A botanical garden located just behind our hotel sounded promising. As we started walking, we realized that this is more of a forest reserve. Our paths led to the top of a hill. It was a pleasant walk, at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the city center. We passed by ancient fountains and young bamboo groves. The latter delighted a couple of French tourists who were trying to take souvenir selfies. Perhaps they saw, the Chinese movie, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” directed by Ang Lee.
No public buses run in this botanical garden. We also could not find any taxi stand. Walking back to the city central gave us a close-up views of the Roman aqueduct and a statue commemorating unknown soldiers from WWI.
Lucy and her fellow travelers are from Manitoba, Canada. Led by a professional art instructor, her group is traveling to several cities for 3 weeks painting their way while in Portugal. I saw Lucy focused on erasing her pencil sketches. When I greeted her, she apologized for her art work explaining that she always wanted to do art, but she is just a beginner and has no talent.
I told her that I too am an art student. I shared some wisdom from my teachers:
1. There is no right or wrong in art.
2. Great artists have turned their original mistakes to great masterpieces.
3. Manet, Michelangelo, and El Greco and countless masters began and discarded their work.
4. Materials — paper, pencils, paints and brushes are cheap investments so use them freely.
Today was a warm day. J.J. and I walked across the street to the park paralleling the Rio Montego. There are a couple of waterworks to amuse visitors. J.J. and I thought perhaps they function as a way to circulate the water but no one we asked were able to validate our assumption.
Roberto unexpectedly put his face next to J.J. when I was photographing. From Sardinia, Italy, he manifested “amore della vita” (love of life).
Aloha -- Cathi