Here we go.
This is when I synch in with the journey.
This is when I and the journey are one of the same.
This is when there is no beginning or end: the explorer in me has woken up. She has risen!
The day starts with sleep. A well earned sleep. We then tip our sweet hotel concierge Carlos and he tells how every day he wakes up at 5:30am in the other side of the river, and goes to work in the boutique hotel by sailing on a boat for half an hour...
I suddenly feel incredibly spoiled sleeping in. I am even reminded at how I greeted Carols with a 'Good morning' at 12:20 in the afternoon. I imagine for Carlos - it is midday already. But Carlos seems happy waking up in 5:30am, and I am happy with absolutely NOT waking up that early. So all is good.
The day continues with breakfast at a hipster cafe down the street, and then we go pick up a rental car that will be our sweet ride for the week. We get aquainted with the sweet ride. She is sweet indeed and her name is Matilda - Don't ask why - and we make our way to our first stop in the road: the ethereal magical whimsical poetic town of Sintra.
I could write an entire BLOG on Sintra -- a blog post will be hardly giving it justice.
I could paint Sintra -- but my hands will bleed attempting to capture its beauty with paint.
I could sing about Sintra but my voice will choke up with emotion because she's so goddam pretty.
I could all those things but I'm not gonna. Because no words will do it solid. No art will reveal its beauty. And no melodies will sing its praise.
In plain words: I fucking love Sintra.
We park at our home for the night, and begin walking on hidden curvy pathway towards the center of town. We walk through moss, cobblestones, centuries old villas and churches, all decorated with the same pastel tone Portugal tend to dress its buildings in. We synch deeper with Sintra with every step we make. She's captivating, this Sintra. She is imagination in a real form. She's a dream. She's unexplainable. And yet - here I am, trying to explain her.
We explore the tastes of Sintra: almond pastries, ginja liquer served in a chocolate cup, bras; a dish combining cod fish, eggs and onions, and local farmer's cheese and port wine. What is Portugal without port wine?
But the real taste we get from Sintra today, is our spontaneous walk to a nearby villa, through its gardens which took us to a two mile unplanned hike up the mountain, right up to the Moors Castle; a castle built by the moors in the 8th century. It's on top of a mountain, overlooking the town of Sintra, and it is glorious with its two circles of a wall surrounding it. The light of the sunset shines on it and on the entire town it looks down at.
Oh, castles. What is Portugal without its castles?
When the night falls we are deep in the forest, and we start hearing the sounds of night. The animals wake up at sunset, and make themselves heard. We hear them, and lastly we also see some: A large frog greets us from the side of the trail, and in one of the arches surrounding the castle - giant three spiders and hanging above our heads.
I meet feat there. I meet fear there on a few occasions, and with the love of my partner I am able to breathe the fear away. And it goes away, as swiftly as it comes. Because that is what I am learning here: that things swiftly change from one moment to the next.
If you blink, or close your eyes for too long - you might miss the change.
But a change is gonna come. A change is always one moment away.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman