Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Castle views as a distraction from the world - Photos from Óbidos, Portugal

I've been thinking about Europe a lot...well, the truth is that I think about Europe all the time. Ever since I was a kid and my parents took my siblings and I to England and Germany, I haven't been able to get the beauty of old architecture, the cobblestone streets,
the smell of fresh bread, the best tasting ice cream, or the acres of trees and land out of my mind. I am currently saving up so my husband and I can go to Europe in the summer. But for now, I am reminiscing of the charming town of Obidos in Portugal. It is a colorful town within a fortified wall with a history of being given as a gift to the 13th century Queen Isabel de Aragon.

I spent a couple of weeks in Portugal during the summer following my freshman year in college with a music and drama team from my school. This was the first time I went to Europe without seeing family or being with family. But the experience was wonderful, especially when walking by buildings dressed with flower pots and along the castle wall. It really makes for a perfect distraction from the "world" around you. I know, you heard me correctly. Even though I'm staring at the world, I'm still being distracted from it. I guess what I mean is that the "world" is sometimes this construct of busyness, list of to-do's, errands to run, events to attend, and the list goes on. But when I travel to an old building, or a castle for that matter, my mind momentarily forgets the future and breathes in the present, while envisioning the past. History, although not always pleasant, is intriguing as it has conditioned us to think about what people did with their lives. We tend to ask questions about whether they were a good person, a caring parent, a hard worker, a talented artist, a great leader, and so on.

Maybe all we need sometimes is a distraction from the world to reflect on our own life and whether our current lifestyle sets us up for an impactful legacy (as cheesy as it sounds). Because one day our lives will just be history that some will know about and hopefully for those few, it will be a reminder of what truly matters in life. I think I might be getting a little too deep at the moment. ;) I'm just saying that history has a way of making us think about our own story and the difference we are making in the lives of those around us and whether we are using our limited time purposefully.

But moving on, the image above is a view from the castle wall. Isn't it breathtaking?! I remember it feeling so invigorating. Red rooftops are also a wonderful thing and make for a beautiful contrast amongst all the green land. One of the items on my bucket list is to ride in a hot air balloon overlooking Salzburg, Austria. Now that would be an awesome distraction and an incredible view.  

These pictures were a few of the descent ones I took while in Portugal. I remember buying a simple point and shoot camera before going on this trip thinking that it was one of the coolest things ever. I've always had a passion for photography, but never quite explored the art of photography. True story, when I was maybe 8 years old, my dad gave me a yellow film camera as a gift. He thought it was a bit weird when he developed my first roll of film just to find they were images of my stuffed animals. Oops! Yes, my models were my little Daniel Boone and dalmatian stuffed animals. I tossed those images away when I was a lot in ninth grade. It's kind of embarrassing to keep those in their own album you know. ;)

But I am now set on pursuing photography in a more advanced way and am trying to learn as much as I can before going on my next trip. So hopefully I'll have more than just a few photos that I won't be embarrassed to share and enough images to tell short stories of various pockets of the world.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Portugal, I highly recommend spending some time in this picturesque town of Obidos. You will fall in love instantly.


  1. If you do ever ride at hot airballoon above Salzburg (or stay on the ground with us other people), let me know! That's where I usually live when I'm not abroad. Btw you can also get a great view on Salzburg by just climbing one of the mountains around or the castle (might be the cheaper option).

    1. Thank you for the ideas Kathi! I think it's amazing that you live there. I really hope to travel their in the next couple of years. I'll let you know when I make my way there. :)