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Lisabona şi Berlin

Începusem cu alt gînd să scriu postul ăsta, între timp evenimentele petrecute m-au făcut să mă gîndesc mai bine la unul dintre cele două oraşe.

Două oraşe diferite, dar la fel de interesante. Lisabona, capitala Portugaliei, în care fadoul este prezent peste tot pe străzi şi în pastelarias şi Berlin, capitala Germaniei, un oraş încărcat de istoria nazistă şi plin de monumente dedicate evreilor. Două oraşe care te cuceresc imediat ce ajungi să le cunoşti. Dacă ştii cum să profiţi de locurile pe care le ascund, dincolo de faţa pe care o afişează turiştilor, cu siguranţă, vei fi mai cîştigat decît dacă ai urma un itinerar stabilit.

Am ajuns pentru a doua oară în Lisabona. De această dată, cu timpul de partea mea, am reuşit să cutreier străzile şi să nu mă pierd prin labirint. Aproape de mare, Lisabona nu te lasă o clipă să stai. Mereu ai ceva nou de văzut şi de simţit. Asta în cazul în care îţi place să încerci gusturi noi. Portugalia turistică arată foarte bine. Se observă grija pentru cei care vin să le viziteze ţara.

Şi am rămas foarte plăcut impresionat de reţeaua lor de transport. Tramvaie, autobuze, trenuri. Pentru că am prins vreme de plajă, am luat zilnic trenul spre Cascais şi Estoril, oraşe la aproximativ 30 de km de Lisabona. Pe parcursul zilei trenurile pleacă din şi înspre din jumătate în jumătate de oră.Pentru că orice vacanţă trebuie să fie condimentată cu ceva, într-un tramvai (în genul celui care se plimbă pe Copou de Sărbători) am întîlnit un grup de români care analizau foarte atent o geantă, care aparţinea, culmea, tot unei românce. Surpriză şi scuze… Degeaba.

Mi-a plăcut multiculturalitatea Berlinului. Mult mai mulţi turişti decît în Lisabona, dar nu cred că pot compara cele 2 capitale. Totuşi, aş vedea Berlinul pragmatic iar Lisabona visătoare. Germanii ştiu să îşi exploateze trecutul, un trecut cu care nu prea îţi vine să te mîndreşti. Dar iată că turiştii vin. Şi nu rămîn dezamăgiţi de ceea ce găsesc acolo. Eu însă am rămas puţin trist că nu am bicicletă, iar de închiriat parcă nu îţi prea venea la 10 euro pentru 4 ore…  Berlinul are piste amenajate pe toate străzile, iar de Tiergarten nici nu mai spun. Superb parcul.

Aşadar: Lisabona sau Berlin? :)

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1. Chris Lawson | 2 Sep 2009 | 16:36:03

This may interest you, George. It will be published in in a week or so, I hope.

I love Berlin, too. I always went to the Berliner Ensemble to see a Brecht play on my visits.

Best Chris

Postcard from Lisbon

Christopher Lawson

Message (O mar salgado)

Salt-laden sea, how much of all your salt
Is tears of Portugal!
For us to cross you, how many sons have kept
Vigil in vain and mothers wept!
Lived as old maids how many brides-to-be
Till death, that you might be ours, sea!

Was it worth while? It is worth while, all,
If the soul is not small.
Whoever means to sail beyond the Cape
Must double sorrow – no escape.
Peril and abyss has God to the sea given
And yet made it the mirror of heaven.

Fernando Pessoa

Clutching my highly polished wooden seat as tram 28 lurches through the twisting streets and passes through the Alfama, Baixa and Bairro Alto, Chiado and Estrela, I swear I can glimpse the ghosts of the recently departed mingling with ordinary Lisboetas. Isn’t that Zeca Afonso, the songwriter? Zeca’s stirring, soaring, surging anthem to solidarity in Grandola, a once fiercely Communist town in the Alentejo, was the signal for the Carnation Revolution, “os evenimentos” of 25 April 1974, when Portugal finally joined the twentieth century. The revolution took place largely bloodlessly, although special fury was reserved for members of the PIDE (Policia Internacional de defesa do Estado). The austere, pious Antonio Salazar had created the Estado Novo in the 1920s. The military whisked his successor as Prime Minister, Marcelo Caetano, off to exile in Madeira and Brazil. Zeca’s life took him to every corner of the Portuguese colonial empire. He must be checking the left-wing credentials of Portugal’s socialist government and is probably pleased that the Prime Minister’s name is Socrates.

And look again at that middle-aged woman in black who walks the pavement with majestic dignity. It can only be Amalia Rodriguez, born in poverty in Alcantara, whose electrifying voice took fado, once the music of the waterfront bars and brothels, across the world. She was received rapturously in Romania in 1969. When Amalia, the “voice of Portugal”, soaked in saudade, hopeless yearning, died in 1999 at the age of 79, the government decreed three days of national mourning. Amalia must have left her tomb in the National Pantheon to rediscover her roots in the Alfama. She is the only woman and the only singer to be buried there.

Let’s get out here, at Cafe a Brasiliera, and join the bronze statue of Fernando Pessoa at his usual seat. Pessoa is smoking perhaps the 60th of his 80 cigarettes a day. Unlike the absent Henrik Ibsen’s sacrosanct table and chair at Oslo’s Grand Hotel, you can actually sit next to this unlikely colossus of modern Portuguese literature, although service at La Brasiliera is famously sloppy. Absinthe, 90% proof, was the favourite tipple of Portugal’s great poet of evanescence, indefinition and dissatisfaction with things and beings.With no close friends or a partner, Pessoa lived alone most of life with relatives or in rented rooms. He left a trunk full of poems under his own name and more than four other heteronyms. Images of Pessoa, a slight figure in a clerk’s suit, with neat moustache, bow-tie trilby and round gold-rimmed glasses, stare myopically from many locations in the Lisbon area.

Now let’s take the train at Rossio. We’ll head for Estoril, Cascais and Sintra. Estoril, with its impossibly luxurious hotels with marble floors which go on for ever, boasts the largest casino in Europe. Here the great double agent Dusko Popov, a multilingual Royalist Serb, was often to be found during the seven visits he made to Lisbon between 1941 and 1944. The Abwehr thought he was their man, but he was in fact working for J.C. Masterman’s Double-cross Committee. Known as Tricycle for his preference for three-in-a-bed sex, Popov was a formidable playboy with a love for la dolce vita. He ran up heavy bills for his British controllers, who tolerated them because he delivered such valuable information. In his way, Popov is not a ghost, but may be one of the immortals, as his lifestyle caught the attention of another wartime habitue of the casino, Ian Fleming, who may have used him as one model for the most famous fictional agent of them all. On a mission to the USA Popov warned J. Edgar Hoover about the attack on Pearl Harbour but was ignored by the prudish cross-dresser. Tricycle played in a vital role in Operation Fortitude, the vast Allied deception plan which persuaded the Germans that the D-Day Landing would take place at the Pas de Calais and Norway, not Normandy.

At the Hotel Lawrence in the lush woodlands of Sintra, Lord Byron, during his 1809 grand tour, enchanted with the setting of the second oldest hotel in Iberia, finished several stanzas of Childe Harold.

But most visitors come to Lisbon for gastronomic rather than literary reasons. Portuguese cuisine offers a range of delicious dishes from sardines and cataplana (stewed pork and clams) to roast goat and rabbit. And don’t forget to patronize the pastelarias for sticky pastries, lemon curd and custard tarts. And cakes, which the Portuguese make with the same extravagance as the Austrians.

2. Aer Conditionat | 2 Sep 2009 | 17:18:49

Berlinul mi se pare mai incarcat de simbolistica (eu sunt oarecum pasionat de WW II si de perioada aceea) insa are o imagine, ca mai toate orasele din Germania, de loc rece, “sccortos”. Deci Lisabona. :)

3. Alexandru Ilie | 3 Sep 2009 | 03:28:21

Berlin; e mai prietenos cu biciclistii. :)

4. alex negru | 3 Sep 2009 | 09:07:10

in care din cele 2 e mai ieftina chiria?
in acela ia si stai/stati cateva luni.
apoi reanalizezi.

(chiar daca ai mai fost si ai stat o perioada mai lunga in aceste orase, banuiesc ca e altfel atunci cand te muti pentru “de tot” si de asta am propus solutia de mai sus)

P.S. oricum decizia trebuie luata fara comentariile noastre. doar tu si cu tine ;)

5. Traduceri autorizate | 4 Sep 2009 | 03:15:07

Nu stiu Berlin cum este,dar am fost in Lisabona si este absolut minunat…In schimb am vazut poze din Berlin si mi-au povestit prietenii cum este…Tot Lisabona castiga!

6. Ella Coafuri | 10 Sep 2009 | 03:50:41

Amandoua orasele sunt frumoase. Dar Lisabona are in iunie festivaul de samba. Ala este momentul unic cand trebuie sa vizitezi orasul.

7. Avatare | 30 Sep 2009 | 13:07:03

Berlin. Merita mai mult. E… aerul ala de istorie si perfectionism de care da dovada Germania.

Tu ce crezi?





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