Didem Doğan

A day trip to Cabo de Roca and Sintra, the misty town

A nice place to visit just about an hour away from Lisbon. Cabo de Roca is the place where the old world ends and the new world begins. Located on top of the hill by the ocean it shouts in your face that Europe, the old continent, now comes to an end and that another world begins onwards with an enormous ocean: herein the Europe ends and we are now in the spot where the Atlantic Ocean begins. We then leave the farthest Western point of Europe and heading to Sintra, this road is like a movie scene. We are passing through the forest, the road is surrounded by grey trees. This part of the country is in a different climate zone, similar to the one in Northern California, a mixture of the oceanic climate with the Mediterranean; that’s why you see various types of plants, even on a February day like this, the trees with various tones of green, grey and almost blue. It seems that this road leads somewhere romantic. It really is; Sintra is a magical town with blue, purple houses, Moorish style fountains, narrow roads, houses with tile walls in Portuguese style, and walking tracks along the forests. Back under the Arab rule it was always called the ‘foggy town.’ The real legend about the town is its literary value. The book of Eca de Queiroz, ‘The Mystery of the Sintra Road’ was made into a movie, and Lord Byron Childe Harold talked about it in his ‘pilgrimage’ book as the magnificent paradise. It seems that every one who came here made a story of it.