[by Béliza Mendes in Lisbon, Portugal] Although I was born and raised in Luxembourg, Portugal is my second home. It is the country my family comes from and I have spent summer holidays in this beautiful country almost every year of my life.
This year, I only had time for a long weekend trip to Lisbon, just enough to "matar saudades" (roughly translated it would mean something like kill yearnings or nostalgia).
I happened to arrive on the day of the Vogue Fashion's Night Out. I had no idea this event was taking place. The city centre's shops were all open until late, there were concerts on the streets and beautiful people everywhere. I quickly sketched the event taking place on Praça dos Restauradores before heading to dinner.
My neighgours at the restaurant were a group of retirees from Bermuda. They were of Portuguese descent as well and were on their first trip to discover their country of origin. They were going to the Douro region the following day. I had fun teaching them some words, particularly the tricky Portuguese pronunciation. The subtle difference between the Portuguese "sim" and the Spanish "si" were particularly tricky.
The next day, I met with some of the Lisbon sketchers. I spent a wonderful afternoon in great company, Eduardo Salavisa in particular, sketching in Alfama. During one of our stops we met a group of three little dare-devils who were having fun riding their bikes down the steps of S. Miguel church. The smaller and younger one, called Gonçalo, aka Piriquito (parakeet), came to have a look at what we were sketching.
I tried to make a portrait of him while he was giving us some very important reviews, but, for one, he was too cute to sketch accurately, and, in any case, I tend to age children to a point of it being more of a glimpse into their future than an accurate portrait.
Eduardo was a very gracious host, showing me local cafés and sharing insights on the city, sketching and his work. Thank you Eduardo, for spending the time with me!
On my last day in Lisbon, I had the opportunity to go to the beach in Carcavelos so I took it. I can't resist the call of the sea.
With my saudades killed, for now, I was ready to face the autumn weather waiting for me in Luxembourg.