- Check out the organic pizza place (that was a fail, see below)
- Visit the ISCON temple (remember birthday pilgrimages?)
- Hit the beach and get at least my feet wet
Visit to Praia de Carcavelos and Celebrating My Birthday in Lisbon
Special Feeling on BirthdaysMy day started with a lazy morning of rest and meditation. I soaked up the cozy feeling of my birthday and talked to family and friends in earlier time zones. There is something about a birthday that automatically seems special. It is like the new beginning of New Year’s, the reflection back to our source (birth – day), the realization of our mortality, and something intangibly magical all wrapped up in one.
Locating a PizzeriaMy first big agenda was to take a walk and experience different areas of Lisbon while locating In Bocca al Lupo Pizzeria Bio Trattoria, a pizzeria started by an Italian family that uses all organic ingredients. Sadly, that day they were only open at dinner, so I opened the GPS on my phone and decided to try a pizzeria that was about half an hour walk away.
Intercontinental Birthday GiftAfter lunch, I walked back to my hotel, stopping at a couple nice organic supermakets I saw along the way. When I returned to my room to change for the temple, the Intercontinental had noted it was my birthday and delivered a complimentary bottle of wine and a cake. I don’t drink, so I gave away the wine, but enjoyed a slice of the cake.
ISKCON TempleThe ISKCON temple in Lisbon is in a small building, but beautifully and peacefully maintained. When I arrived in the temple I felt overwhelmed with the day. I missed having family and friends nearby, I was annoyed over the anchovies incident, and was just feeling emotionally raw. I entered the temple and uncontrollable tears rolled down my cheeks. The priest and his wife tried to comfort me, but I assured them I would be alright. I sat in the light of the beautiful forms of the temple, feeling the Grace of God.
Praia de CarcavelosFinally, it was time to reach the beach before it was too late. I once again ventured out in the car, this time along a beautiful costal road that wound under Lisbon’s famous aqueduct. The road follows the coastline, along small bays with boats, beautiful arches, a castle or lookout, and even a fountain in one bay. The combination of the brightly colored boats, the overflowing flowers, the bright blue water and lush green was like a feast for the senses. I arrived at Carcavelos Beach just before sunset. I removed my shoes, rolled up my jeans and walked into the water. I splashed my way along Carcavelos until I reached the far end with what looked like another castle and some large rocks. I felt alive and free, running, splashing and spinning. After taking a few selfies, I headed back to the car as the sun was sinking below the horizon, leaving in its wake a beautiful pink splatter that melted into the sea. I returned to the Intercontinental happy and full. I cuddled in bed, and connected with family in the other time zones. I feel grateful for another year to use life better, to love more, and to give more of myself in every day of life. I’d like to hear: what special birthday memories do you have?
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