For those who've never been to Lisbon all I can say to describe it in one word only: LIGHT
It doesn't matter if it's winter time or summer. The city will always be recognized through its light. I have no idea if it is because of the (mostly) white buildings, pale colors that characterize so much almost all of the metropolitan region or because the river (Tagus) reflects in "his" course all of the sun that carries from a long distance. It all confers a mystic soul for the (so I call) "lisboners".
Yes, we are a sailers country - woman of a certain era wore black for those who were taken away by the sea - it still happens from now and then. Fisherman who don't return to their homeland, wifes without their husbands, children who grow up without their fathers. But we are also a country of conquerors, of brave people - who took their Life, Faith (Fado - that magical word) and Courage to the limits of an unknown sea.
The Light it is also within our souls. We are not a gloomy country. We might not have the energy of our same-language speakers across de Atlantic, but we are proud of who we are, of who we were.
And Lisbon is, by its own right, the Queen of Light. The last heart of the last piece of Land in the Old Continent. After that only mystery.
Inside it we'll find the remains of old History. Romans, muslims, all lived here. The city is filled with artefacts of those times. And of course, every Light has its Shadows. We also have the memoir of a earth that trembles, shakes, destroys and kills. We have the memory of those who parished under the so-called confort of their churches and beliefs, in fires that no man or god can explain, under the storm surge waves that vanished great part of the coast line. "Bury the dead and take care of the living". What was dark, became clear again. And a new city was built on top of the other and the other and other.
The Light of Lisbon is filled with small shades then. Reminding us of our small we all are.