Just back from Portugal and Spain with 130GB of photos and as you can imagine, editing is taking some time! September in this part of the world is almost perfect. Not too hot as to be uncomfortable but still warm enough to enjoy the days and the balmy daylight saving evenings. Lisbon was the first stop and the first thing that struck me was the quaint oldness of the place. It looked like a slightly tired movie set, with the ancient yellow trams, the cobblestones on every road (which I would curse later on while walking the Camino up towards Spain) and the beautiful but faded glory of the tiled buildings, many with tiles missing but also many still intact or hastily repaired.
The amazing furniclar trams that are located in three spots around the city are unique solutions to the severe hill climbs. While they would have been an alternative to walking these rises for the locals in their heyday, I suspect the only people using them now are the myriad tourists flocking to Lisbon – especially at the price of 3.20 euros return for what is a relatively short journey ……its a bit steep:)
The disappointing graffiti that is all over these trams and the walls on the route really makes the whole area look ugly and less inviting. Postcards adorning all the souvenir concessions around town show lovely yellow trams and pristine locations. Either these have been doctored in Photoshop or the area and trams were setup like movie sets especially for the photos, either way, the contrast was stark and is a stain on what is otherwise a lovely city. It has changed my mind about any graffiti – it is a blight wherever it is – and got me thinking about our own Hosier Lane in Melbourne which has become a tourist attraction because of the graffiti. It is a blight and only encourages this ugly form of art in other areas. Look at the rubbish in the picture below to see just how ugly this stuff is.