Lisbon – Popeye and his tattoo

Lisbon is often celebrated for being a hip place where the old fusions with the new. I have a deep love for the old Lisbon. The quaintness of the Alfama district where Popeye like sailors have retired to a life on land. Last time I was in Lisbon I met up with some of these characters in the seediest of bars, exactly where guide books advice you not to go.

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These old sailors were quite fascinating. They had been all over the place and had dedicated their lives to working and drinking hard. This was their regular hang out. A hole in the wall bar where they kept the stories from the oceans alive over a game of dominoes. A TV was blearing out news and gossip from a corner. I wanted to talk, they wanted to strip off to show me their mad past. After seeing this, I realized that for once words were indeed surplus… a picture like this says so much more than a thousand words!

FYI – Alfama is the only district that wasn’t totally destroyed in the massive 1755 earthquake which nearly demolished the whole city. Consequently it’s one of Lisbon’s oldest districts, and a place where one can really feel the city’s heritage.


One comment on “Lisbon – Popeye and his tattoo

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