Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ups and Downs of Lisbon (or) Escadinhas

My family spreads rumors that I exaggerate. I want to dispel that rumor  so I thought today's blog should be about the escadinhas (stairs) that we climb as part of our routine each and ever day. You have heard my whining about sore calf muscles and a stressed heart, but now..THE PROOF!

There are many routes that we can take from our flat, but as to the stairs, well, they are all about the same. What follows is one way down. Not an exaggeration...not a lie. THE REAL THING!!!
the stairs begin near our flat

not a leisurely stroll

I've thought of counting the exact number of steps that we take each day (sometimes multiple times), but instead I am just hoping to notice extra room where my clothes had once been too tight. I mean all this exercise should give some results! If I could only give up my daily pastel de nata and multiple cervejas (sigh).

Along the way scattered apartments dot the stairways, often with the day's laundry drying quickly with the gentle breezes. Each day we pass the home of uma velha (an old woman) who one day called out to us "Olá meu amigos".  She is at the half way point of our trek and I am hoping she one day invites us in for a cold drink.

The walls in Lisbon, like in other cities, can not seem to escape graffiti art, the images and lettering scratched, scrawled and painted using a variety of colorful aerosol paints. Some depictions are definitely better than others. This particular one found on our route brings a smile to my face each day.

Finally, we reach the bottom where we usually reward ourselves with a bica (an expresso) and just sometimes, a little pastry. But, what goes down in our case, must go up again if we are to reach our home and so far, we have managed to accomplish this each day. Not bad for dois velhos. (two old folks.)