Summer ‘19 BC (before coronavirus) has been romanticised between my friends as the “good old days”. Every memory of work, studying, or any upset and annoyance has been blissfully removed from memory so that, to my mind’s eye, summer stretched out as months of blissful hedonism.
During that summer, I took a trip to Lisbon with my three oldest friends. Our small budgets left us squeezing four people into an AirBnB not really meant for more than two; taking turns to sleep on the sofa bed. Little matter though, because our apartment had a small balcony overlooking the hilly terrain and terracotta rooftops of the city. Every afternoon, when the heat got too hot and our calves ached from the steep cobbled streets, we decamped there armed with homemade bruschetta, juicy cucumbers, a punnet of peaches and the biggest bottle of rosé the local shop had.
We spent the days tracing the tram tracks of the Alfama district, stopping routinely for a cool Aperol (or three). Every now and again, tucked away in the crumbling city architecture, we would stumble across a “miradorous” or viewpoint that acted as a surprising reminder of Lisbon’s steep declines and offer a stunning view, stretching out towards the glimmering ocean.