Sitting on the Edge of the World: Peniche, Portugal

While in Lisbon we took a short bus ride to the small seaside town of Peniche, Portugal. Heather planned our day trip and it was fun to the visit during the off-season. During the tourist months Peniche is crazy busy, but while we were visiting the city was a ghost town. This meant we could wander the cliffs as we pleased and more importantly, the line for kebabs was non-existent.

Walking around the coast of Peniche makes you feel like you’re on the edge of the world. In some areas we were staring toward North America and in others, to Northern Africa. It was beautiful.

Up until the Middle Ages the coastal town was actually an island! But over time, the water in the channel between the island and mainland began a pretty intense siltification process caused by the winds and sea currents. As a result, the channel eventually evolved into sand dunes.

Me when I explain geological processes.
This cat enjoying his best cat life.

The biggest sites for the town are the old fortress and the beautiful views from the cliffs.

The fortress was first built in 1558; it’s currently undergoing renovation to convert the entire location into a museum and closed to the public. We tried to commit a little light trespassing to see the interior, but unfortunately were unsuccessful.
The fortress was abandoned following the Congress of Vienna (1815), which established peace in Europe.
Historically, the Peniche Fortress was used for a number of purposes: in 1824, the fortress was converted to a prison for political prisoners, Germans and Austrians were held there during WWI, it was a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1928, and in 1938, deemed a national monument (although prison labor made many of the fortress’s repairs). During the 1934-1974 revolution, the Fort of Peniche held prisoners against the Fascist state including António Dias Lourenco, who famously escaped the prison in 1961.
The fort has an “irregular” star shape due to the expansion of the compound in 1645, when it was determined that the fortress should be improved during the Portuguese Restoration War (1640-1668).
Heather braving the rocky landscape. I was really nervous to make way to the edge, but eventually did.
Chris: “Yeah, okay this is nice but can I play Switch?”
3/4 of the Archer appreciation club.
I still can’t believe I walked out there! I’m so glad I did.
These stairs were a little too narrow for glitter keds but Chris and Heather made the trek to the water.
Absolutely beautiful.
Thankful for this day.
Chris at the edge of the world.
The islands in the distance were one of the world’s first established nature preserves.
During the summer visitors can take a ferry out to the islands, but the water is too dangerous in the winter to journey from the mainland.
I wish I could have captured the sound of the waves here. It was amazing.
Half of the Keanu Reeves fan club.
Santuário Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
We trekked back to the bus station in time for snacks aka an excuse for mas Pastéis da nata.

❤ ❤

Photo credit: Heather Walbright

The above moment comes back to me all the time. I felt both overwhelmed at the pure hugeness of this instant of time–sitting at the edge of Europe and staring out into the vastness of what. is. life–while also feeling so small and thankful to be for this experience. Last month, during a mindfulness exercise, we had to choose a location where we found peace. For me, it was this moment in time. Calmness does not come easy for me and I’m eternally, incredibly, grateful for this very small moment in my life.


Listening: Homecoming (Beyonce)

Watching: Homecoming (Beyonce)

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