Welcome to the Atlantic Swing Festival, an international lindy hop event happening in the portuguese capital Lisbon since the very first 2011 edition, where dancers from all over the world gather and share their energy, rythm and musicality. The parties occured on the river Tejo, in a spacious venue with an attic on the first floor, where you could immortalise your experience with the photo booth, buy vintage clothings such as bowties and 60's dresses, and ask the hair dresser to make the mop over your head look like the most elegant and classy vintage hairstyle. In addition, the music was handled by a several DJ's (Paulo, DJ Abeth and DJ Gaston) and these two wonderful old time jazz and blues bands that are the Cannibal Dandies and Don Scanlon's Cool Cat Combo. This great medley of pre-parties dinner and drinks in the old town, followed by live music, great dancing with strangers, workshops, competitions, is due to the massiv work achieved by the organizers (the school and production company Swing Station, teachers, photographers .. ), which enabled the encounter of hundreds of persons, and contributes to the daily spreading of this dance.
Our mixed group of parisian lindy hoppers, chose to stay in a really eclectic and alternative hostel around the city center called The Independente. The name of the inside bar, The Decadente, perfectly illustrates the off-beat atmosphere going around, with it's swing music echoes and it's people, coming from all over the world, hanging around with their glasses of vinho verde, debating the day after's plans. The said plans can easily take time to set since Bairro Alto, the hostel's neighborhood, happens to be one of Lisbon's most expressiv and artistic part : colourful paper chains and light strings hanged between the buildings, interminable stairs surrounded with drying clothes, alternativ bohemian shops, grilled fish and meat smells swamping you and making you crave for snacks ... You could spend days and days rambling around the portuguese district and still find quirky restaurants, and unexpected celebrations on a street corner. A tiny bit bobo, that's for sure, but clearly full of welcoming people and definitely one of the high points of the city. Lisbon houses moroever lots of other festivities such as regular flea markets (Feira das Almas), Music and & Art festivals (Festas de Lisboa), and you can of course satisfy your intellectual appetite with more cultural and historic activities, for example in the village of Sintra, or through the visit of the Tower Belèm (fortified tower of the 16th century), the Monastery, and the nearby Maritime Museum (story of Portugal's pioneering role in world exploration at sea, model ships, real ceremonial barges from the 18th century, and celebration of Vasco De Gama's hipster beard).
Lisbon is ultimately a place to see, a city that slowly discloses itself to you, and that needs therefor a lot more than three days to explore.
We'll be back ... Brevemente !
Next step @lindyswop Amsterdam