Thursday, 13 August 2015

Postcard from Lisbon 5

One final scuffed, bent and well-travelled postcard comes through your letterbox, long after I've returned home.  Perhaps you're away on vacation yourself, and it falls into a pile of bills and junk mail.  Perhaps this reminds you of the opening sequence of Wim Wenders' film Lisbon Story.

So, no trip abroad would be complete without some shots of mysterious wall markings.  There are few things I like better than walking along a cobbled backstreet in a foreign city, waiting to be stopped in my tracks by some cosmic message concealed in plain sight.

My holiday companions enjoy this stop-start style of progress rather less, especially when the cosmos is being particularly chatty...  Which, in Lisbon, it was (I mean, that last one...  It is a clumsy guitar, isn't it?). But I do appreciate that waiting around for the family fool to finish admiring yet another set of random splats, scratches, and splashes of light is tedious, not to say intensely aggravating, so I try to restrain myself.  But, hold that thought, cosmos-in-Lisbon, I'll be back...

Ever since -- quite fairly -- being tagged as one who habitually makes "horizonless" pictures, I've consciously been looking up more.  Like any good shape-shifting contrarian, I don't like to be known quite so well as that.  It's especially rewarding to look up in places where everyone else is looking straight ahead or down.  In this case, a roofline in Lisbon's picturesque Alfama district (where I suspect the Tourist Office is responsible for maintaining the photogenic quantities of colourful washing hanging out on lines), and a view of the "25th April" suspension bridge passing some 200 feet above an outdoor restaurant table in the LX Factory compound.

But, in the interests of memory and conviviality, I have also been making a conscious effort, these days, actually to record the places we've been, seen, and stayed, something I have conspicuously failed to do in the past.  In the end, that's what holidays snaps are for, after all.  Although I doubt I will ever succumb to the modern vice of photographing my food on a restaurant table and sharing it on Facebook before tucking in.

Bridge?  Oh, that bridge...


Kent Wiley said...

What's that thing at the bottom of the bridge pic? We don't have them in the US, could you tilt down a tad so I can see it better please? This photo of the gangway off the side of the bridge beckons to me to come climb up there and see the view. Some day I'll go back to Lisbon.

Pretty cool "vacation snaps".

Mike C. said...


To the best of my memory it's a recycling bin (on this side of the street). One big advantage of small sensor cameras -- huge depth of field...

To get a sense of the scale, the red bit slung under the bridge is a railway mainline, and the top surface a six-lane motorway.