Sensorial Walks in Lisbon

I just read a fascinating article on a new project which is running in Lisbon and possibly set to explode around the glode. Cabrecega is a creative agency in Lisbon who develops innovative experiences for a variety of clients. The latest of these is a guided walk through Alfama lead by a blind guide. Walkers are securely blindfolded then lead through the ancient streets. The guide not only talks them through the history of the area but also gives them a sensory experience of it. The walker is given an experience of Lisbon and of blindness simultaneously.

I think this is an amazing project. As a sighted person I cannot imagine what it is like to live in a world without sight. Yet one of the aims of this walk is to show us that in the absence of sight, the world can be fully experienced in a new way. My memories of Lisbon include sound, scent, touch and taste as well as vision – the smell of sardines, the sound of fado and the trams, running my fingers along the azulejos, the taste of pasteis (Mmmmm…).  To walk through Alfama blindfold would be an extraordinary experience.

The project lists one of their goals as

“…to bring awareness to the universe of the visually impaired, not as a limitation but instead in a positive and stimulating note in which the blind himself invite us to step into his own world of codes and references.”

The first walks in July were fully booked but they are opening their doors again in September. They cost 20 euros and this is given in full to ACAPO – an association for the visually impaired.

For further details about this amazing, inspiring project, contact the organisers through their website.

7 comments for “Sensorial Walks in Lisbon

  1. August 5, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Lily, love your blog. I live in Lisbon so I take some things for granted, but now I’m taking another look at those things 🙂 Just wanted to share with you 3 songs I love by 2 portuguese bands and a beautiful video:

    Ouvi Dizer (Ornatos Violeta)

    Capitão Romance (Ornatos Violeta with Gordon Gano)

    Verdes Anos (Quinteto Belle Chase’s interpretation of an original composition by Carlos Paredes)

    Silêncio (Madredeus) – beautiful video 🙂

  2. August 5, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Another one for the road 🙂

    Putos a roubar maçãs (Dead Combo)

  3. Lily
    August 6, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Alexandre
    Thankyou so much for all the video recommendations! Madredeus – one of my favourite bands. The view on the video is beautiful. I really liked the video for Capitão Romance and Dead Combo is absolutely amazing and I am going to have a listen to more of their music – fabulous!

  4. Patrick Gribben
    August 24, 2008 at 6:16 am

    I read your post about touchy feely walks round Lisbon and I was surprised that there was no mention of Jose Saramago’s novel “Blindness”.

  5. Lily
    August 24, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Hi Patrick.
    I haven’t read that yet so never thought of it 🙂 Thanks for mentioning it though. I just read the write up on Amazon – looks good!

  6. August 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Lily,

    I am new to your blog, and I really enjoy it! I just started learning Portuguese, and I would love to travel to Lisbon, especially after having read this post. There should be tours like these in every major city in Europe — it’s such a fantastic and unique way to experience a foreign travel destination.

    Have you had the opportunity to try this yet? If not, have fun with it and please write about your experience — as I am sure the story would be amazing.



  7. Lily
    August 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Jeff
    Thanks for your comment. I’m going over in October so I hope to try it then if I can. I agree that it’s wonderful idea that could be practised everywhere 🙂

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