Azenhas do Mar is a tiny coastal town near Sintra, one of my favorite places in Portugal. It is often depicted in photos in vivid colors like Italian coastal villages such as Manarola or Positano. I happened to go to Azenhas do Mar on a gray and foggy morning and what I saw was very different.
The beach was empty, the skies were gray and foggy and it was cold enough to wear a cardigan – not exactly ideal beach conditions! At first, I was disappointed: my plans to sunbathe on a tiny, idyllic beach were ruined. But the smell of the salt water and the light mist in the air drew me in. The sleepy village around it beckoned to be explored. It seemed almost like a ghost town. Not what I was expecting, but certainly intriguing.
So we walked around the little town for a little while in the hopes the clouds to blow away. And they do eventually – this fog was typical morning weather for Sintra and its immediate vicinity. The town was very quaint.
The waves were rough and it reminded me how terrifying the ocean must’ve appeared for explorers and fishermen throughout Portugal’s long maritime history.
The muted, gray and white tones of Azenhas do Mar that morning was memorable in its own way. It reminded me of the monochrome filters that are so popular on social media nowadays. So, as much as people like going to Portugal for the sunshine, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. But that shouldn’t detract from a different kind of beauty that you may discover, if you are only open to it.