The middle of the journey. Or is it only the beginning, I wonder?
It is day 8 and it is a day of discovery:
We wake up in a simple hotel in between places. A road hotel that has everything we need: A bed for the night, parking, wifi that works, water to bathe in. Sure, it's NOT stylish. But it's clean and cheap - so it is our favorite home away from home for the time being.
We continue with a short drive to the nearby beach area: Matosinhos. We don't love it and continue swiftly to a town we DO know we love: Aveiro; the "Venice" of Portugal.
Aveiro is a small town on the central/north coast, that has canals and plenty of great seafood. It is Sunday so most of the shops were closed, but the restaurants were packed with hungry tourists. We take a stroll in the pretty alleyways and streets, until we find ourself looking at each other and knowing: we have had enough here in Aveiro.
We continue to the beachside neighborhood of Costa Nova, where every color striped house is an opportunity for an Instagrams photo. We do what we came here to do - which is, let's face it, take some instagram worthy photos of the funky architecture and beaches - and once again agree: it's time to move on from here.
And then we get to the biggest discovery of the day: The city of Coimbra.
Coimbra is the oldest city of Portugal. And it has the second oldest university in the world. But other than those two impressive facts - Coimbra is designed like a beautiful symbiotic relationship between the old and the new.
One moment after passing by the chain store 'Alle Hop', we stumble into one of the city's oldest church when a sermon or mass take place. I am blown away, when the crowd at this glamorous catholic church - joins in prayer/song, and the sounds echo up to the ceiling. Goose bumps. tears. I am moved by a language I don't know at all.
I discover that one doesn't have to be catholic, or even spiritual, to enjoy sensorial communion in a beautiful church.
I discover that a journey doesn't have a middle. Nor does it have a beginning. Or an end. It is infinite. Infintie, like the number 8.
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