Old style Lisbon tram

These trams hurtle up and down Lisbon's hills. How wonderful that they have survived; they truly are a piece of history.

IMG_4084

A glass of port, one of Sarah's favourite drinks. In both Lisbon and Porto, you can visit the Port Wine Institutes (as Sarah did with Scott in their youth) and try ports of all vintages, types and prices. Highly recommended.

IMG_3698_edited_edited

When I very first visited Lisbon I was blown away by this massive metal lift in the middle of the downtown shopping area. Even now, it never fails to fascinate and beguile. It takes you up to the Baixa Alta, the old town, passing the ruins of the old convent that was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1755. The views from the top are stupendous.

Alfama street scene

In the late 1980s, when I had a brief spell of living in Lisbon, Alfama was a notoriously rough area where the more jittery guide books informed tourists that they were bound to be pick-pocketed at best or attacked at worst. This, of course, meant that we went there all the time. I'm glad to report that I always came out unscathed and my friends and I loved this charming area with its life lived out on the streets, tiny shops and bars and numerous small alleyways to explore. Sarah loves it, too.

Laundry steps

Sarah and Scott stroll through Alfama and happen upon this little travessa by the public laundry.

IMG_3796

A lovely winding alleyway in old Alfama.

IMG_3799

Why is washing on a line so evocative? I suppose it conjures up ideas of life being lived as it always has been in these places, simply and cheek by jowl.

View from the top

The view from the top of the Elevador that stretches out across the city to the Tejo river. Perhaps it's all this beauty that goes to Sarah and Scott's heads.

IMG_2834

View towards the Tejo and its bridge to the south.

Cervejaria Trindade

This is Lisbon's most famous beer house and it is a wonderful place. The walls are covered in original azulejos and, despite all the tourists, it's popular with locals too. Sarah remembers the evening - her last in Lisbon - that she spent there with Scott.

Sarah and Ines's bench

The bench on Kite Hill in Parliament Hill Fields that Sarah and Ines rest upon and enjoy the splendour of London laid out before them.

IMG_8572_edited_edited_edited

There are nearly always kite-fliers on Kite Hill as it is breezy up there on even the calmest days.

IMG_8570_edited

Sarah and Ines's bench on Parliament Hill. I like to imagine the stories that all the benches up there have heard; there's something about the bracing air, the view and tranquility that invites confidences.

Ines's house

I covet this beautiful house - who wouldn't? So I decided to make it Ines's house and it suits her exactly; elegant, perfectly proportioned and proud.

IMG_8568

A completely random picture of a red telephone box - although it is in Ines's fictitious street.

IMG_8565

A lamp in Ines's street. When I conceived the character of Ines, I saw her as light itself. That's why her tortoiseshell table lamp always illuminates her and why she still sometimes longs for the blinding light of the southern sun, even after all her years in England.

IMG_8562

The street where Ines lives. Hard to imagine that these houses were ten a penny after WWII when Ines and John moved in.

bridge over douro

The awe-inspiring bridge over the Douro, the bottom level for cars and pedestrians and top for trains.

IMG_1856_edited

The Cais da Ribeira in Porto. It's incredible how perfect imperfection can be.

IMG_1860_edited

Calem is one of the many port wine houses in Porto. Most are actually officially in Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank of the Douro. Many have both British and Portuguese heritage with close ties between the two. Perhaps we can take inspiration from such ties that long pre-date the EU and hope that all is not lost for the future of our country.

IMG_4000

The gates to the English cemetery - open on a Sunday, just as they appear in the book.

IMG_3990

The English cemetery is very overgrown - in a wonderfully luscious kind of way - and there are all sorts of unexpected blooms amidst the brambles and undergrowth.

IMG_3984
IMG_3974
IMG_3955
IMG_3919
IMG_4066
IMG_4064
IMG_4063
Miradouro tiles

I've always been fascinated by Portugal's beautiful heritage of azulejos. They serve many purposes beyond mere decoration, documenting historical events and significant moments in the country's history.