Switzerland

So after being in Paris for 4 nights I took an Euroline bus and headed back to Lyon, as it was easier to go to Switzerland from there, besides that I also had a Regus office right near the train station, which made it easier to work and then hop into the train. Also, I did the trip during the night so it eventually gave me one more day free of the hassle of finding a place to sleep. I arrived quite early in the morning and since I knew my way around from the previous stay at Lyon I just took a walk and then a bus and got into the office.

Montreux

Montreux

The trip from Paris to Lyon was 35€ and the train from Lyon to Lausanne was 44€, with 3 changes. I was going to stay at a longtime friend’s house and he was going to pick me up at Lausanne, from where we would go to St. Croix, where he lived.

3.050km so far

3.050km so far

Switzerland is rainy and most of the time grey, even though I actually caught a few days of shiny sun. I wasn’t counting on staying as much as I did, about 2 weeks, but due to some problems I did. It was great that André was there otherwise I would have been screwed. Besides being with someone I enjoy he made my stay very pleasant and helped a lot. I cooked a few times but mostly it was he who took care of that. He has worked for the past 5 years as a cook and he’s a great one. Besides that, he’s very talented regarding music, not that he has any kind of formal education on it, it’s just something natural I guess. You can check a music he wrote (and he is singing as well) for which I made a small videoclip. It’s dark, but in a way I like it, it’s raw and it certainly convenes the ambience of Switzerland with its rainy and cloudy days. It also reminds me of some of Thom Yorke’s solo work – which is good.

It’s a shame that once again I didn’t photograph what we ate, but in a way that looks kinda instagramish for me and also, it would make you envious and drool over your keyboard, so who would want that.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Lyon and thoughts on languages

As I’ve mentioned before, I was traveling to Lyon from Barcelona through idBus. It was a great choice in the end. I found them through carpooling.co.uk, because they were a partner company to that ride sharing platform. They do a lot of itineraries in France as well as some connections to nearer countries such as Spain and United Kingdom. For 35€ in a night coach to do around 640km with WC, wi-fi (although I was going to sleep mostly), power sockets to charge equipment and large chairs, I thought it was a cool deal. We left at 11pm of 14th April and arrived the next day around 7am. We stopped after entering France, to have our id’s checked and we did a hour stop later, to eat, stretch, etc.

1.900km

1.900km

During this stop I’ve met and talked with a very nice couple, Onofre and Adelaide, who were catalan (he) and italian (she), since I don’t talk catalan we talked italian. They were going to Lyon on vacations and from there to the middle of nowhere, a calm spot near a monastery, to enjoy nature and calmness. This is a portrait I made of them when we arrived and also a sneaky portrait of a gay couple who met upon arrival.

Continue reading

By(e) Lisbon & the idea of a Self

After the first day in Lisbon I slept very well, really, I was tired of walking all day.

The painting on the wall was done by Pedro Fragoso

The painting on the wall was done by Pedro Fragoso

Pedro Fragoso woke up around 7am because he was going to a painting workshop but I slept ‘till 11 am or something. I woke up later and did my morning meditation. I started a series which is basically a portrait done with timer while I’m meditating (I set it to 11 minutes so that I get caught actually meditating and not posing for the photo). I do Transcendental Meditation usually twice a day, but since I’ve been moving I’ve been doing it once a day usually, for 30 minutes. This is the first one.

First portrait of the meditating series (pairing to the left by Pedro Fragoso)

First portrait of the meditating series (pairing to the left by Pedro Fragoso)

I checked mails, organised some images, had something to eat and after that I went to Liberdade Avenue to enjoy the beautiful and sunny afternoon with a glass of Moscatel at one of those local kiosks/bar that you have there.

Lisbon Av. Liberdade

I’m pretty happy with my current work-on-the-go setup. I can have it all in a manageable backpack, a full frame camera with a nifty 50 lens, a thin macbook pro retina with a 15” display and a small wacom intros 4. It’s amazing, all of a sudden I have a way to work on the go and do things like this, go out to a café, or a garden, and work. It’s great really. After being there for about 3h, I’ve met with Nádia and we went to a small lookout post, Torel Garden,

Couple having some quality time during the beautiful sun set of Lisbon (it has a very particular light)

Couple having some quality time during the beautiful sun set of Lisbon (it has a very particular light)

and then to her house, where we had dinner and a nice night of sleep. She’s also into meditation and things like and in the morning we did a meditation together.

Me and Nádia meditating.

Me and Nádia meditating.

 

The way meditation works for me is very interesting and has been giving me some insights and ideas. Mostly I think of it as an anchor, you know, like a repetitive ritual you keep on doing that somehow makes you feel anchored. Because this trip, both inner and outer, is also an experiment. I’m a person who usually gets bored and tired of routines. I can stand them for months, sometimes years, but I usually end up renouncing them, or feeling the need to renounce them in order to be happy. But on other hand, the lack of a fixed job, a fixed place to live, a static group of friends, an ever-changing reality (temporal and spatially), and the lack of any other routinely type of event/reality, make it very difficult to keep your sense of self.

This sense of self is many times not only coming from the inside but coming from everything in which we invest/ed time and ourselves. It can come from your children, because if you have children for instance, then you’re (as in your Self is) a parent as well. If you are part of a group of people who share some believes, then you’re that as well. Having a fixed job, a fixed house, all these help structure your Self by creating familiarity, which in turns brings a sense of continuity. But when you renounce this, then your Self has no anchor to which to hold itself to and it starts disintegrating – when this happens you enter the “Void” and in order to come back you have to somehow fill it – be it through family, love, projects, jobs, obligations, etc – but what I’m finding truly interesting is that the routine of meditation (as I’m travelling I’ve been doing it once a day for 30 min, but usually I do it twice a day – a very specific technique called Transcendental Meditation) seems to allow a dynamic Self that is very aware of its own existence, while not being attached to the outer experienced reality – also I know this is a very crazy idea, I’m aware of it but due to the ever-increasing mobility on a global scale new ways of life will certainly emerge.

The next day I went to Belém to meet some friends who’ve I known for all my life mostly, and with whom I have shared a great deal of experiences.

Me and Carolina Sousa (who's a a great actress - doing mostly theatre but also has had some appearances in national TV soup operas)

Me and Carolina Sousa (who’s a a great actress – doing mostly theatre but also has had some appearances in national TV soup operas)

 

Carolina is João Sousa’s sister (who took me on a walk through Lisbon).

João (left) is a musician and Carlos studies biochemistry.

João (left) is a musician and Carlos studies biochemistry.

Beer & stuff

Bernardo Sampaio (musician-guitar) and Catarina (singer)

We walked near the river Tejo that flows into the Atlantic Ocean, it’s a big and beautiful river, almost looks like a sea and separates Lisbon from Margem Sul (south). You can cross it through the 25th April bridge either by car or train, or through the river by boat.

In the backdrop we see the monument to the portuguese discoveries

In the backdrop we see the monument to the portuguese discoveries

I really enjoy the narratives that can be built through portuguese story. I mean it’s quite amazing what the Portuguese did back in the time of the discoveries. These discoveries allowed to connect the world for the first time through commerce, even though I think “we” didn’t took full advantage of it. We were the first along with the Spanish but the English have done it better, after that, if we can say so. Nonetheless the exploring nature of the Portuguese people amazes me, as well as its tolerance to foreign cultures (not that they didn’t commit errors). For instance Portugal was one of the few countries who didn’t burn Templars, actually they changed their name to Order of Christ and settled in Tomar (where I took my degree in Photography). It’s due to their work that we went on discovering much of the world. Not only that but Portugal was also the first country to abolish death penalty, we abolished slavery earlier than many countries, even though we had many interests in keeping the status quo (we had colonies throughout Africa). We incorporate easily many traits of different cultures, religions and ways of living and I think it’s amazing. On the other hand, as with all countries, there’s also a lot of stupidity, racism and so on, but instead of using stupid narratives we could be using the good examples to build something else and giving a sense of empowerment to our people.

After that walk we went to have dinner and my friends played music all night. I went to bed at about 1/2am to check the e-mails and get some rest because I was catching my flight to Madrid early next morning.

 

Me checking e-mails before going to sleep in João Afonso's house.

Me checking e-mails before going to sleep in João Afonso’s house. Yeah I know, what a stupid face.

This is João Afonso and Pedro Fragoso playing a cover of Devendra Banhart’s “I Feel Just Like a Child”.

 

A small music they wrote, where Carolina did the acting and I filmed.

Afinal de Contas

You can see some more of his music at: https://soundcloud.com/jrochafonso

 

 

Lisbon Connection

I always liked Lisbon. It’s a very friendly and warm city most of the time, even when it rains. Being portuguese myself, even though I was born in Sweden, I began my journey there. I arrived by April’s 5th, taking about 2hours by bus from Ferreira do Alentejo, where I lived and worked for the last 9 months, in Nest Creative Studios, a project supported by the local Enterprise Nest (it’s kinda loose translation, but it’s a entrepreneurship hub located in that small village in Alentejo region of Portugal).

When I arrived and crossed the 25th April bridge (which is named like that as a tribute to the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, that happened that day in 1974 and overthrew the Estado Novo government, a one party type of government of fascist and nationalistic matrix), I was saying, when I arrived the weather was quite cloudy and gloomy. It was early, about 10am, and you could see the mist coming out of the river Tagus.

Tagus Mist

After arriving at the bus/train/subway station of 7 Rios (also known as Jardim Zoológico) I took the subway to Sta. Apolónia, where I met Pedro Fragoso, a long time friend, who’s an artist and lives right in front of the River Tagus. We had a coffee and headed out to Feira da Ladra (which translates loosely as the Thief Market, although a feminine thief (Ladra is feminine while Ladrão is masculine)). This is a very emblematic street market in Lisbon, near Sta. Apolónia. The streets get crowded with people selling all kinds of stuff, from new stuff to 2nd hand stuff and you can find many foreigners, different nationalities, languages and interesting people walking around from street shop to street shop.

My friend is an hipster.

My friend is an hipster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bought a pair of sunglasses and a new wallet to substitute my beautiful but already worn little wallet. This seller was very warm, when I told him I had to calculate well what to spend because I was embarking on a trip through Europe he told me, well, just take the glasses and don’t worry, when you come back you can pay for it. And he meant it, because I had just bought the wallet and said I was leaving, although I later returned and bought them.

Street seller in Feira da Ladra, Lisbon

Street seller in Feira da Ladra, Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paintings in Feira da Ladra (street market), Lisbon

Paintings in Feira da Ladra (street market), Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ate a typical cheese with a bit of bread while having a beer and I went to meet another friend of mine. João Sousa, who’s studying architecture and took me on a walk (my legs cried out later on) through some less touristic parts of Lisbon. He showed me some samples of architecture and city planning he thinks are interesting. I won’t disclose much of that for now as he’s preparing some text and thoughts to go with the images I’ve made, but I can tell you we saw a small neighbourhood, that although dates back to 1930 is still quite contemporary (and was projected by an Austrian architect – you don’t know it but my father is Austrian as well), then we went to see one of the most beautiful, interesting and important places in Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation gardens and the Palace of Justice.

I’ll talk about those in the near future!

The writing on the left says - "I may not do everything I love, but I love everything I do"

The writing on the left says – “I may not do everything I love, but I love everything I do”

Palace of Justice in Lisbon, Portugal

Palace of Justice in Lisbon, Portugal

Portrait of João Sousa, reflected.

Portrait of João Sousa, reflected.

Gulbenkian's Garden

Gulbenkian’s Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have some busy days ahead and this is just to let you know that my trip actually started. Will keep you posted and develop some more content in the way.

I’m also working with some limitations I’ve set to myself. For instance, I’m using my camera (Nikon d600 + 50mm 1.8) fully manual, and that means that even focusing is manual. I’m doing it in order to get more close to a photo-journalistic approach and to teach myself. It’s funny that by the end of the day it was already coming out much faster (I also had a problem which is, for the past 6/7 years I’ve used canon, where the dials go the other way around).

There are a ton of pictures I want to share with you, but I think tumblr will be a better option for that. Regarding this blog, I’m planning on doing 2 posts per week and I’ll try to develop some thought on some contemporary issues. Keep tuned in. We’ll get back to Lisbon before going to Madrid!

 

And then the world! ahah