Light Over Seven Hills by Cristina Zabalaga in Lisbon, Portugal

“For the traveller who comes in from the sea, Lisbon, even from afar, rises like a fair vision in a dream, clear-cut against a bright blue sky which the sun gladdens with its gold. And the domes, the monuments, the old castles jut up above the mass of the houses, like far-off heralds of this delightful seat, of this blessed region.” –  Fernando Pessoa

Name:Cristina Zabalaga

Place you live: Lisbon, Portugal

Place your photo was taken: Lisbon, Portugal

Occupation: Writer, Visual Artist

Preoccupation: Art and homemade jams

A perfect day in Lisbon? I love it when it is foggy and humid and you can hardly see around you, it feels like you are on a ship wandering around the sea. A bright sunny day is also perfect, Lisbon’s light is very special.

For the visitor? Ride on the yellow funiculars and trams (elevador, eléctrico), climb up to São Jorge Castle and enjoy the wonderful view of the River Tagus estuary, wander around Alfama and the Baixa Pombalina and give yourself a treat with custard tarts (pastéis de nata) in Belém. At night, just hit the Bairro Alto for dinner, drinks and a lively atmosphere.

A perfect meal in Lisbon? Seafood soup, cod fish with corn bread with green wine (vinho verde) and for desert chocolate mousse followed by a good vintage Port wine, slowly enjoyed at the rhythm of a Fado performer’s melancholic voice.

A little known fact about Lisbon? There are lots of palaces, churches, and monuments, like the Monastery of the Jerónimos and the Belém Tower, that were built with lioz limestone, a rare ant compact limestone made with fossils formed more than 90 million years ago. Look carefully at its texture: they are actually pieces of fossilized organisms!