The Blessed Virgin Mary it is said appeared six times to three shepherd children near the town of Fatima in Portugal between May 13th and October 13th 1917. Appearing to the children, she told them that she had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn apart by war and violence, she promised that Heaven would grant peace to the entire world if her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.
Caves of Mira D'Aire
This is Portugal’s largest caves system (discovered in 1947) and the underground tour leads down through a series of colourfully lit caverns with some impressive speleothems. The last cavern, 110m below the surface contains a huge lake with artificial waterfalls and dramatic artificial fountains.
Open: Winter 9:30-18. Summer 9-19.
PILGRIMAGE TO FATIMA
"ANOTHER DARK CLOUD (D.C.) SIGHTING"
as much as the place has been 'modernized,' it still exudes an unmistakably serene atmosphere. even when the visitors increased in number, i still couldn't get distracted. fatima draws you, even when you're already at the doorstep of the apparition site and the church.
by the way, d.c. (dark cloud - my dark cloud, that is) made another appearance halfway up the mountains to fatima. once again, we got caught in the middle of a strike! this time, it was by the public transportation bus drivers and it happened right when we were en route!
so, there we were, the only two people stuck at a bus station in the middle of the mountains (can't even remember exactly where) waiting for hours for some kind of vehicle - any kind of vehicle - to pass by. but, there was nothing.
we finally just got on a phone and called for a taxi to pick us up - from lisbon! can you imagine the surprise of the operator when she asked where we wanted the taxi to meet us? so that's that.
however, we kinda did something improper (insert sheepish grin here). while waiting for our taxi to come, a bus for fatima pulled up, lo and behold! we had all of thirty seconds to decide whether we'd stay and wait for the cab or hop on the bus. when the doors were about to close, we decided to board. figured it was getting late and there was no actual assurance that the cab would arrive so, hesitantly, we opted for the sure thing.
i therefore apologize to the portugese taxi driver, whoever he is and assuming he's portugese and not from somewhere else, who went all the way there to pick us up, assuming he actually did.
so there, everything's right in the universe again.
Time for a Pilgrimage
After our Slovenian friend, Luka, arrived at our Portuguese friend's house (Renato), we drove to Fatima to see the holy place where the Virgin Mary had appeared to 2 children and delivered a message. Fatima has a strong atmosphere which is not exactly uplifting, but just "moving". Here you will see women on their knees while clutching their rosaries and trudging along the way to the church.