I took the day off today to spend it with family, and woke up to this light over the Shire:
The Shire is breathtakingly spectacular on any given day, regardless of the weather, but when rain clouds and sunrise decide to have a philosophical dialogue, the results touch something deep in my soul. Much to the consternation of the cat, I grabbed the camera before the coffee before the dramatic light vanished.
Then it was time to hurtle down to Lisbon to meet up with my cousins at the Praça do Comercio. It was not the best of weather, but we had jackets and an umbrella, so it was pretty good. Cameras were pointed and clicked, and the sights and sounds of the area very much admired and imbibed. The area was crawling with tourist from three docked cruise ships, so when we made it to my favourite little Portela Cafe, we had to wait a bit to get a table. The coffee was far better than the surly mood of the waiter, but it was the company that mattered, so I decided to ignore his attitude.
Next stop was my old stomping ground in Graça but to my great disappointment and horror, the little restaurant I was aiming for is currently under renovation. Sometimes, when the universe conspires to alter your carefully laid out plan, it is for the better because we landed in a quaint little place called O Pitéu. This was the best thing that could have ever happened to us, not to mention it was probably the finest place to seek shelter during the afternoon downpour. The cuisine is traditional Portuguese, the flair very loud and local, and the staff absolutely delightful! The food is absolutely to die for, but this place has one caveat – the portions are huge, so work up an appetite in order to do the culinary efforts justice! We had to wait to be seated, and if you go there at night it is recommended that you reserve a table beforehand.
From Graça we made our way to the Lisbon Oriente Station and the Vasco da Gama mall. This satisfied both the shopping and photographic quests of the group, and given the dreadful weather outside, it worked out great. I have been wanting to photograph this area for ages, but never had the time, so today I indulged, especially since I had a partner in crime!
It’s been a while since I shot in the rain, but it was well worth it. Best of all, I finally got my night shot of the platforms that I have been itching to do since March. Designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, this structure is underwhelming by day with its drab white stylised palm trees, but is undeniably spectacular at night. In addition, the lower levels of the station that connect to the mall offer a futuristic vibe that is a visual feast.
Bottom line, our feet hurt, the stomachs are happy, the cameras were put to gut use, and the cat has forgiven me for leaving her alone the whole day! It was a day of reminiscing, diving into family history, and enjoying each other’s presence. Another pearl added to our treasure chest of memories.