The Portuguese capital continues to stand the test of time, proving further its impact on the arts and culture with the retained classy and elegant atmosphere in the modern world. Being one of the oldest cities in Europe, Lisbon has grown into a global metropolis that prides its arts, culture, finance, tourism, and entertainment. Along with its Mediterranean climate, the experience of walking on the historic pavements and vistas creates the perfect mood for the modern traveler.
Aside from the towering buildings and high-speed railways, picturesque castles and churches, and other grand works of architecture (from Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Postmodern, and more), it's easy to spot the blue skies and coastlines in the background make them even more panoramic. Photographer Ralitsa moved into Lisbon recently, and shares her excitement and first impressions of the city through her La Sardina camera and a roll of color film.
It was around midnight when the plane landed at Lisbon airport one cool September night and my Portuguese adventure began. “How long are you staying?” asked the taxi driver driving me to my new home for the next five months. When I told him I was about to spend a whole semester in Lisbon, he smiled and said “You’ll have the time of your life!” Naturally, I didn’t sleep that night, I was making lists in my mind of where to go and what to do first.
I will never forget the first day walking around the city with my La Sardina camera in hand - my very first film camera! From my room in Alcantara, under the 25 de Abril bridge and having breakfast at a little cafe on the corner of the street to walking up and down the hills of Bairo Alto and Alfama, I was giddy with excitement. The vibrant colors of the buildings, the way the azulejos reflect the late summer sun, the rattle of the trams, and the light breeze from the river, all create magic that can only be experienced in Lisbon. The busy streets and the squares packed with tourists taking photos, laughing, and basking in the sun could make your head spin. My advice is to just get ice cream, sit by the river, and enjoy the moment.
That chaotic excitement is translated to my photos from that first day as well - no focus, tilted and the soft Lisbon light leaking everywhere. I love them anyway because they remind me of the thrill of new beginnings and the warm welcome from the city when the river Tejo splashed me head to toe while enjoying the sunset on my first day in Lisbon. :)
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