Nope, I didn’t go to Porto again, I am just re-writing this post after I accidentally deleted my blog like a doofus a couple weeks ago. I lost a few posts with that little mishap, and most of them were my stupid ramblings, but the Porto post is something that I want to keep.
So…Take Two. That first post took me HOURS to put together. This one will be much less labor intensive. Anyway…background: Shannon and Teresa came to visit for 10 days, and during that time, we spent the weekend in Portugal.
They arrived Tuesday morning (almost left locked out of my apartment, but right before I left, I heard giggling…of children?? Nope! It was Shan and Teresa standing outside my apartment wondering how to get in since the door was locked.) Haha. Anyway, they slept while I went to school. Then we spent the afternoon walking around Madrid– Sol, Gran Via, Royal Palace, Fuencarral, etc. We walked and walked and talked and talked. On Wednesday, they did more of their own site-seeing. Then Thursday, we were off!
We got our nails did Thursday afternoon, stopped by my house to grab our bags and then went to the airport for our flight to Portugal!
We didn’t do much of anything on Thursday except find out hostel, drop our bags, and get some dinner at the hostel restaurant.This is a traditional Portugese dish: bread, veggies (usually pork, though), more bread, smothered in cheese and gravy. Like eating a brick.
Then we bundled up and ventured out into the rain, wind, and cold. But we had some exploring to do!The hostel recommended that we do the hop-on, hop-off bus as a way to city the city and stay semi warm/ dry. More like the hop-on, hop-off, and never see the damn bus EVER AGAIN. Or, an hour and a half late. We got off at the beach thinking we would get back on soon enough. It was pouring and super windy and then the bus came soooo late. At least we found it funny and amusing…until our toes were numb haha.
Eventually, the bus came. We had tickets to do a Port winery tour, so we headed that way. As a self-declared wine hater (I know), I am happy to say that I really liked the port! And the tour was really great- informative, but short enough to be interesting. This is the perfect tour for people with the attention span of an ant. Me.And, best part- we got to try Port wine! We were a little sloshed at 3 in the afternoon, the perfect way to warm up.
After the tour, we walked up, up, up, all the way back to our hostel. But first, we took in these views: I can only imagine how beautiful it would be on a bright, sunny day. I will have to go back and report, right?
Saturday morning, we were up again, taking plenty of time to savor our American-sized coffees (read: huge). I was happy.
It was another wet day, but we were determined to see more of the city on foot since we had spent so much of the previous day stranded by the beach. We meandered all over the city, looking for recommendations made by the New York Times. It was perfect timing, because just a few weeks earlier, they ran an article for 36 hours in Porto, Portugal. Except they made strange recommendations. We walked all over, looking for some market they recommended, and then it turned out to be quite underwhelming. I complain a lot, don’t I? But it gave us a really great way to see the city. We walk, walk, walked and captured it for proof and for Instagram (why else do you travel???)
Look at that! Closed umbrellas!
We were hungover and exhausted, but that bar crawl was one of (if not…the) best club nights in Europe. I had so much fun dancing and being with Shannon and Teresa. But we definitely paid for it the next day. Of coooourse, it was the only day that the sun peaked out, but we weren’t in any state to enjoy it.
After the library, we decided that we had been vertical for far too long (about 45 minutes) and it was time for a rest..so we had lunch. Then sitting became too much (and it was FREEZING), so we went back and snuck into the hostel and bee-lined for the bean bags and blankets that have probably never been washed and carry a host of STDs. I slept on those things and wished I could teleport to a bed.
Then we went to the airport, took a flight home, and trekked via metro all the way to my apartment. I was a big, angry, tired grouch since I had to get up for work the next day. But the trip was absolutely WORTH IT. In every single way. I wish the weather had been nicer, but I will just have to go back this summer. With a summer dress, the sunshine, and a tall glass of port.
When they came back Thursday, we were supposed to go out to dinner and then go out OUT for one last night, before their early flight Friday morning, buuuut the poor babies were too sleepy from partying a little too hard in Barcelona. So we partied….on my couch with ice cream. And talked and giggled. We didn’t go out, but I almost prefer wearing pajamas and being with two best friends (awww).
To say I was sad to see them go would be an understatement. I knew it would be fun to have them here in Madrid, but having them here was so much better than I thought it would be. It made me so sad when they left because while they were here, I realized how nice it is to have people to hang out with, eat with, and talk with at the end of the day. And it’s great to have people to adventure with on the weekends! I hope they will come back soon 😉
That’s it! If I accidentally delete this post, then I’m going to jump out of my window. Haha….kidding.
If you’re interested in the travel information:
Flight: Ryanair, Thursday night to Sunday evening. (100 Euros round trip)
Hostel: Tattva Design Hostel (15 Euro per night, per person. Included breakfast)
Food and other costs: 100 ish Euros
Total: 250 ish
Things worth doing in Oporto, Portugal:
- Walk along the Atlantic coast.
- Do a port wine tour, including a tour of the brewery and a tasting.
- Livraria Lello & Irmao (bookstore I mention –> do this if you need to kill time)
- Church of Sao Frnacisco (beautiful views)
- Porto Cathedral
- Dom Luis- Bridge (bridge on the river with beautiful views)
- Sit outside at a cafe with a coffee or Port wine
- Walk down the narrow streets and enjoy the city