24 Hours of Traveling and 24 Hours of Horror
Regarding the recent attack in Paris that caused more than 120 deaths, my heart goes to those who were hurt and effected by it. I was very lucky to leave the city for the weekend but it is heartbreaking to see Paris calling for emergency but can’t do anything to help. Words cannot even express my grief and sadness.
Everything serves as a lesson. Through this attack, I have learned that Paris is a city that I really love and enjoy. It is not until this has happened had I realized I had built my little community in Paris. Friends in Paris, whether they are foreigners or Parisians, all sent their regards. I, too, had expressed my sentiments to those around. When you like a city a lot, you are supposed to accept the ugly sides of it as well.
I will never forget this day, the day just before my birthday. 13 November 2015. It was a 24 hours of traveling with 24 hours of horror. Somehow the afternoon, after visiting Sintra, I had a bad feeling and I could barely even take a nap. As I woke up, I had already seen one of my friends posting on Facebook that there was a shooting near the 10e and 11e arrondissement. Number of deaths quickly climbed up, horrifying footages were spreading on social media, and my breath froze.
I sat in the chilling area of my hostel, kept refreshing social media pages. I was shocked, that something like this could happen to Paris, a beautiful city full of culture and art despite its flaws. I couldn’t sleep until four in the morning, until all my friends reported that they, and their friends, were safe.
I thank for many times of how lucky I was, to be able to leave the city for a weekend. What if I was in Paris? What would’ve happened? Places where accidents happened is where we pass by everyday. Risks could’ve even been higher because I would’ve gone out to celebrate my birthday with my friends. Being safe is my best birthday gift this year.
Beecause of overly depressed, I decided to cancel my trip to Porto and stay in the hostel in Lisbon with those I already met. I am thankful that my new friends gave me support during down times and tried so much to cheer me up.
A recap of my trip the day before yesterday at Sintra, I did my visit with a Québec, an American and a Canadian girl. We took an 8:15 a.m. train and got to Sintra at around 8:45 a.m. We walked miles to the first castle – Quinta da Regaleira. All the castles in Sintra are categorized as World Heritage Sites because of their history and culture.
Quinta da Regaleira was the first castle that we visited. The entrance was 4 euros, it’s very worth it regarding how huge the castle was. There was an underground passage, an interior of the castle, a tennis court, a waterfall, etc.
We then visited the Moorish Castle. The Moorish Castle was named for the medieval fortification structure of the Gibraltar. It is also a big castle where you can sneak through the fortress. You can also have a great view of the Pena National Palace from the top.
We ended the trip with a sunset!