Meandering in Lisbon
by Jahnabi Barooah
Olá, readers! It has been months. After completing a year towards my master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to spend some time in Portugal with my family. We arrived in Lisbon yesterday and spent the evening walking around Baixa, the name by which downtown Lisbon is known. The heart of the city is quaint, populated with old buildings with fading paint. It is built on a grid of hilly and narrow cobblestone streets. Colorful trams, a multitude of cafes, bakeries, clothing stores and street performers add to its liveliness. Lisbon is not clean by European standards; its roads are littered with cigarette butts and walls are graffitied. But it is not dirty in the off putting way that other big cities can be. Here the dirtiness seems to contribute to its charm, creating the facade of a city standing still in time. Indeed, there are no clocks in public. [Well, I didn’t spot one anyway.] Nor are there resounding church bells to remind one of the passage of time. It is possible for the unhurried traveler, unobstructed by either a phone or wristwatch, to truly “meander.” And meander we did for several hours–nibbling into egg tarts here, sampling some chocolate there, sitting by the fountain and more. What a welcome hiatus in the life of this busy graduate student! I couldn’t be more grateful.
Below are some photographs that I took last evening: