Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Zigzag on the way up

panoramic view from Sao Jorge Castle

I like autumn , but with all its grace and pleasantness it nevertheless has days with grey, cloudy skies which are bad for our mood, bad for panoramic views, and bad for photography ( especially when one uses a very basic camera as I did). Such was my main Sightseeing Day in Lisbon.

Like any other big city , Lisboa has several high places that offer a good panoramic view of the city . The most recommended is the St. George Castle which is on top of the highest of the city's seven hills . The historical castle and its gardens could be reached by bus or tram , but I decided to climb up the hill ,which was no light matter at all.

On the morning of my heading for the castle, I noticed at some point on my track, a young woman walking unsteadily, as in a zigzag . Her shoes appeared to be of a good quality ,with a good solid shape and flat heels, so I suspected she was either under the influence of alcohol, or she had some neurological problem affecting her legs , in which case she should have taken a cane with her for support, or even better, taken the bus. But ,what do I know .

I felt the urge to approach her and give her a hand but something stopped me from doing that; perhaps it was my shyness with strangers or some unpleasant inner feeling about her. Anyway, I walked slowly behind so that I could keep an eye on her in case she stumbled . When we finally reached the top, I addressed her with a smile and said something like "We did it, maybe we should rest for a while " She returned me a smile and said in a somewhat broken English , that she was not tired at all , on the contrary, she felt full of energy ,and ...having said that she just vanished from my sight.

I had a 'crowded' agenda for that day which included visiting places on foot, by bus and by tram, and so I entirely forgot about the lady. In the late afternoon hours, tired and hungry, I entered an eatery and ordered a portion of grilled sardines and a glass of beer. ('Grilled sardines' is a very popular dish in Portugal during the summer months , till the end of October. These are not the canned variety sardines but freshly caught ones, cleaned, brushed with olive oil and grilled on a small charcoal fire for only several minutes each side. It's delicious. One serving has about six sardines and it comes with a small salad and bread, or with some other additions}.

When I lifted my head from the plate, I saw her. What a coincidence, I thought. She was sitting at a table not far from mine. I couldn't see what was on her plate, but I definitely could see a....large bottle of wine near it. And yet, even after this revelation, I was not sure alcohol was behind her zigzag walking that I witnessed in the morning of that day.

on the bus in Lisbon


  1. Thanks for your your photos!

  2. I don't know, Duta, that top picture looks pretty amazing even in the fog. Spectacular. I like the one with the mysterious man glancing your way...very intriguing :) You are such a nice person to want to help a stranger that you though might need your assistance.

  3. Hi ChicGeek,
    Indeed, despite the poor quality, there's something in these photos that catches attention: in the first one, the blending of grey water, grey sky, and red roofs; in the second one, the exchange of glances between man and woman on the bus.

    As for my wish to help, it was natural. I was afraid she would fall and hurt herself, and who
    could be indifferent to a situation like this.

  4. You know, I think you were meant to see her again, so that you would know she was okay. She sounds as if she may have been a bit troubled.

    I like the picture on the bus. That's a good photograph, with lots of energy!

  5. You're so right Jo,
    I was meant to see her again !