beneath the London plane trees

My last few days in Lisbon and I had to go to Belem to take a photo of the Monument to the Discoveries and the pastry shop Pasteis de Belem. I then took the E15 modern tram back into the city and found myself walking up to Prinsipe Real and into the Botanical Gardens.

walking along the canopy of different trees, it was this that caught my attention, the Platanus x Acerifolia (or London plane tree) that just burst with life at the coming of Autumn

walking along the canopy of different trees, it was this that caught my attention, the Platanus x Acerifolia (or London plane tree) that just burst with life at the coming of Autumn

I didn’t expect it to be like that. I was surrounded by trees and plants of all shapes and sizes from different parts of the world. I don’t know why, but I had always thought a botanical garden would be more flowering plants and it would be filled with colours and instead, it was all different shades of green.

It was the loveliest feeling I ever felt.

It was so magical that I had to shut off my iPod so I could just walk in the serenity of the moment — the bird song, the hushed whispers of the trees as they spoke to each other, and the breeze singing between the branches.

It was truly a magical moment, if I may say so.

I didn’t expect to stay so long but there were just so many different kinds of trees and plant life to see and while I didn’t see too many flowers, I forgot that it was Autumn and I wondered what it would look like during the Spring. The place must be absolutely gorgeous. All the different shades of green just somehow soothed my eyes and tempered it and softened it. Green. Such a lovely colour. It would help in my transition back into the colours of Manila.

Tals told me that the quality of the light in Madrid was such that it had attracted a lot of the artists and painters to go there because of that — the act of seeing was made even more enjoyable by the quality of light and I agree, the sunlight in Madrid was such that it bathed everything in a halo.

Lisbon does not have that quality of light but it does have a glow that radiates from within. The stones have character.

I will miss this place. It’s great that I was able to visit such a wonderful place — a living place — as one of my last stops in the city. The living force of the gardens will travel well within me.

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