Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Portugal Part II - Cabo da Roca

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, - except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came."
President J.F. Kennedy

In Sintra-Cascais natural park, at around 140m above sea level you can find Europe's most western point touching the Atlantic ocean: this is Cabo da Roca. We had rented a car that day and drove towards west the first thing in the morning. After five days of clouds and wind, we could only hope for the sun to make the waves around us shine, but we were embraced by the fog like in a mysterious
scene of an old movie. It didn't matter - we were there! And the fog actually helped me pay more attention to everything what was around me. It came and went, revealing each element of the scenery at a time: the lighthouse, the cliffs, the ocean hitting against land, the cross, the hills and the whole nature around us.
The 22 m high lighthouse had been built in 1772 on the highest point of Cabo da Roca, watching over all people who have made their way to see "where the land ends and the sea begins", as written by the Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes.
The whole place was quiet and loud at the same time. I could hear my thoughts hitting the cliffs together with the ocean,...I could have stopped time like being for a second in a bubble without nothing around me. I was there,.... and was anywhere else at the same time. I was mesmerized. And so were WE...

 And if you ever plan to be mesmerized by this beautiful place yourself, here is how to get there:
- rent a car and drive from Cascais to the west - you will see road signs, so it's easy. If you rent the car from Lisbon, then take the highway towards Cascais, and then do the above.
- if you want to use public transportation, then take the train from Rossio station in Lisbon towards Sintra (you have trains every 15-20 minutes, ride is around 40 minutes). Once you get there, just outside the train-station you have bus stops - take bus 403 to Cascais via Cabo da Roca. The busses go every hour. You can return to Cascais by bus, and take from there the train back to Lisbon (Cais do Sodre station). Will surely describe both Sintra and Cascais in the following posts, so stay tuned.

Oh,...yes,...of could I forget....: if you choose to rent a car, when coming down from Cabo da Roca, I advise you to drive along the coast, and make a pit stop somewhere...look around...and take it all's all so, so beautiful!!! 
(photos taken by me / with my camera)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Portugal Part I - Introduction to Lisbon

After many years of wanting to go to Lisbon, I have finally made it. And yes, I am so very happy I did it!

It's funny, I have been sitting in front of my laptop for some minutes now, trying to structure what I want to share with you about this lovely city, but I cannot decide. It is simply amazing, beautiful and welcoming. What it transmits to me is joy of life and and a sense of being proud of your roots and your past while still embracing development, technology,...short for: the future.
Lisbon is all about steep small rock-paved streets, small boutiques, flavours of the past mixed with new fast-paced modern eating places, castles and futuristic places which, funny enough, were created for the expo 1998 (so go back in the past as well), it's about the celebration of life (street festivals), it's about the wind blowing in your sails...
Although Lisbon has its own character, its own personality, and you can see that for example by the way streets are paved or how houses are decorated (with the famous azulejos), once you step down from Praça do Comércio towards the Tagus river (Tejo), and look west, to your right, and take a deep breath, you will  feel how the whole world opens in front of your eyes and your heart will crave for new, distant places. Maybe this explains the conquerors past of the city, of the country...
All I knew at that moment was, that I wanted to see and learn as much as possible about what was surrounding me, and I was happy the adventure in Portugal had begun for me. I was about to discover many treasures, some exploited by many, others known by few.
Join me the following days for a trip in the beautiful land of the Portuguese.

(Photos taken by me/with my camera)

Friday, June 21, 2013


It all seems like a fairytale, but no, it was real. For almost two weeks I have been charmed by the land called Portugal and by the surrounding ocean, I have enjoyed the local food and flavours, have walked (a lot!!!) on paths walked by other people hundreds and hundreds years before me, have enjoyed the warm sun and the cold winds, and have returned home with a smile and the lust to go back day. Stay tuned for some posts on my Portugal adventure, starting next week. Have a lovely weekend, my dear ones!

(Photo taken by me)
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