SAUDADE

The illustrations were created out of a longing for Portugal, especially for Lisbon. I lived there for a year and I think that I have never really left from there. After drawing the details of the Belém tower, I have (for the moment) a little more distance to this city and country. However, I know that sooner or later the longing will come back and you will have to get on a plane or draw. In the current pandemic situation, there is only one solution.
There is a word in Portuguese that cannot be translated directly into any other language – saudade. Have you ever felt a longing for a moment that has passed and, at the same time, gratitude that you could live it? This was the saudade. However, I think there should be a separate term which would mean a longing for Lisbon.

SWALLOWS

For me, these birds are no longer a symbol of spring. When I hear them sing, my thoughts fly to Portugal. I especially remember one of the sunsets in Coimbra. The sun was shining right in my face. And swallows scuttled across the sky at dizzying speeds. If it weren’t chirping so loudly, they’d be hard to notice. I hitchhiked to Coimbra with my brother and friend. The oldest university in the country is located in the city. One of their traditions is Queima das Fitas – a student festival at the end of graduation courses. This event was our goal. We had fun all night to sleep at the station in the morning and return by bus to Covilhã.

WINE

The illustrated bridge over the Tagus River connects Lisbon with Montijo. It was named after the sailor Vasco da Gama on the 500th anniversary of his discovery of the sea route from Europe to India. My discoveries are less significant, but one of them is definitely Portuguese wine. And it tastes best in the company of Lisbon. In the mysterious Alfama taverns, which allow for a moment of reflection. Among the crowded streets of Bairro Alto full of music, they spark your imagination. In the evenings, on the observation decks (Miradouros), which become the city’s salons. The wine also goes perfectly with the salty breeze of the beaches.

TORRE DI BELÉM

The military tower in Belém has a very symbolic meaning to me. It was built at the mouth of the Tagus River. It served as the embarkation point for Portuguese explorers and as the gateway to Lisbon. The tower was a landmark for departing sailors and at the same time served as a prison. A symbol of freedom and enslavement. Another contrast: a military structure has the decorative Manueline style. The lightness of the Gothic and Oriental motifs mask the serious function of the building. Therefore, this place can give you courage to travel into the unknown or ground you.

I also invite you to see the gallery of my photos from Portugal.

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