Day trip to Fátima, Portugal.
I do have to qualify that this short day trip to Fátima was work-related. In the midst of all the observations I had to make while I was there, I paid a short visit to Sanctuario de Fátima, which is world renown for its status as a pilgrimage site for those of the Catholic faith.
I have to admit that despite not sharing the same faith, I was astounded by the amazing architecture.
It was a fairly sunny day and the wispy clouds did lend themselves to the overall atmosphere.
Those who came for pilgrimage purposes made their petitions by going on their knees on a long stretch of marble which began from the back of the sanctuary right up to the church in front. It's a long journey!
The church building itself was really quite stunning. White walls, intricate carvings on the ceilings and tombs surrounding the altar of the children who supposedly saw the apparition of Mary back in the early 1900s.
As much as there were worshippers, there were also tourists. Or people working with a dash of tourism thrown into the mix.
It really was worth visiting just to understand a bit more about a fraction of the Portuguese people. They have such deep roots and while I'm living here, I'll make full use of every opportunity to understand the local culture and to make an impact in the nation that God loves so dearly.