Alfama, our neighborhood in Lisbon

Alfama, our neighborhood in Lisbon

We lived one week on December 2014 in Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon. It was a charming borrowed time in Alfama. It has many historical attractions, churches and Fado bars. Alfama is a maze of narrow cobbled alleys with buildings covered with azulejos.  It's...

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Spirit of Ginjinha

Spirit of Ginjinha

Ginjinha is a typical Portuguese drink. Our friend Pedro introduced it to us.  It's a mixture of ginja, or sour cherries, and alcohol. I don't like drinking it as it is. I prefer to drink it the way people in Óbidos, Portugal, do. That is, drinking it in a small...

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Lunch with a Sunnite

Lunch with a Sunnite

I had lunch with Shadman, a new acquaintance. I was curious, because he is a sunnite and criticizes without fear the radical islamic group, Islamic State, IS. He was my source in two of my articles. One is a news article about the death of Atta Mahmoud, Sweden-based...

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Funiculars of Lisbon

Funiculars of Lisbon

The funicular system of Lisbon consists of four elevators. We rode two of them: the Gloria funicular and Santa Justa Lift.  Gloria funicular is very much like riding a tram, but the descent or ascent goes diagonally. It is also as crowded as a tram. Santa Justa...

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Playful modern crafts in Märsta

Playful modern crafts in Märsta

It was a pleasant day at work today. Among others, I took a look at the new exhibit "Modernt Hantverk", highlighting modern crafts at Konsthall Märsta.  A set of dresses of earthenware glazes by Agneta Spångberg at the entrance were enough to make me want to see more....

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Accessible art in Lisbon

Accessible art in Lisbon

I see art in many streets, if not all the streets, in Lisbon. Art is the beautiful tilework azulejo that covers building facades. Art is the colorful legal graffiti painted in backstreets. It is photographies permanently posted on apartment walls And if you look down...

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Auto-da-fe at Rossio

Auto-da-fe at Rossio

Spain had its inquisition, and so did Portugal. Rossio square in Lisbon was one of the scenes for auto-da-fes. Inquisitions, which started in the 1500s, used to target former Jews who converted to Catholicism. Many of the victims in the Portuguese Inquisition were...

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Where a taifa ruler once lived

Where a taifa ruler once lived

Sintra National Palace is another palace that I've visited that has islamic moorish roots. It's beautiful inside. The boring white facade and two chimneys make it somehow easy to underestimate this medieval palace. We were hesitant to see inside. But we paid to get...

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Castle of the Moors

Castle of the Moors

As we ascended the hill to reach the top where the ruins of the Castle of the Moors was perched, we wondered how much energy it took for medieval people to go up and down the castle. It's tough work, even for modern people like us, with our buses and cars that help us...

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Pena – a storybook palace

Pena – a storybook palace

Pena National Palace in Sintra is very much like a storybook palace. Its facade reminds me of Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, but of course, the hotel's interior deisgn is nothing compared to the palace. The palace is a UNESCO world heritage site. Before it became a...

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The Romantic Sintra

The Romantic Sintra

Sintra! That's my friend Veronica hustling us via Facebook to see the municipality of Sintra in Portugal. I'm glad we listened. Sintra is a must-see in Lisbon. It has many 19th-century Romantic buildings. Romantic architecture, if I understood right, means: wild,...

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Cavaquinho, the mother of the ukelele

Cavaquinho, the mother of the ukelele

At first we thought it was ukelele. But it's called a cavaquinho,  a small four-stringed instrument with Greek-Latin origin.  The instrument was introduced in Minho, a northern region of Portugal, from where it started its journey towards Brazil and Cape Verde. So...

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Shells of Manueline

Shells of Manueline

Visiting Portugal taught us a little about Manueline architecture.  From what registered in my brains, these are what's easiest to remember when it comes to what Manueline is all about: It has marine elements: anchors, ropes, shells, pearls, seaweeds. There are lots...

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Worth the long queue

Worth the long queue

The queue to Jerónimos Monastery is ever so long. It's easy to give up, but don't. It's a beautiful monastery - perhaps one of the most beautiful monasteries I've ever seen. It doesn't matter what time one starts lining up, the queue is always long, according to our...

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He started global imperialism

He started global imperialism

Portugal is the reason that global imperialism was established. It all started with Vasco de Gama's discovery of the route to India from Portugal by sea. A century after Vasco de Gama's discovery in 1498, other countries like Great Britain, France and the Netherlands...

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World’s largest suspension bridge

World’s largest suspension bridge

"The Golden Gate, mamma!" said my daughter when she saw the bridge in Lisbon. Not! It's a look-alike, 25 de Abril Bridge.  25 de Abril is the world's largest suspension bridge, and Europe's longest bridge. It has two decks. The upper deck for cars, and the lower, for...

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I love azulejos

I love azulejos

The ceramic tilework azulejos are everywhere in Lisbon: on walls and floors, inside and outside buildings.  I told hubby that I've seen this technique in my country, too. I remember my grandma's ancentral home had these on some walls and the kitchen. But in Lisbon,...

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Busy bee-yellow tram

Busy bee-yellow tram

The century old tram 28 is screechy and shaky and unbelievably crowded. But tourists flock it anyway. We were advised to ride Tram 28 from the the start of the route, at Praca Martim Moniz, as it would be less crowded then. Nevertheless it took almost an hour to stand...

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Lisbon’s orange rooftops

Lisbon’s orange rooftops

Lisbon is a capital city of orange rooftops. Since it has seven hills, we tortured ourselves by walking up and down cobbled streets to get to viewpoints with a vista of old pastel houses, grey and white churches and a dark Moorish castle. The busy bee-yellow trams...

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In the city of Azulejos

In the city of Azulejos

Right now I am in the city of azulejos and green doors. For the first time, we rent an apartment in the old town of Alfama, the district where music Fado is everywhere. Will be blogging more about the city later.

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My Swedish Christmas

My Swedish Christmas

Christmas celebration in Sweden comes on the day before Christmas Eve, December 24. It is odd that the celebration is officially started by watching a Donald Duck programme on TV, with the classic Walt Disney film clips. And you have to watch it (or pretend to watch...

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Eight-armed Vishnu

Eight-armed Vishnu

And I thought that Vishnu had four arms (which is two too many already). But the Vishnu-statue at Angkor Wat has eight. The statue greeted us at the western entrance of Angkor Wat. It's hard to miss. It's about five meters tall, and buddhists and buddhists monks...

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