Capo de Roca: The Westernmost Point of Continental Europe

by KNYCX Journeying
|
December 9, 2021 | 3 min read

Capo de Roca: The Westernmost Point of Continental Europe

If you look at the map, the Iberia peninsula shaped like a man’s head glazing toward the Atlantic Ocean. I heard someone told me that if Portugal is a man’s handsome face, then Spain is the voluminous hair whipping backward by the Atlantic wind. Capo de Roca, on the other hand, would be the tip of the man’s nose and the westernmost point of the European continent.

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After the afternoon in Sintra, we were exhausted and I wondered if we should take the bus to the middle of nowhere and see a cliff; My friend said, ‘we are here anyway’ and so we waited for the 5 pm bus and headed to the west.
As the bus was squeezing its way through the narrow village passages my friends were snoring on the bus; I saw the sun began to go down and I got anxious. I wonder if we could make it there before it got dark. Well, a beautiful sunset was already in view through the bus window. When the bus arrived at the tip of the Iberia peninsula – we made it, the sun was settling down to the west on the horizon and we were officially standing at the westernmost point of the entire continent.

I think, besides the emotional sunset it was also the inscriptions on the monument that made it even more romantic for me:

“Aqui, onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa…”

It means “Where the land ends and the sea begins”… Sometimes an ending of a wonderful thing could be heart-wrenching, but at the same time, it could be a new beginning of something wonderful. I was so overwhelmed by the view and emotions we were almost left behind in the wild!

Well, I swore I saw a big group waiting at the bus stop for the 6 pm bus back to Sintra and our group was simply taking pictures nearby – some of the people at the bus stop was even looking at us. Strangely, within 1 second the entire group vanished (yeah, I swore again, I didn’t hear a sound at all). So we went from joy to complete panic. It was getting cold (luckily it wasn’t raining), we were exhausted, starved and in the middle of nowhere (not in the middle – the westernmost point of nowhere), and the next (and last) bus was coming in 3 hours at 9 pm. We weren’t even sure if the bus would come! We might die sleeping in the wild with our flimsy outfits…

So we wandered around and finally found a nice couple who hadn’t left yet. Although they could speak very limited English, I put on my sad face and asked if they could give us a ride to anywhere that I could get a taxi or bus, back to Sintra. I didn’t know where we would go, and we finally got in their car. In fact, we didn’t know where they would take us, it was dark outside. We just asked them to drop us off anywhere on the main road and we would find our way back to town… In the end, they were very nice and until I saw some big lights outside the car window we found ourselves stopped right at the entrance of the Sintra train station! We arrived even just in time to board the train going back to Lisbon, seeing some familiar faces on the train, who was also at the Cabo de Roca bus stop an hour ago.

Definitely, an experience to remember… until the next unforgettable one!

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Hey! I am Kenny. Since I was a kid, I was bitten by a travel bug quite seriously that I would choose a globe and atlas book for Christmas over video games. Now, the Knycx Journeying website was launched as a platform to share my passion - covering anything that interests me from history, culture, humanity, architecture, art, food, music to outdoor adventure.

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