I know I’ve posted this photo before, but I decided what the heck– I’m throwing caution to the wind and repeating because this is one of my favorite, favorite travel photos ever. I spent a few days in Lisbon in June of 2015, frolicking around adorable tiled streets and eating custard pastries until I had to roll myself to bed. One afternoon, I wandered around the rickety, hilly Alfama neighborhood, still teeming with decorations leftover from “Dia de São João.” Walking through the Alfama, you’ll frequently find staircases in lieu of normal sidewalks, stepping in when the paths get too steep for pedestrians– so when I saw this staircase draped in what I thought were old decorations, I walked right down like I owned that damn sidewalk!
Turns out, this was not a staircase for public consumption, it was a staircase leading into two families’ shared patio area, where they were throwing an intimate family gathering that I was not meant to be a part of. I quickly realized my mistake and, mortified, turned and tried to casually run-walk back up the stairs and far away from my social faux pas– but I was quickly called back down in half-English, half-Portuguese by several family members.
An hour later, my stomach was full of cod fritters, Super Bock beer, and custard tarts, and I’d been treated to a free fado concert to boot. When I said my goodbyes to the families and slipped back up the now infamous stairs, I snapped a quick picture to remember my hour as an almost-local.