Sunday, 30 November 2008

Lisbon: Alfama

Not far from Thomas's flat in the Largo da Graça lies the oldest, and still one of the poorest, districts of Lisbon. This scene in the Rua da Regueira exemplifies tha Alfama: a family lives above its small shop, the washing dries outside the window from which the caged bird's song melds into the noise of traffic - cars in the narrow street always threatening to knock over the produce. Worse still must it be to live on the Number 28 tram route: this climbs precipitously from below the Cathedral, the driver having to get out every now and then to help his colleague in an oncoming tram push a car out of the way.

What a contrast to the sweeping modernity of the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the Centro Cultural de Belém and the fabulous Gulbenkian Museum!

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