We´re already in the Algarve, having travelled here from Lisbon yesterday. The week in Lisbon sped by as we reached the midterm point in the course and reports came due.
Nonetheless, we certainly saw wonderful sights and had the chance to get to know the city a little. It´s an intriguing place, one that grew on me. There isn´t one particular feature that stands out, rather there are many small details that resurface and inspire reflection.
I loved the ancient Moorish quarters with their little cobbled stairway streets winding along the hillside. The Alfama is one of the few truly old sections of Lisbon still standing after the devastating earthquake in the late 1700s.
Another favourite was Sintra, a village located in the hills behind the city. I spent a magical afternoon with several students exploring a fantastic park set in the side of the hill. We rambled along grand avenues past marble statues of gods, crept through tunnels that connected various buildings and architectural follies, and climbed many towers that offered fabulous views of the valley on one side and the ruins of the ancient fortress on the hilltop on the other.
I think of the people too. There is a quiet dignity, a sense of deep history, an understatement.
Athough we are now in the Algarve, Lisbon lingers. I think that is the way with the place.