Sailing Long Distances

Sintra – standing in a line and wasting time.

After leaving Cascais for the picturesque town of Sintra, the bus drove through bright late morning sunshine on a perfectly paved road alongside the Atlantic coast. Whether cruising in a small automobile, a vintage car, or by bicycle, the Portuguese love this stretch of road. On weekends in the sunshine, there are traffic jams, familiar from larger cities. The bus left the Atlantic, crept up a hill and the street plunged into fields of green with yellow flowers that blossomed under the blue sky, as if they knew springtime is almost at the doorstep. Small villages scattered along the road. The bus drove through narrows, always beware of another bus on its way back to Cascais or, worst scenario, an ambitious truck driver approaching. Yet, the Portuguese driver took it notably relaxed, thanks to an invention called brakes. At one occasion, the bus and the approaching truck stopped, rolled down the windows, chat briefly, and folded the side mirrors of the vehicles. Slowly, they moved forward, maybe a hand’s width between the vehicles and the adjoining walls of the buildings. The Americans say, if you make it in New York, you will make it anywhere. If you drive a bus in the suburbs of Cascais and survive it, and your passengers too, you can go everywhere…Read More