From cobblestone streets, trams and an endless stream of people, to medieval history, lush gardens and mountains.
With the sun not yet high in the sky, the students from T/S Gunilla left the port, to by foot get to the train station. Even though it was still quite early in the city of Lisbon, one could feel the approaching heat in the air, promised by an open sky, innocent and infinite.
After approximately 40 minutes by train, along with stressed Portuguese and excited tourists, the students stepped out into the calm of Sintra. In difference from the ever lively town of Lisbon, Sintra is less crowded, and where there in Lisbon are buildings after buildings, there is in Sintra parks, gardens and green forests. However, after only a little while, the students from T/S Gunilla realised that Sintra is best enjoyed closer to the endless sky.
Crammed together on small bus, the daily adventure reached a new level, for now it was time to plunge into history. Higher and higher up they went, and after every hair rising, sharp turn, there came another one. At the final stop the students exited the bus, where they were welcomed by a veil of green, covering the sky, keeping the now scorching sun from reaching the ground. This is where the students left the main road, to follow stone steps higher up into the mountains.
The goal of the day was concealed by the trees, like a treasure hidden from plain sight. On top of the mountain, way up above the sea, the students reached the historical fortress, built so long ago by the Moors. Left today is a little bit more than ruins, but upon stepping through the archway, one get the feeling of entering into another world and another time. Stone walls, steps and lookout points. The old Moorish fortress stood there before the students’ eyes, like a frozen moment in time. A peace of history, forgotten and rediscovered.
No more covered by the trees and their foliage, the students were now unprotected from the brightness of the portuguese sun. The heat should have been unbearable, but from the sea came a cooling breeze, wiping away sweat from furrowed brows, and tiredness from drowsy eyes. In the atmosphere full of history, sunshine and singing birds, a peaceful feeling fell over the students, giving them time to think and relax.
With a view almost as endless as the sky above, it wasn’t difficult to imagine that one could fly away, the only thing needed; a single step into the blue. There was a harmonious feeling in the air, and while all students knew that the return home to Sweden is set, and sadly not very far off, it was almost too easy to pretend like summer is eternal.
After this, the students took the train back to the busy streets of Lisbon. However, even though they were let loose to enjoy themselves, they still had the calm of Sintra in mind.
Karin Hansson, midships