A City With A View

After almost three years of lockdown misery, we flew over the sea and arrived in Portugal’s beautiful capital, Lisbon. It was a feast to the eye, inspiration to the intellect and a pleasure to the heart. The city is a juxtaposition of the old and new, but both elements compliment each other.

The oldest part of Lisbon is Alfama, which is a labyrinth of narrow, steep, cobbled lanes leading up to the 11th century Sao Jorge Castle. There is the contrast of rustic houses and cafes and shops, with amazing colourful Street Art, and recycled pretty innovations to help reduce the carbon footprint. This was my favourite part of the city, and I would have liked to spend more time mooching around it, but a sprained ankle sadly stopped this. (That’s a cautionary tale about wearing sunglasses inside hotels)

It has been so difficult to decide what photographs to include in this first post of four, but I have mainly featured images taken from Alfarma, and the views from our hotel roof bar which capture the surrounding area of the city.

I hope these shots inspire you to go and take a look at Lisbon for yourself. And please watch out for other posts in the near future looking at Lisbon’s exciting Art Nouveau and Deco Museum, the wonderful collection of Modern Art (From Constructivism to Pop Art) at the Museu Colecao Berardo and a post featuring Lisbon’s street art, as there was so much to see.

Bom Dia

Downhill is the easy bit

Another level

Keep your eyes on the road

A beautiful derelict window from the past

Around the corner another window with the typical tile work of Portugal

Treasures round every corner

Hitting the right now

Didn’t have time to find out what this signifies due to a sunglasses debacle but noticed quite a few of these.
Had to take this from the roof to bar as the graffiti
in the middle of the buildings reminded me of a photograph I took in Manchester
A more spectacular view of lisbon at night also from the roof top bar.love this reminds me of a cubist painting.

“Saude/Cheers” and thanks for taking the time to look at my post.

All photographs are copyright to Dawn Shallcross

Baking In Bologna

Red hot sunshine majestically shed light on the beautiful coloured buildings and portico streets of Bologna, what a delightful city to stay in for a short break. It was a relatively quiet place compared to Florence but with many hidden gems, and no queues to see them, including the amazing terracotta sculptures by Niccolò dell’Arca. (We didn’t see as much as intended so will definitely return )

The Hotel we stayed in was called Il Guercino meaning cross eyed, and was named after the Baroque painter Giovanni Francesco Barbieri who, yes you guessed, was cross eyed and was active in Bologna. Also Garibaldi stayed near the hotel in 1848 and left his horses with the local blacksmith.



Piazza Maggiore is the main square and is a great place to start exploring from, as the restaurant and bar strewn streets lead to the famous “Wonky Towers” (The Two Towers), museums, the student area (Bologna has the oldest University in the world 1088), with great street Art and some quirky shops.

With the help of my daughter I even managed to buy a new nose stud as I had to replace my recent Dawnio mid life crisis addition so that it wouldn’t heal up. (I pointed to her pierced nose  : ) ).

While we were there free films were being shown when the sun went down, as part of the Bologna Film Festival which you could watch from either sitting in a bar, or actually on one of the many chairs in front of the large screen.

Piazza Maggoire including Basilica di San Petronio


Portico after Portico – great for keeping in the shade or keeping dry in the Winter


The Light of Bologna


A pretty to place to chill near the student area


Mourning Over The Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca 

The food was great but it wasn’t always easy to find vegetarian options as it is a very meaty city, but I loved the tapas type snacks you got when ordering a couple of beers. A great find was ‘Flower Burger‘ which had cool decor, including a large print of  the Beatles Yellow Submarine and 1960’s hanging swing style chairs at one table in the centre of the cafe.  Also I noticed that it is a very dog friendly place, as they are allowed in most cafes and shops, and there are many wonderful clothes shops too which are very affordable. My favourite named shop was Disco d’Oro which was a very hip music shop selling mainly indie vinyl

A quirky brilliant Vegan place to eat


Bologna Bellissima


Art Nouveau old shop sign


How sophisticated is this? : )


Cute Scruffy Mutt in one of the cafes


“Salute Bologna”

The young people were very friendly and cheerful and those who we spoke to all loved Pep Guardiola (unlike my husband), and one person actually loved our accent because he said we sounded like we were from Game Of Thrones…he he.

I hope you have enjoyed these photos (I will be uploading more images in my Places galleries soon) and get the chance the visit this beautiful City sometime.


Up and Out in Manchester

I always feel lucky to live less than a twenty minute train ride away from Manchester. It’s such a vibrant resilient city showing the true character of the people after the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.

During the last few weeks I have been mooching about town discovering some lesser known facts about the city, checking out exhibitions, (The legendary Frank Sidebottom collection in Central Library is a must if you were a fan of this comic genius.), catching some live music and trying out new places to eat and drink. I also revisited Corbieres, which in my younger days was always a great place to select tracks off it’s iconic jukebox, after going shopping in the Corn Exchange…..sadly the Corn Exchange no longer exists in its old form, and the jukebox is now CDs not vinyl, but the bar is still cool.

Finally, as it was recently Easter I have to share a photograph of my Easter Egg, which was kindly given to me from one my best mates, Bev. She is an amazing friend and has been so since infant school. The only problem is she has a fantastic memory and can remember all the embarrassing things I did……anyway happy belated Easter and make the most of wherever you live.

This Datum sign marks the old centre of Manchester. It is on the side wall St. Anne’s Church in St. Anne’s Square

The recently added Emmeline Pankhurst statue. who was from Manchester and a significant member of the Suffragettes Movement

This is brilliant, it includes his amusing job applications, City Kippax I.D. etc

“Thank you very very much ”


The mighty Dreadzone. I have seen these many times and they are always excellent

Love The Band On The Wall one of my favourite venues

Rudy’s – A lively atmosphere, gorgeous Neapolitan  pizza and cool decor

Yes please

What would we do without friends? ……look after them and enjoy their company