When it is windy at Guincho beach, I go south along a rugged and wild coast, dotted with lighthouses and old forts, to the nearby sheltered town of Cascais. Formerly a fishing village and a refuge for deposed kings, in recent years it has become a cosmopolitan town that unfortunately gets filled during this time of the year.

However, in the early morning it is still the sleepy place it used to be. We pass several beach coves, palaces and the massive Cascais fort, and set out on foot on the paredão, literally the big wall, or boardwalk. The solid grey granite paredão snakes behind the beaches to the next town, Estoril, and a bit beyond, along the coast to Lisbon. When the sun is just coming over the horizon, we share the paredão with a few joggers and dog walkers and, later, the waiters bringing out umbrellas and tables for breakfast at the beachfront cafés.

The maresia – the tang of sea and mossy rocks -- is intense. Maxi the dog runs ahead smelling the smells that make a dog’s life so interesting. The beaches are still empty except for the occasional fisherman adjusting rods and lines. The few walkers are diligent in their morning exercises, waving arms, stretching legs, bending knees and limbering up. I laugh to myself thinking that we look like ungainly dancers, with the gestures of prehistoric birds.

At the end of the paredão it is time to start back. But then there is the anticipated stop for breakfast. The waiter has our table set, the shade and sea breeze are welcome, it all looks so appetizing. Maxi gets his bowl of water. I bite into my well buttered ham and cheese toast and I am totally in that moment.


  1. You live in a most beautiful looking location! I'm nvery envious! The photos are magic, as is your writing. You totally took me off into a little dreamworld for a few glorious minutes. Thanks so much for that. Lovely lovely post!

  2. I really love your photos, as well as your words. Harriet is right - your world is truly beautiful. I do regret waiting until so late in my life to really explore other parts of the world, although I suppose when I was young there just wasn't the money available. I'm very grateful for the internet today. At least I can explore through it.

    Please don't apologize for the length of a comment on my blog. I love to read what you have to say.

  3. Oh I so agree with with Hey Harriet, I too, went off to Portugal in a dreamy, day-dreaming sort of state. And I loved every little moment. Thank you Maia! Pat (oh, and as you can see, I am able to 'comment' again~~until the gremlins attack again!)

  4. Hi Celeste,
    Magnificent my friend!! I feel like I took that morning ritual with you. Your hand on the camera has captured the feel of the moment in such a glorious place. Your words inspire with a calm and relaxing peace. You bring dreams of how it can be in another part of the world.
    I am totally inspired. Thank you for sharing.
    Have a wonderful day and give Maxi some pats from me.
    Hugs, Celestina Marie

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed that walk with you. I like what you see and how you see it. Quite beautiful.

  6. Wonderful photos in the morning light - it is like being let in on a secret to see them. The gate above the laughing heads is something - as if they were laughing about the failure of heroic monuments to stop time. The stop for breakfast is a wonderful description of the making of ritual in a temporary space.

    I responded to your comment on my blog, by the way.

  7. I love that you have two directions you can choose - the windy and the not so windy. Your photos capture Portugal's timeless beauty.

  8. Holà Céleste!
    mais c'est magnifique cette plage...
    me too, i now feel envious although i love my dear Andalusia!
    to answer your question, i don't think i'll go to Madrid before a few months.
    If everything goes well, i'll be working on a wedding :-)
    I wanted to thank you so much for your lovely comments and support...and no, your French is not bad at all !

    ps: i read some of your former posts. Your doc in Madrid sounds fantastic.i have anemia too but not so serious

  9. Another lovely ritual .. . todays' walk with you
    again leaves me refreshed , invigorated and
    ever more curious about your beautiful corner of
    the world.
    You also have me considering the small rituals
    in my life. Some I recognize, others I'm just beginning to see.


  10. Thank you for the Haiku, and the lovely morning walk, I would love to sit in the sun and sketch the buildings, the trouble with Australia is that our buildings are so young and do not have the wonderful variety and patina of the old ones.
    I think I am a European at heart!

  11. Another triumph! What a fabulous 'ritual' what a description and what images of your daily walk with Bob and Maxi. The magic of the early morning hours which you share so amazingly is lingering... in my mind and heart.
    The breakfast, is it in Estoril or Sao Joao? Looks totally apetizing!
    Thanks for sharing your magic seeing of the Universe, we are all the better for it!

  12. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. When the pictures of the beach are enlarged you can really feel the breeze and one would love to run with Maxi. The photo of the house with the ivy on the wall facing the light house is perfect – it could be in one of your paintings. My husband and I looked at your paintings and we loved them. You make the folds of fabric look so soft and real, we wanted to touch them to feel them.

  13. You are totally in that moment because you live in a beautiful place. How do you feel? Thanks for sharing your life here. And I'm checking you out for more in www.celestemaia.com. :)

  14. Just lovely. Funny how what got my attention the most was the shot of the breakfast table. Perhaps because I am eating breakfast now. The coffee (and everything else) looks delicious. What a wonderful way to start the day.

  15. Hi Celeste, Outstanding pictures you have here. And really admire your hobbies and work....not to mention the lovely author of this blog too, *wink*.
    Have always admired people who paint.
    Me....I'm more into portrait photography, making women, matured ones beautiful thru my camera lens...matured cameras too, ha ha.

    My back up camera is a 35 year old Yashica Electro 35 film camera. Older than some of my models, friend's wives, ha ha.

    You have a pleasant week and keep a song in your heart, best regards, Lee.

  16. Oh, I love it! Such lovely pictures of where you are. We have been so humid this summer I almost wish I was on the coast. We are usually dry and arid so this humidity is really not good for me. Sigh.

    I loved the description of the prehistoric birds for the exercisers. So perfectly caught. I'd lost you for a bit in my list and am so glad to see you back.

  17. Beautiful~ The blue of the sea and sky are so vibrant. The church on the bluff reminds me of a sight I saw not too long ago. The ocean is magical.

  18. Just beautiful and sounds so relaxing. Tomorrow is switch from cable to Dish so I just hope I can find my blogs and all tomorrow, after they are done, switching everything. You sound so contented with your life and that is a good thing. If my address changes I will let you know. I am hoping to at least keep my g-mail. I will post a short post tonight.

  19. Here I resolutely march into chaos, and you glide through beauty. Lovely.

  20. I love the pics. I have a dream of living near the sea. One day I hope it comes true. You are so lucky to be near such beautiful places.

    Oh, on the gazing balls that is on my blog are magical or so I like to think. I plan on getting some more. I love putting things in my garden. The grandkids love looking at them too.


  21. Thank you so much for allowing me to accompany you on your beautiful early morning walk. Your pictures show a world which I can only imagine here in cool, damp, grey England.

    I have studied your website; I like what I see very much indeed. Your paintings all have luminosity and brightness which speak to me. I would most certainly hang you on my walls if I could.

    So having you join me on my blog is a great honour, thank you.

    I wish you well and sincerely hope that you are in a remission which will last forever.

  22. The perfect moment to be in too...xv

  23. This place looks so beautiful and serene! Would love to have this as my morning ritual too ...

  24. I don't always feel like I have the right words to explain how lovely your pictures are..
    Just Beautiful..this is where I should live.
    You take the most interesting pictures.
    I certainly don't bore you with my mundane entries...lol..

  25. Hi Celeste, thanks for stopping by my blog, twice, what a lovely surprise. These photos are gorgeous - fabulous location, fabulous way to start the day - and your canine friend, Maxi, is one lucky pooch the way he gets to live his life, too.

  26. Amazing pictures mommy! But my attention stopped at the breakfast table!! YUM, can't wait to have those breads and coffee very very soon. I told Alex this afternoon that I was going to see Bob and Vovo for a few days and he said he was coming with me...."to see Vovo, Bob and Maxi....ah ah ah!

  27. What a wonderful morning jaunt. I would so love to have such a place nearby to do just the same. How refreshing and the photos look gorgeous! You have a great eye for composing a scene. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Celeste, for information about the carvings you can email me at romart@gracenet.co.za and then I will email back. Chat soon. Robyn

  29. I visit Portugal every year. My parents used to have a house in Murches, with Palacio da pena in the background. Cascais is very close to my heart, as is Guincho and Praia das Macas and Praia Grande where I spent many vacations when I was a kid. The smell of maresia still touches me the same way as it used to. Your photos and this trip brought tears to my eyes. I never get tired of my country :)