Only In Lisbon – Recommended Reading

When our clients confirm a Journey with us, we gather our Recommended Reading List on the location and send a gift bag of books, an enticing surprise!

The hilly cobblestone streets of Lisboa are interrupted by life-size statues of their favorite poets and writers. The proud city is decorated with many monuments to their writers, heroes and politicians, including a round the clock soldier standing guard at a memorial on the Belém waterfront. The Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultram, is a peaceful sobering reminder of a soldiers’ ultimate sacrifice paid by those who serve in the military.

The Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultram, Lisbon Portugal

Bookstores have been gathering places for critical thinking, creative writers may gather here daily for conversation. Sadly, in the U.S., bookstores are struggling to survive, but in Portugal, they are still a vital element of local life. Behind a picturesque façade of blue and white tiles, the world’s oldest bookstore, Bertrand Bookstore which opened for business in 1732, has a wide selection of Portuguese writers and also many books with English translations. Located in the chic Chiado neighborhood, next door to the opera and a cozy coffee shop. Include it in your Lisboa strolls.

Bertrand Bookstore opened for business in 1732 Lisbon, Portugal

The Book of Disquiet was written by one of the greatest Portuguese writers and poets of all time, Fernando Pessoa. He was so well loved that his home and his office have been turned into tourist attractions and his statue appears throughout the city. This book, which was discovered and published after Pessoa’s death, is a dark type of biography that questions everything, including life, other people and even our subconscious selves.

Fernando Pessoa, in the Bairro Alto neighborhood, a lively nightspot. In front of the charming coffee house, Café A Brasileira

Ponder poetry with the bronze statue of Portugal’s best-known modern poet, Fernando Pessoa, in the Bairro Alto neighborhood, a lively nightspot. The charming Café A Brasileira coffee house has lines of spectators waiting to Instagram with Fernando Pessoa. The Café Brasileira is one of the oldest and most famous cafes in Lisbon and is the original home of the Bica – a very strong espresso. The Cafe Brasileira historically attracted intellectuals, poets and writers who would debated the issues of the era in the smoke laced cafe. The art deco interior hasn’t changed in 100 years and is a local and tourist stop for shots of strong coffee. After dinner stop in for a ‘dark tar’ with the locals.

Portugal has as a rich literary tradition born of its culture of maritime exploration and political struggles. Portuguese literature is also heavily influenced by the cultures of Brazil, Africa and various other regions where Portuguese explorers founded far flung colonies.

Another recommendation is The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. This interesting novel was written by José Saramago in 1984. Saramago went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis centers around a man named Ricardo Reis, who returns to Lisbon after more than a decade in Brazil, and wanders the streets of the city, contemplating life in conversation with his dead poet friend.

Café A Brasileira coffee house Lisbon, Portugal

Café A Brasileira coffee house Lisbon, Portugal

Fernando Pessoa was a highly regarded Portuguese poet but he came to the Brasileira not for the Bica but for the hallucinogenic Absinthe of which he drunk copious amounts keeping his creative mind active.

Recommended Reading.

The Maldives – Political Situation

Thank you to all the friends who have emailed me noting that I got out of the Maldives just in time due to the 15 day State of Emergency… The reality of the situation may be unclear to someone who has not visited the islands and atolls… it reminds me of the political unrest that has plagued Nairobi and people asking if they are safe on safari in the bush hundreds and hundreds of miles away…the response is Yes you will be safe in these areas. 
This note is from the Four Seasons to their guests: Political situation in Male
On February 5, 2018, the Government of Maldives declared a 15-day state of emergency. Political events in the Maldives are typically confined to the capital island of Malé and do not affect the resort islands.
The situation in the capital is calm. Malé International Airport which is located on another island (Hulhule), separate from the capital, is operating as usual. We do not expect any disruption to air services.
Four Seasons Resorts Maldives continue to operate as usual – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah and Four Seasons Explorer look forward to welcoming our guests.
Rest assured that you will have a fantastic holiday, if you choose to continue your holiday as planned. Should you prefer, I would be more than happy to have my manager call you and explain the situation.
We still endorse the Maldives as a divine location to visit and we will be sharing our stories in upcoming posts!