Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Cabo da Roca and Sintra, kind of.

Portugal was struggling with massive fires a couple of weeks ago. And I was really sad to hear that. To me, Portugal will remain hot and sunny, with clear blue skies, yet green, with beautiful beaches and lovely white and blue buildings. We haven't seen much of Portugal, mostly drove through it, but what we managed to see, stole our hearts. And I can surely speak for all four of us.

Having seen Fatima and Obidos in the previous days, this time we took a trip to one of Portugal's most famous spots. Mind you, we were not planning to visit any major cities like Lisbon or Porto. Spending 2-3 hours in those cities wouldn't have been enough to experience them in any quality way, so why waste the time. That was our general idea throughout the trip.

Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of continental Europe. You can find a monument commemorating that there. And a lighthouse. But most important of all, it is a place of stunning views. Magnificent cliffs, more or less scarce plants on red rocks and the ocean in various shades of green and blue.

We took a walk along the cliff. We couldn't take our eyes off the ocean. Despite the power of wind and water, or maybe because of them, it was so peaceful and quiet there. There also weren't there apart from us. Or, at least, the area's large enough for us not to notice their presence. We did, however, meet a Polish family of five from a neighbouring town. It turned out our goals for the trip were similar, we just took different ways to reach them (and get back). But we even devoted the same amount of time to the whole trip. Anyhow, travelling with kids is possible.

We weren't in any hurry. We decided to spend as much time at Cabo da Roca as we wanted. Including a snack in the open. Not as surprising or as unexpected as having a self-cooked lunch at Cape Finisterre, but it's always nice to eat outside. Especially with views like these.

Cabo da Roca wasn't our only goal for the day, though. It was to be more like a gentle introduction to a day of sightseeing.

From Cabo da Roca we drove back to Sintra. We wanted to see the colourful Portuguese palaces that so many people talk about. We could already see them from through the windows of our car. There they were, within arm's reach. I was so excited. We just had to overcome one teeny tiny yet important obstacle. Finding a parking spot. A free parking spot. We drove (sort of, as pedestrians were faster than us) through the town twice and couldn't find a single spot. Seriously. But many others were in the same situation. Such a waste of time and energy.

We didn't drive through the town for the third time. We didn't want to waste any more of our precious time. Portugal has a lot to offer, so why waste time driving through the town that clearly didn't want us there. We were a bit disappointed, true, but we didn't let that spoil our good moods. After all, we were on holidays, we were spending time together we were exploring, we were enjoying the wonderful weather.

So instead of visiting the palaces of Sintra, we decided to time travel a little. Only a little. But more on that some other time...

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