“Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy.”
– Paul Simon
Many of the pedestrian streets and squares in Portugal are paved with small flat pieces of stone arranged in a pattern or image, like a mosaic.
The sidewalks look beautiful, but they’re treacherous when wet with no traction. Loose stones are easily tripped over and cobblestone wears faster than concrete or asphalt.
With the low wages and backbreaking work typical of calceteiros there are fewer apprentices and pavers. Because of all these reasons this type of work isn’t being done as often.
In this photo the men are restoring the sidewalk on the pedestrian shopping area of Rua Santa Catarina. Thank you to all the workers who painstakingly created such beauty over the centuries. .
Even with the risk of falling and tripping, there’s something so special about walking on art.