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.DSC_0112IMG_2396

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.IMG_2345

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!DSC_0003

We left Thursday afternoon and came back Sunday night.  Porto is absolutely, incredibly beautiful, but unfortunately, it POURED the entire weekend.shan1

It was a little disappointing, but we made the most of it.  It is still one of my favorite weekends from my Euro experience.  There time here, in general, was so, so great and I miss them way too much.DSC_0034


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.IMG_2281This is a traditional Portugese dish: bread, veggies (usually pork, though), more bread, smothered in cheese and gravy.  Like eating a brick.


Friday morning, we got up early for breakfaaaaast.IMG_2288-001IMG_2289 My favorite…especially the COFFEE!  Big cups of coffee!  How I miss these.

Then we bundled up and ventured out into the rain, wind, and cold.  But we had some exploring to do!DSC_0016DSC_0006The 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.IMG_2339 IMG_2333 IMG_2327

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.DSC_0028And, best part- we got to try Port wine!  We were a little sloshed at 3 in the afternoon, the perfect way to warm up.DSC_0031  DSC_0038

After the tour, we walked up, up, up, all the way back to our hostel.  But first, we took in these views:DSC_0041 DSC_0048I can only imagine how beautiful it would be on a bright, sunny day.  I will have to go back and report, right?

Friday night, the weather was…you guessed it, cold and nasty, so we had dinner at the hostel and then stayed in, had some dranks, and relaxed.  IMG_2350


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.DSC_0059 DSC_0062DSC_0055We 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?DSC_0065 DSC_0067But 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???)

DSC_0071 DSC_0076 DSC_0080Ended up in a cathedral:

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And when we came out, the rain had let up a bit which was so nice for walking down the colorful streets.DSC_0104 DSC_0105

Look at that!  Closed umbrellas!

After walking a lot, we had gelato and then went back to the hostel for dinner.IMG_2381

And after dinner, with other hostel guests, this happened:IMG_2382

And 12 hours, 3 bars, and a club later…this happened:IMG_2385 IMG_2387


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.DSC_0111

We had to check out of the hostel, so we parked our hungover selves onto the couch of a cafe.  I’m sure they were thrilled to have us.DSC_0118

We only got up one time to check out an old library that they make you pay to enter.DSC_0121

It was a nice building, but let’s label this one under “tourist trap”.DSC_0123 DSC_0135 DSC_0138

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.  IMG_2406

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.

After our trip, they slept all day Monday while I went to work.  Then, on Monday night, we went out!  We went to a dance lesson and then stayed to dance and drink for awhile.  Going out collage

The next day, Tuesday, they went on a little getaway to Barcelona!  And stayed until Thursday…while I stayed in Madrid and mourned their absence.shan2

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).IMG_2442 IMG_2443

And then, sadly, they were off bright and early on Friday morning.IMG_2449

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:

  1. Walk along the Atlantic coast.
  2. Do a port wine tour, including a tour of the brewery and a tasting.
  3. Livraria Lello & Irmao (bookstore I mention –> do this if you need to kill time)
  4. Church of Sao Frnacisco (beautiful views)
  5. Porto Cathedral
  6. Dom Luis- Bridge (bridge on the river with beautiful views)
  7. Sit outside at a cafe with a coffee or Port wine
  8. Walk down the narrow streets and enjoy the city