Atlantic Island Explorations IV: A Return to the Real on the Illas Cíes

The Romantics said that experience is heightened, deepened, by the sublime – the feeling of marvel mixed with fear at the sight of raw natural beauty: a mountain’s peak, an ocean’s depths, the desert’s breadth… On the Cíes there is this sublimity…: there is sublimity in the escarpments hollowed out by the relentless waves and tides, in the paradisiacal dunes and lagoons of the protected shores, in the orange and yellow drenched cliff-face at sunset, in the star-lit night above you and in the effervescent life in the waters below.

On the Cíes there is enchantment: the return to the real, the marine and terrestrial worlds of chicks squeaking to the mother gull for food, the lizards heating their green bodies on the rocks, the pockets of percebes between the rocks, the schools of fish fleeing you. The Cíes are the Romantic’s oils come to life, sublimity and enchantment day and night.

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Lives and Times…

Subscribe to Lives and Times by email to receive the next instalment in the Atlantic Explorations Series.

You can read previous instalments of the Lives and Times Atlantic Explorations series here, including the breathtaking photographic essay on The Elements of the Algarve.

Writing on the World Around Us…

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