A Travellerspoint blog

Avi's strange hobby

We take a brief detour into Avi's mind for this post.

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Avi here.

If you know Avril, you know she loves her camera. Sure, Portugal is crawling with tourists taking photos. Avril takes those tourist memory shots, too. But she does more – she composes multiple images, she experiments with blurred subjects, she shoots stills with a moving camera, etc. All of which means we can spend a lot of time in one spot. So what do I do? Well, I take some photos of what I'm seeing, also. But I long ago started taking pictures of Avril taking pictures. Sort of living an art form of meta-reality, if you know what I mean. (I have no idea what I mean.)

So here are some of my/our moments of the past week. I have better shots of where we've been (and Avril has even better ones than those), but this is what you get: spending time with a photographer in Portugal.

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Our first meal on a sidewalk cafe in Lisbon. Maybe you can make out the castle on the hill.

Lisbon is full of visual delight. It is also, as you will see below, full of hills and stairs.

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We only went to two museums. One was the Museum of Fado (Portuguese music). The other was the Museum of Azulejos (Tiles).

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There's no point in taking photos at the Museum of Fado. Far better to try to capture it live in a Fado bar.

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One day we went to Sintra, a town outside of Lisbon which was home to the rich and powerful. And eccentric. At Quinta da Regaleira we joined those descending the nine circles of Hell – a deep spiral staircase into the ground, probably used for secret initiation rites.

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At the bottom you found yourself in a long subterranean passageway to your liberated self.

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Yesterday we left Lisbon and started heading North. First stop: Óbidos, a medieval town still surrounded by walls, gates and towers.

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Today we moved on to Alcobaça to see one of those massive churches whose columns dwarf you completely.

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And then we were dwarfed inside a massive underground cave system that was only discovered 75 years ago.

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Tonight we're in Tomar, home base for several centuries to the Knights Templar – the Holy Mother Church's kick-the-shit-out-of-the-infidels storm troops. Also, ironically, the location of one of Portugal's few surviving synagogues from that era. Go figure some more.

But those pictures have yet to be taken. And some pictures, even those taken here, are a reminder that beauty is everywhere. Enjoy the beauty.

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Avi

Posted by AvrilAbroad 21:58 Archived in Portugal Tagged churches caves lisbon portugal sintra tomar alcobaça

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