Today I am taking you all on a journey to Sesimbra, Portugal. Now, this little township is relatively new place to me as well, but I have been using it to set the scene in my latest WIP, and I thought that you guys might be interested in this beautiful area too.
Once again, I used Google Earth to find the place, and I chose it for its direct proximity to the coast. I wanted my characters to feel a sense of healing from the sea and the community. And I just knew that Portugal was probably the place to do it. I have seen the beautiful photographs of stunning sunsets, beaches and the locality of these places from my friends… so I thought, why not?
To start with, Sesimbra is definitely not a ‘new’ town; in fact it’s actually very old. It even has a castle there overlooking the township that was built somewhere around the 13th century, I believe.
Today, this township stands proudly as a fishing village where the cliffs meet the sea. It has incredible beaches surrounding the area, with sand dunes, clean waters, and even a port area for all the fishing boats. If you climb the hills of Arrabida, behind Sesimbra, you will find breath-taking views of the coastal area below. Warm sea-winds will sweep across your face, sunlight will reflect off the water, and just imagine how you would feel watching the sun set over the horizon. The red Portuguese dusky light encompasses you, the last rays of the sun shining upon your face, and you feel the most incredible sense of satisfaction that while today has ended, a new day will soon begin.
Within the township, you can find a range of things, including markets, amazing music, and decently made fresh coffee at the local cafes. You will also find big flashy hotels to stay in if that’s your thing. Personally, I would much rather hire a local Villa, eat local food, and enjoy the local atmosphere. I like to embrace the locality I’m in, and learn as much as I can from the experience – not fight it by using big hotels with swimming pools, and nasty food and coffee.
At nights, the town will thrum with activity. People will sit out on their balconies, eating antipasto, drinking good wine (or anything else that tickles their palette at the time), and they will laugh. Music plays, the scent of freshly caught fish cooking wafts down the street, and you know that this is an incredibly relaxed town full of friendly people – who are ready to welcome you into their homes.
In my book, I deliberately sent my character to Sesimbra to heal. Although my character is an extremely fast paced and tough woman on the outside, on the inside – she was breaking. I needed to give her a break. This is where I sent her. For her to let go of all the everyday stress and expectations that she had been subject to… and to embrace the locality around her. To realise that there is more to this world than just war. To get to know herself, once again.
If I were to write a tagline for this town – it would be something like this: “Sesimbra: Get to know yourself.”
For more information about Sesimbra – have a look here.