After seeing several forts and churches in Portugal, I was ready to proclaim that in Lisbon, structures were built either for the sanctity of the soul or the land.

But wait, what was this curious place that I was dropped off at? The name that the tour guide enunciated pressed my curiosity even further, “Alfama”.

I looked up, that name suited this wonderfully colorful area of Lisbon that had clustered together forming narrow alleys with hidden delights at the end of them.

I was glad I had worn running shoes on this trip as the elevation changed drastically in the little part of Alfama I explored. It is a part of Lisbon that, for the most part, was spared in the earthquake of 1755. The walls and little vignettes I caught framed by windows and doors in Alfama were brimming with history and life.

From a balcony I saw a little cat and thought, “Ah, if you could sing my little creature, how your song could echo through the maze of buildings and awaken all its history.”

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.