Some time ago i had the chance again to return to Portugal and Lisbon for a commercial photo assignment. I decided to arrive three days earlier and explore the charming neighbourhood of Alfama.
All of Lisbon is built on multiple hills and valleys and my hotel the Memmo Alfama Hotel was on top of a hill overlooking the whole neighbourhood (from their beautiful rooftop pool) which also gave me gorgeous views of the River Tejo.
The narrow streets of Alfama transport you back in time and you quickly forget about the very busy main squares and avenues of the city. I enjoyed most wondering around with no real destination.
The architecture is a real gem, almost every house has the typical tiled facades and show the real craftsmen-ship of century old techniques and styles.
With all my travels i always leave time to organically explore places. I think over the years i developed this sevens sense of where to turn next. I never plan to turn left or right or go straight. It always happens in the moment just looking in a certain direction and knowing that this could be the right way. Or not.
On the windy streets of Alfama this was exactly the right recipe to explore. I lost track anyways at one point but it didn’t matter at all.
One afternoon i found this gorgeous square on top of Alfama and it was a very local serene spot. I only saw a few retirees and families chatting and enjoying the warm summer day.
Strolling down Rua do Arsenal and heading west leaving Alfama for one evening i found a unique bar. Pensao Amor, which was a former brothel sits on Rua do Alecrim. This former entertainment district for sailors has become very hip and went through some major revitalizations. At the Pensao you can enjoy some outstanding cocktails and imagine the comings and goings of its former life.
Following down the River Tejo and crossing over to the west side of Lisbon you will eventually end up at an area called Belem. This might be a more popular spot but one early morning, i think it was around 6.30am, i witnessed this wonderful moment with hardly any people out yet. Only a few morning runners under the “Ponte 25 de Abril” bridge.
Above right: Belem photographic print.
On my last day in Lisbon i had a very good friend take me about 30 minutes south of Lisbon. Rui, which i met through some prior commercial assignments in Portugal became a great friend to me and he wanted to show me his local beach. We headed close to his hometown Sesimbra to a beach called Praia do Meco.
We had a wonderful lunch at Bar do Peixe and enjoyed this beautiful place. At one point in the late afternoon i saw a small group of kids jumping of a play structure and that’s where i shot my Beach, Kids Portugal print. It was a magic moment and reminded me of my childhood and my own daughters. They would love that beach.
Above: Beach, Kids Portugal print.
After sunset we drove up to the small village of Alfarim just minutes away and had the most delicious dinner at a local seafood Restaurant.
Thank you Rui and thank you Alfama,
It was a pleasure, again!
Copyright, Florian Innerkofler.