Most people visit places, especially cities, because of the anticipation inside us of what we are going to see. How many of us have considered taking a holiday or a short break because of what we are going to touch, feel, smell or hear?
The answer is most probably very few and these senses, although often appreciated, are not the main reason why so many of us go on various trips. For example, the smell of paella in Spain or kebabs in Turkey are often lauded, yet seldom appreciated to their full value as the primary sense of sight gets in the way. This is, of course, not a negative notion, yet certainly worthy of interest.
Focusing on other senses Lisboa Sensorial recently launched blindfolded walking tours in the Portugal capital. Developed by Cabracega, a local creative agency, the Lisbon tours work in a similar manner and on a similar principle of the Dark Restaurants so popular around the world.
Sighted participants are securely blindfolded, whereas this process is naturally not necessary for blind participants. They are then led through the streets of Lisbon where the guide describes only smells and sounds. Popular examples are the smell of grilled sardines and the distant echo of a fado.
The guides have two aims. The first is for sighted participants to enable them appreciate the world around more from a blinded person’s perspective. The second aim is to provide sighted people with a brand new experience. This is the aim which has so far been praised for having the most success. At a mere €20 per person, the tour is certainly worth the experience.