Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Saturday, May 14


This was the morning I was really excited about…meeting artist Alex Castro Ferreira at the Feira da Ladra! I had not gotten to look as much as I wanted at the Tuesday market, and there were a few more vendors there. At once I was mesmerized by tables of old books, zeroing in on the ones that were oldest and small enough to fit in my luggage and would be great for collage or upcycling. Well, I don’t know if I will be able to tear these up. One was fallen apart already, and it had handwriting and pieces of ephemera inside. It was about 160 years old and another was around 180 years old. I was quoted 10 euros for four books which I thought was good, then Alex got there and when she tried to bargain down the price, he would not go lower, but he said we could get a fifth book. I had already gotten more books than I should have, so I picked up a 1948 book on decorating that I liked and gave it to Alex.

Then we went to her favorite vendor who specialized in old photos and documents and lots of cool brass thingies. I picked up a few more and several metal compacts and a small pill box. At the next table where I had bought the packet of letters on Tuesday, a different woman was there. A round paper box with dried rose petals in it was firmly priced at 5 euros on Tuesday. I got it for 2 euros this morning.

Then I went looking for keys and spent the rest of my cash on a variety of knick knacks, and only one key. But I was very happy with what I bought. Alex bargained hard for everything I bought, and got prices down for me. Interestingly, she was not so successful at bargaining for her own stuff. Before we walked up to this table, she said, “This man cries all the time, waa waa waa.” I saw that she meant the bargaining process…he wasn’t so willing to negotiate as others were.

(More photos later – most of my stuff is in my lost luggage, which has been located and I hope to get in a couple of days.)


We went to a nearby cafe and ordered vegetarian crepes, which were terrific. I was embarrassed to discover that I had left my credit card in the apartment and had spent all my cash! I could have easily paid her back because she was parked almost in front of the apartment, but she wouldn’t have that. I gave her the gift I brought for her. I knew that she loves natural tones and threads, so I gave her a small driftwood stick with several colors of my natural dyed silk threads wound around it, all very subdued colors.


It was very hot and humid in Lisbon. We didn’t do much else that afternoon, other than walk down to the river and eat Italian food on the riverfront terrace at Casanova. The lasagne was really good! The breeze had finally come in and I was almost chilly for the first time. We cleaned up and packed that night, and turned in early. I was quite sleep deprived.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.