Hello, and damn, we’re really getting through the stories now! Let’s dive right in!
This prompt is about discovery, and I gave myself this one too. I based the locations from the ones in Lisbon, of course.
It started as a walk around the neighbourhood, eager to learn what I could about where I was living. I had been there a few months now, and I had the opportunity to explore.
It started in Cais do Sodre, at the ferry station. I had explored a lot of Lisbon in my time there, but I wanted to see a famous marvel up close and personal. It was reassuring that my Metro daily pass would get me across the River Tejo to my destination.
The ferry ride itself was strange – I had never been on a boat ride quite like this before. The tourists (myself included) spent the travel time taking pictures of the river and the view of the city from the ferry. The ride was very smooth, as it was a sunny day without any choppy waters. We arrived safely at the Transtejo Cacilhas, and it was on to the Metro station. And thus, I’d arrived at Almada.
I noticed that there were no underground Metro stations, just stops, just like the tram system in the United Kingdom, where it ran on tracks on the road. I had to scan my Viva card within the carriage of the Metro train, and take a seat and watch the world pass me by as we travelled, which was foreign to me now that I’d gotten used to the lack of views underground.
I stopped at the São João Baptiste stop and made my way to the square, where a floor fountain was spitting up water, and a McDonalds was nearby so that I could grab a quick lunch before making the walk.
After eating, I made the walk up to the major roundabout, where the starting point in my adventure was. I made my way through the side-streets and up the winding hill pathway, seeing the statue in its constant glory, getting ever-closer. At points, I watched over the views of Almada, before finalising my trip. My legs were aching from the constant uphill walking, but I had made it.
I stood in front of the Santuário Nacional de Cristo Rei, amazed at the architecture of the entrance before I walked in. I was astounded at the free admission, and I was suddenly hit by choir music, coming through the speakers on a few decorated pillars.
I made my way past the statue and stood at the fence surrounding the edge, where other tourists were. They were busy taking selfies and using the binoculars to capture the rest of the world in detail. I was staring off into the distance, over the Ponte 25 de Abril, looking over Lisbon, and looking beyond, at the planes occasionally passing by, taking the atmosphere in. I was at peace.
I came to the discovery that, even with the tourists around, I found the sanctuary to be the most serene place I had ever been. The choir music, the architecture, the open landscape, the view of the city across the river, even the knowledge of where I was, was enough to give me that feeling.
The discovery I had made that day was the feeling of serenity.