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)

1 comment:

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