A couple of weeks ago I hit a big milestone in my life. I turned 30. As this was a special birthday, my wife kindly said she was going to take me away to a surprise destination to celebrate. We both booked a week off work and I had no idea where we would be going. All she said was that it would be hot, so to pack for good weather. After a weekend of celebrating with family and friends, Monday morning came and we set off early for the airport. On the way I was given a poem written by my wife which held the clues to our destination. It took me longer than it should have to decipher the clues and work out that we were off to Lisbon for 6 days. 

I have been lucky enough to visit many amazing parts of Europe. However had never made it to Portugal and didn’t really know what to expect from Lisbon. I was given a guidebook after cracking the poem so was able to begin reading up on what we would be experiencing.

We had a small apartment in Alfama which is the old part of town. This was great as we were able to walk everywhere. It also meant we were in the perfect place to wonder the side streets where the locals hang out. Lisbon really is a beautiful and picturesque city. The mixture of old and new architecture along with the San Francisco like hills and trams make it such a cool place to explore. 

As well as Lisbon we took a day trip out to Sintra to visit the national Palace and the Moorish castle. I can honestly say as castles go it was the best I have visited. Perched high on a hilltop it gave some breathtaking views over the towns and valleys below. Another great thing about Lisbon is that it is only a 30 minute train ride to the beach. With the temperature hitting 32 °C we had two days at Cascais which had great beaches and restaurants and was perfect to escape the city when it got too hot.

During this trip I was really keen to shoot primarily with film. This was all going to plan until I accidentally managed to knock my M6 and bent the winding lever out of shape, which meant it wouldn’t advance properly. I was gutted so switched to my trusty X-pro1. Later that night I did  manage to bend the winder enough to make it turn, so the M6 was just about usable for the rest of the trip. I have since had the winder replaced.

This really was an unforgettable week and for anyone who hasn’t been I would definitely recommend adding Lisbon to your list of places to visit.

All images were taken with the Leica M6 and Nokton 50mm 1.5 VM on Kodak Portra 400 film. Developed and scanned by Carmencita Lab.