Cross-legged, elegantly clad, and silent amid his chatty fellow guests crowding the umbrella-shaded tables of Lisbon’s super- popular cafe ‘A Brasiliera’, sits a life-sized bronze likeness of Portugal’s internationally-reknowned super-poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). It’s a short wait to set up your photo op. An empty bronze chair at Fernando’s metal knee allows the footsore tourist to catch a breath after the long climb up to Chaido Square from sea level. There are other ways to get up here, of course. Lisbon Tram # 28 gets you on top of the busy Chiado district and there is a four-stage escalator to bring you up inside the city from the subway entrance below at Baixa-Chiado. The marimba music you glide through upwards on a Saturday night is predictably clamorous as you emerge at a nonstop block party. It’s free to have your picture taken with Fernando. Before honoring him with your proximity you may care to know that Fernando was a chronic loner who, at the end of a bizarre existence (he invented and published the work of several currently famous Lusitanian poets). he spent time in jail for turning against the oppressive Salazar regime.
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