quinta-feira, 11 de agosto de 2011

I don't know why I love Lisbon

I don't know I love this place: the city is not that bustling in fact it is quite calm, there are few museums of international renown, I can't ride a bike because of all  its hills, the fado music we listen on the streets bring us a strange feeling longing that you can't describe in another language besides portuguese: Saudade! it's something really untranslatable this word only exists in portuguese language, you might only  feel it if you have a lusitan soul. Only if you miss really something/ somebody or somewhere you can meet Saudade, then you say "sinto saudades..." something like "I miss something/somebody/ somewhere". Here there's no famous monuments (although there are a lot of wonderful monuments, it's just a global ignorance not knowing, but that's what I like about this place: is a secret place),there's no big stress, no big businesses.Only reminiscences of an ancient history of adventures with almost a thousand years that still having a huge mark all over the world: there's about 7000 languages spoken world wide and portuguese is spoken in all inhabited continets: Europe, Africa , America, Oceania, Asia, it has more than 200 millions of portuguese speakers while there's only 10 million of portuguese people, but it's the 6th with the biggest number of speakers in the world, the 5th with more countries that have it as an official language, the 3rd european language more spoken and the 2nd romanic more spoken...and well it's just a wonderful language!

Back to Lisbon, everything looks sadly happy, everyone has always a sincere smile to give and there's a strange feeling of sadness in all that joy: it's maybe the mystique saudade.
In fact, I still don't know why I love this place but it has something magic here for sure...I just don't know why!
Despite of all our tensions and troubles being portuguese fills my soul with proud and I wouldn't chose to have born in a different place.
The fact is that I really don't know why I love Lisbon but it's the few places I like to be. I can't explain it, just feel it!
It's my favourite city...by far!

Excerpts from the book "The Portuguese", from Barry Hatton:

"Lord Byron, in his nineteenth-century narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, exclaimed, "What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold!". Approached from the south bank at dusk in the summer across the Tagus River (Rio Tejo), Lisbon shimmers with a delightful pink glow. It is a rare beauty. A bright, white city, it shows depth in its shades of ochre and the tilting  shadows nof its narrow streets.
Fernando Pessoa, in his Lisbon guidebook in english, wrote:

"For the traveller who comes in from the sea, Lisbon, even from afar, rises like a fair vision in a dream, clear-cut against a bright blue sky which the sun gladdens with its gold. And the domes, the monuments, the old castles just up above the mass of houses, like far-off heralds of this delightful seat, of this blessed region."

The view from Lisbon's giant suspension bridge, which bears a striking resemblance to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, is deeply enchanting. It offers a panorama of the graceful city's hill, rolling from St. George's castle down to the Tagus, the peninsula's longest river at more than 1,100 km (608 miles), and the quays from where the maritime explorers sailed. As the writer José Cardoso Pires said, in Lisbon the river always seem to be at the bottom of the street. He likened the city to a ship docked beside the Tagus.
Watching from one of the hilltops, the ferries that trail white foam across the blue river capture the city's sedate rhythm.
Lisbon is also a relatively peaceful city when compared to other European capitals, as is Portugal as a whole. Television news footage of violent street demonstrations elsewhere in Europe or wars in the Middle East seem far removed. Lisbon is too easy-going to permit hostile radicalism or violent tension, and Portugal is poor soil for such sentiments.
Foreigners arrive and feel like they have washed up on a pretty, peaceful shore."

Read: Why Lisbon?



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