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All in on bicycle culture in Lisbon

During the European Mobility Week, the Danish Embassy in Lisbon did its bit to promote bicycling as a greener, healthier and more fun alternative to other means of transportation.

The week commenced on a beautiful and clear Sunday morning in the heart of the Portuguese capital. FPCUB (the Portuguese Federation for Cycle Tourism and Bicycle Users) organised its yearly bicycle ride, where the staff of the Embassy arrived bright and early, ready to kick of the European Mobility Week – and the day – with wind in our hair, salt on our skin and  full sun in our faces. Hundreds of cheerful participants had gathered with their bicycles, and along we went, following the coastline towards the modern and futuristic eastern part of Lisbon and from there to the iconic and historically important Belém district in the west. 

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The team with the president of the Portuguese Bicycle Federation.

Photograph by José Morais.

 

At this event, the new Ambassador at the Danish Embassy in Lisbon, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, furthermore had the opportunity to put a face to the name of the people at FPCUB. Overall, it was a fun and refreshing way to begin the week in the company of colleagues and like-minded bike enthusiasts with the stunning views of the River Tagus as the icing on the cake.

 

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However, the events of the European Mobility Week had only just begun. Later in the week, the Embassy received an award for “Cultural stimulus of bicycling” by FPCUB, for its longstanding involvement in bicycle initiatives around Portugal. At the Embassy, we are very proud to receive recognition for our personal engagement in promoting bicycle culture in Portugal and thereby strengthening the Danish brand as a leading bicycle nation abroad.

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Photograph by José Morais

 

Every year, The European Mobility Week culminates in the European Day without Cars. To round off an interesting and active week, the Embassy was set to participate in an all-day event hosted by the Municipality of Lisbon. It was to take place on Avenida da Liberdade, a busy street in Lisbon, which is normally buzzing with sounds of cars, cabs and buses, but were due to be closed off for a day of activities for the whole family.  But, due to a prolonged anti-uber strike by Portuguese taxi drivers that was played out on Avenida da Liberdade, the events were postponed until the following week. As a result, the European Mobility Week in Lisbon in 2018 became a two-week long  affair.

Friday night the Embassy had the pleasure to host the official closing reception of the European Mobility Week. Ana Luisa Ferreira, who is Head of the Department of Mobility Management at the Lisbon Municipality, and the Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen gave speeches on the occasion.

At the event on the following Saturday, the Embassy staff strained every nerve to set up entertaining and enlightening biking activities, which included an obstacle course for kids and the possibility to experience a virtual reality bike tour in Copenhagen, an easy setup project developed by the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. At the end of a successful day, two happy kids won the bikes from the obstacle course and thereby more seeds were planted for the further development of a flourishing bike culture in Portugal.