keeping an eye on the world outside my window

shiado hostel window view

In Lisbon I stayed at the Shiado Hostel on Rua Anchietta, a stone’s throw away from the symposium location at FBAUL. It was a nice hostel, modern and inexpensive with free wireless internet access and breakfast included. It had been years since I stayed at hostel; I stayed at mnay both good and bad all over Europe in the 90s, and this was definitely up there in the good. The staff were very friendly too. I did get woken up a few times by people coming into the room in the wee hours; on my second night it seemed I had the room all to myself, but then at 2:00 am three people checked in, moving all their rucksacks and stuff in with them. They tried to be quiet, of course, but coming in and out for the next hour wasn’t easy to sleep through. Still it makes little difference to me – I couldn’t sleep well in a room by myself last year, so it wasn’t a huge issue. One of the best things were the views from the windows. the view at the top was from the lounge area, sketched one afternoon when I just needed to go back for some quiet time. Below, views from the hostel dorm room window. The location was pretty unbeatable, and quite a few other symposium participants (such as Jason, Paul, Rolf, Oona) were staying there.

hostel window viewhostel window view

the lisbon streets at night

rua anchietta at night

Night-time sketching is fun, as the light is all different and in summertime in Lisbon, people are out on the streets enjoying life, or sketching the world. Right below the Shiado hostel on Rua Anchietta where I stayed was a cafe called Kaffeehaus (it was Austrian). I went there on a few occasions for dinner or a drink with some of the other urban sketchers who were staying at the hostel, such as Paul Wang (Urban Sketchers correspondent in Hong Kong, originally from Singapore), who I sketched above. I was pleased to have met Paul (who also spent some days in London prior to Lisbon, though I didn’t sketch with him) as I love his colourful sketching style, it’s so nice to look at. We were at dinner with Liz Steel and Omar Jaramillo; you couldn’t get a more multi-continental group of sketchers!. Our hostel was just around the block from a square where nightly open-air concerts filled the air with classical music, right up until bed-time. I’m no classical buff, so couldn’t really tell you your Schubert from your Chopin, but it was nice to hear. It was still going on when I got back to my room, and so I looked out of the window and sketched the scene below me.

Below: from the night before, sat in the same place, but this time sketching Florian Afflerbach and Rolf Schroeter, two of our USk correspondents from Germany. I appear to have sketched Florian and Rolf in slightly different sizes, kinda! The couple sat behind Rolf were enjoying themselves. We were there with Jason Das that night, having all just been at the USk correspondents dinner. One thing I remember most is the damn street-lamp flickering away…

florian and rolf at kaffeehaus