If you had told me five years ago (when I first traveled solo) that I would one day find myself, at the eerie hour of dusk, in a seemingly abandoned monastery tucked on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, I’d have said “Gurl you cray cray.”
Okay maybe not those words—I don’t really say “cray cray” or “gurl”—but you get the picture. It was unlikely that it would even cross my mind that I would be in some place that looked straight out of a suspense thriller/murder/mystery movie.
But there we were, 20 minutes past nine, facing the Santuario de Nossa Senhora do Cabo Espichel, all because of a failed attempt at chasing the sun before it made its way down the horizon. The place, located along one of the Westernmost parts of Europe, was empty except for a few people making their way toward the back of the santuario.
Quite like everything that happened that weekend, the trip had been unexpected. An inception, a holiday within a holiday. When Alet left me in Lisbon, I had a work-filled weekend planned before making my way to Porto. Instead, I had somehow found myself happily distracted, feeling like the tiny human that I am, standing right above both Praia dos Lagosteiros and Praia do Cavalo, the powerful waves of the Atlantic crashing beneath.
Life, even for a brief moment in time, felt like a movie — AND I was Alicia Vikander in The Light Between Oceans. Haha!
(But seriously there was an actual lighthouse several yards away)
I was stunned into silence when I saw the out-of-this-world scenery before me. Took a while to digest the very surreal turn of events — even weeks later, I’m still processing it, the memory of that weekend fresh in my mind. It was such a rare gift, that holiday within my holiday, and even when it did make me feel quite lonesome some weeks later when I wandered alone in Prague — a city so beautiful you want to share it with someone special — I’d redo it over again.
Ever had one of those?