Walking to Belém.

Lisbon is not meant to be cycled in. Huge motorways connect the different districts and it’s hard to find your way when you’re riding a bicycle. I asked a few people how to get to the city centre and they looked at me quizzically. Some pointed me to the motorways, which I refused to accept as an option, because riding there would mean certain death. Eventually, I decided to get down to the Tagus and follow the river to the city centre, a cunning plan that worked wonderfully.

Like so many other cities, Lisbon is built on seven hills and is therefore called the City of the Seven Hills. It could be confusing if you actually use that name. People might think you mean Rome, or Athens, or Istanbul. And so on. Obviously, these claims are not true. As a city grows, there will be more hills on which the city is built, so the claim has to be reformulated as the city was built originally on seven hills. But even that is not true, because it seems unlikely that people in ancient history started to build houses on seven hills at the same time…

To avoid all seven hills, I decided to walk along the river to Belém,

Selfie in Lisbon

j Selfie in Lisbon


Bridge over the river Tagus

In Belém I visited the Berardo Musuem of Modern Art. I was intrigued by a canvas of the artist Ad Reinhardt which at first glance seemed to be simply painted black. At second glance, however, it still seemed to be simply painted black. I took a picture of the canvas, but that didn’t work either, and I had to photoshop the painting. This is what it looked like:

Painting by Ad Reinhardt

Painting by Ad Reinhardt (photoshopped version).



One thought on “Walking to Belém.

  1. nanne

    Hey Peter,
    Ben je nu al een keer lazerus van je fiets gedonderd? Want dat is de enige reden, waarom ik altijd de fiets neem! 🙂
    Gr. Nanne.


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