Lagos to Porto

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

We woke up to the most glorious day. With visions of spending the day lying on a beach not being fulfilled we headed for the bus station. It was an eight hour trip to Porto including a one hour stop in Lisbon waiting for our connection.
We made our way through the town taking one last look at the people enjoying the sun and bidding a fond farewell to Lagos. Jess and I both agreed that we could spend winters here very easily.
The first leg of the bus trip was uneventful, with the usual mix of passengers with nasal problems, passengers with smelly food and passengers with too-loud conversations. Par for the course with bus travel I reckon.
We arrived into Lisbon bus station and it was like hell with the lid off. Maybe because it was Friday afternoon and people were going places, there were people everywhere, buses coming and going, pushing, shoving. We bought some lunch at the salubrious bus station snack bar. The choice was so wide and delicious that I chose two pineapple donuts.
The second leg of the journey was much the same as the first, with the passengers slightly louder, slightly smellier and slightly worse with the nasal conditions. We arrived into Porto about 30 minutes late and had to find our way to our apartment. Armed with a map I managed to get some directions after only 5 minutes of wandering around aimlessly. As a result we found the apartment easily. Joao, the property manager for our host was waiting for us and although he spoke no English at all, was able to show us around the apartment and tell us what to do with the key when we leave.
The apartment is very nice, well appointed and in a very central location. We dropped our bags and headed back out the door to check out the local area. Within about 5 minutes of strolling we had been approached a couple of times for spare change and I began to see what the guidebook meant when it described some aspects of Porto as 'gritty'.
The buildings around look very impressive and the general feel of the city is quite grand. We headed back to the restaurant near the bus station that the host had recommended to us. It was a buffet for just six euro a head which represented great value even though there were only a few things that we chose to eat. The restaurant got busier and busier as the night went on. It was clearly a favourite haunt for the young people of Porto.
We headed back to our apartment. Although it was only about 9.30 on a Friday night it the streets were very quiet.
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