Orlando Ribeiro is born the 16th February, in Lisbon.
He is raised by his grandfather Augusto Carvela, a military officer already retired, in Runa and Almada. In his company, Orlando had his first contacts with the countryside in long walks in Runa and Viseu, his father’s birthplace where he used to go on holidays and "his first curiosities of a geographer" emerged. With his grandfather, "a methodical person... that used to read part of the day", he also discovers the love for books, and the attraction for "stories, episodes of life and things of the past" told by his grandmother.
Orlando returns to Lisbon to the home of his father, a druggist established at Rua da Escola Politécnica. He attends the Colégio Amaral, located in the same quarter, where he met P. Celestino da Costa. With his father he gets to know Lisbon and its progress. But the gardens of the town seemed to him "a ridiculous mimicry of the natural and rural landscapes he loved so much". In this different environment he developed his "first reading habits in popular garden libraries, sometimes shivering, others catching the last rays of winter sunshine" or taking shelter from "the summery hot in the dense shadows of pergolas".
Orlando Ribeiro enrols in the Passos Manuel high-school, being admitted with the highest classification. Here he completes high-school, obtaining very high marks. He gets acquainted with inspiring works such as Religiões da Lusitania by Leite de Vasconcellos, and the Traité de Géographie Physique, by Emmanuel de Martonne. He spends his free time reading Jules Verne, whose works satisfied his "desire of evasion" and also "taking long time with atlases, phantasising travels that he would make one day...". When off school, he was attracted to "one atlas in particular, not especially good" that "he enjoyed copying and colouring".
(Quotations from Orlando Ribeiro, Memórias de um
geógrafo, parts II and III).