups of people doing crunches–shared pain is so much more fun–and there are even trainers assisting others who are lifting weights. Jump-rope, stretching, meditation, the parks are full of activity.
One element of every park in Lisbon, large or small, is that there is always at least one concession that sells coffee (of course), drinks (including beer and wine), pastries, and sandwiches. The concession is always surrounded by small tables and chairs. Instead of rushing home after doing yoga with your friends, you might have a coffee and talk. Or, in the evening, you might meet a friend for a beer, followed by a walk.
I imagine such concessions, while adding an attraction to each park, also bring in a nice sum of money that helps with the upkeep of these parks.