Porto, Portugal – June 12th 2009
Oh god last night turned out to be nothing like I imagined. After dumping stuff at Suze’s house I end up over at Dave’s drinking beer and watching the cricket. Which was totally expected, what wasn’t expected was the fact we went to the pub til close, I get back to mine late about 1:30ish. And have to leave at 3 to get to Stansted for a 6am flight. Total balls. I end up in Stansted still slightly drunk….a sign of things to come no doubt.
Going through security I forgot, well drunkenly forgot, to take out my deoderant, it of course gets confiscated and I’m a bit annoyed as I am pretty sure I smell like shit. Oh well. The flight to Porto isn’t too bad. Its quite smooth, I fall asleep for most it and then wake up whilst we are on the descent down to the airport flying past the rolling surf and gorgeous coastline. Finally a place with decent surf!
Customs is a breeze, despite going through the EU passport only. Luckily they had a stamp. And in my stupid haze last night I forgot to get directions to the hostel. So its a quick stop at a internet cafe and jotting down the directions and I am off.
It’s not long til I am off the metro and trying to figure out what street I am meant to walk down. Not to mention its boiling hot at 10am, and well I am wearing jeans. Not exactly condusive to staying cool. I end up going to a tourist place and asking for directions. Only to discover its up a big hill…oh great!
The hostel (Poets Hostel Porto) is rather cool, nice bean bags, sweet kitchen and a pretty sweet room that over looks the town. Oh and not to mention they have a Hammock in the back yard and a patio thats perfect for drinking cold beers as the sun goes down.
I head off down into the town for a bit of a wander. I walk down past the Clerigos church and its tower, of which you can climb up, and then down past the Se (cathedral) where you can get some nice views across the river duoro. I end up walking down across the famous bridge. Where you can see both sides of the river, all the port factories on one side.
Porto doesn’t seems to feel different to most places ive been to thus far, just a real laid back atmosphere and so pretty. Its stifling hot too, but anywhere would be after London.
I still smile a bit cheekily, I am living the life. Its amazing. It isn’t too often you can explore other countires.
I end up getting so hot, that I decide to go to the beach. I grab the firts bus 500 to go out to the beach, then get off at the first sign of a beach. Even though its blowing a gale, and the water is freezing cold. Its rather refreshing to be at a beach with some waves, however small they may be.
I spend the rest of the evening at the hostel, getting to know fellow travelers. I run into a guy who is 60 and lives 10 minutes down the road. Weird. I sit outside on the patio and drink and watch the sunset go down over Porto. Right outside we have the Se cathedral and Ribiera plus the Gaia all lit up. Its amazing.
I end up heading out with some Aussies who arrived late. And just outside the hostel up the road is a stage set up with locals drinking and dancing to traditional music. A random sight to see. We end up at a restaurant and I just drink, we go back to the festival and get our cha cha and salsa on.
Not a bad night to be honest.