A few years ago, Alexandra Belo took up the habit again of drawing in sketch books as she used to do in her university days. Thank goodness.
A working architect since completing her degree in Architecture, Alexandra Belo gained professional experience in several architecture practices in Lisbon and Barcelona between 2005 and 2011.
In 2010 she started her own business -.dbA arquitetura – with Vítor Mingacho through which she has developed several projects in rehabilitation and public spaces.
Alexandra has always liked to use drawing as a means of expression, thought, or just observation.
What was the greatest challenge in this experience? And the greatest reward?
Drawing the cave art at night was as challenging as drawing the skyline of all the historic villages on the route seen from a panoramic vantage point outside the walls. Even so, the real reward was the experience of the journey itself and the contact with all the people that were part of it.
Did you have any preconceived ideas about the Center of Portugal? How did this experience change that?
This journey reinforced my notion of the Center of Portugal (as I am originally from this region) as a diverse region that is rich in terms of landscapes, cuisine and heritage. No matter how well you know each town, there are always new pleasantly surprising details to be discovered.
What was your favourite moment during this journey?
Driving down in the 4x4 at sunset for the night-time visit to the Côa cave drawings.
If you had to recommend Center of Portugal to friends, what would you say?
I could say that this region is the perfect antidote to a busy life: a place where everything slows down but where you are never bored. I would recommend spending at least a week travelling through the historic villages and other points of interest to make the most of what the region has to offer.