Kate McCann felt closer to her missing daughter Madeleine after returning to Praia da Luz for the first time since she was named as a prime suspect by police investigating the little girl's disappearance, she said.
Mrs McCann, who was cleared of any suspicion last year, travelled back to the Portuguese town with her husband Gerry after a court case they were planning to attend in the capital Lisbon at the weekend was unexpectedly delayed.
Writing on the official Find Madeleine website, Mrs McCann said she had longed to return for two years for “personal and emotional reasons”, but added: “Our pain feels much rawer here.”
An update on the website read: “We travelled to Praia da Luz yesterday afternoon. I have longed to come back here for two years for personal and emotional reasons.
“Early this morning we went to the lovely little church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. It was so quiet and peaceful — a real sanctuary.
“Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine.
“We then walked down to the rocks on the beach, with its crashing waves and sense of vastness and freedom — another place where I've always felt able to reach out to Madeleine and find a little solace.”
The libel trial of Portuguese policeman Goncalo Amaral, who published a book claiming that Madeleine was dead, was postponed after Mr Amaral's lawyer failed to turn up for health reasons, a court clerk said.
The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, told reporters outside court they were not disappointed by the delay because a hard-fought injunction on further sale or publication of the book remained in place. “Freedom of speech should not include distortion of the truth, lies, fabrication and slander,” Mrs McCann said.
Mr McCann added: “We're here to fight for our daughter.”
The trial was adjourned to January 12.