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Stu | all galleries >> Daily Bowl of Stu >> September 2004 > Sob o ponte
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Lisboa Stu

Sob o ponte

22 de Setembro de 2004

Better late than never! Today was a better day. My email is working again, I got my new ticket for the National Library, and I had lunch with my colleague, Diego Palacios, with whom I spent some time in Madrid last February as we co-wrote an article that will be published by Routledge sometime next year. So, not only was it productive, in the sense that I got some real research done, it was also productive in the sense that I got the chance to speak to a kindred spirit in the world of Portuguese academe (i.e., we are both foreigners - Diego is Spanish). After work, I decided to "matar" a few "saudades". I wanted to go down to the Docas do Santo Amaro to photograph the very first Portuguese building I ever set foot in - the old seaport. Now, my flat is in Acântara, a mere 5 minute walk from the Docas, and I have been to the Docas several times (although I must admit that it is not my favourite place); however, several people have recently asked me why I, a Scottish lad, am so passionate about Portugal. I have no real answer for this, but here is a true story from October 1972, which I believe may explain a lot. Way back then, I was a 9 year-old lad who had never been out of the UK, and only rarely off of the Isle of Bute. For adults, this was a terrible time to be living in Britain, what with powercuts, three-day-weeks, petrol and sugar rationing, etc. Anyway, our school had organised a trip on the SS Uganda, leaving Greenock for La Rochelle, Lisbon and Vigo. The cost was £60 - about one month's wages for my Dad. I desperately wanted to go, so my Dad scraped the money together and off I went on the adventure of a lifetime. I remember La Rochelle because of the shutters on the windows, and Vigo because of an anchor on a hill overlooking the bay. Lisbon, however, grabbed me by my tomatoes. It was big, brash, bright... It was so foreign, so different from anything I had ever known. To me, the people all looked strange, and they had strange looking money, and they spoke in a strange way, and the sun was shining, and there were old fashioned trams, and there were soldiers with machine guns, and the air was filled with new and exotic smells, and the pavements were works of art... We were waiting at Praça do Comércio - outside all the government ministries - for a tram to Belém, when an army truck stopped and a group of soldiers jumped out. I couldn't take my eyes off of their guns - it was the first time I had seen one for real (I was only 9, and loved Commando comics and war films). One of the soldiers noticed me staring and came over, muttered something, patted my head, and then went into the building. Who knows, perhaps he was one of the soldiers who, 18 months later, overthrew the fascist dictatorship. I certainly like to think so. I chose this as my PaD, because it is under the Ponte 25 de Abril, and as a nod in the direction of BRUCE BERRIEN, who is one of my favourite Pbase photographers. When we came into Lisbon on the Uganda, we all wanted to be on deck as it passed under the bridge, which was then called Ponte Salazar - after the dictator who governed from 1928 to 1968.

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Guest 27-Dec-2004 19:09
Thought I'd have a poke around in some of your past galleries :) I love structures like this
Guest 28-Sep-2004 22:50
Also - I really enjoyed your caption here, how you as a youngster were grabbed by the experience of a foreign and exotic land. A life-shaping event, to be sure.
Guest 28-Sep-2004 22:45
Wow Stu!

I am stunned. One - thank you for the link and the endorsement. I will try to live up to it. Two - this shot is just fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. You have outdone me here. You really have. Cheers!

Guest 24-Sep-2004 19:23
Yeah! Very Bruce, very cool:)
Herb 24-Sep-2004 04:31
Nice composition
Karen Leaf24-Sep-2004 01:19
Awesome story Stewart-it's true that catching the 'foreign bug' at an early age will stay with you for a lifetime.
This one really is Bruce-like.
Pedro Libório23-Sep-2004 21:47
esta estrutura é realmente impressionante ....sempre que lá passo de carro fico com pena de nunca a ter fotografado!!!
jypsee23-Sep-2004 17:20
I always like this kind of photo; thanks for the link to Bruce Berrien...
Gayle P. Clement23-Sep-2004 13:46
I love your narrative, Stewart. Great image too. This looks like it's put together with such fragile rods.
virginiacoastline23-Sep-2004 13:43
great story & goes well with this pic . . the other two are intriguing, but I like this one best =]
Gavin23-Sep-2004 13:05
Stu, thats a fab story to accompany an excellent pic. Cheers :)
Guest 23-Sep-2004 12:56
Excellent! I can feel this image "move" or "flex." Very good composition...
Argishti Khachik23-Sep-2004 12:41
very good story and a very excellent shot. Great lines and paths.
Very well done!
Zak23-Sep-2004 12:31
they've not finished building the bridge yet, the scaffolding is still up! ;-)

nice shot heheh
Dominic Kite23-Sep-2004 12:25
I like the story, and the photo!
Guest 23-Sep-2004 11:03
A very arresting image. It is great in BW.
Larry Ahern23-Sep-2004 10:59
Great image! Even better story!
laine8223-Sep-2004 10:18
Have to admit I barely looked at the photo, but loved your story, especially the part about your dad & the 60 pound. I'm sure you have made him proud with your passion about what you do. Top marks Mr Lloyd-Jones !!
christianl23-Sep-2004 10:04
very cool structures!
Guest 23-Sep-2004 09:47
Like the complexity of the trusses - also had to be in B&W! Nice.
northstar3723-Sep-2004 09:40
Very intricate!
type23-Sep-2004 09:37
"And some bridges are so long that you can leave your name at one end and get a new one at the other." This is an inscription to a print of a bridge in Lisbon (I wonder if this is it?) that I bought as a present for my girlfriend last Xmas. Great shot.
Adalberto Tiburzi23-Sep-2004 09:17
Neat shot, and I agree about Bruce Berrien :-))