"God, this port is disgusting"

Trip Start Mar 23, 2012
Trip End Apr 03, 2012

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Flag of Portugal  , Northern Portugal,
Monday, March 26, 2012

We meant to arrive in Porto at about 5 PM, but we didn't even leave Sintra for Lisbon until 5 PM, so we didn’t arrive in Porto until 10 PM. Thankfully, our directions in Porto were okay. We only got a little bit lost, but we found a nice Portuguese couple to help us. The hostel was very nice and in a great part of town—right on the main shopping street. Because it was Sunday and Portugal is a Catholic country, the city was absolutely disserted and somewhat creepy. We went (thankfully) right across the street to a grocery store to pick up some bread/cheese to eat for a late dinner. The three of us ended up sharing the rest of the giant block of cheese, a ton of bread, yogurt, strawberries, hard boiled eggs, and a chocolate bread loaf thing. Delicious! Since it was already so late, we just stayed in the hostel and read a little bit before calling it a night.

Lauren woke up early to run because she is running a marathon in late April, and Michelle and I enjoyed sleeping in! We all had breakfast at the hostel, then ran next door to grab a quick espresso before joining the free walking tour offered by the hostel. The tour guide was pretty good and we met some nice German girls. The best part of the tour was going to the bookstore that inspired J.K. Rowling’s description of the bookstore in Harry Potter. Apparently she was living in Porto when she wrote the first book on napkins. She probably decided to move there because the espresso is so cheap. ALSO, she apparently modeled the robes worn by students in HP after the outfits worn by the students at the university in Port. We luckily snagged a picture…

The city of Porto was very similar to other European cities until we got to the river—the view from the bridge was totally unbelievable. The three of us took about a million pictures before heading down to walk along the water. We had lunch at a little restaurant near the river—not a great idea. The food was pretty much disgusting. Lauren and Michelle ordered some vile cod shit, and I got the traditional Portuguese Francesinha sandwich, which was essentially 10 different kinds of meat on bread with cheese and smothered in sauce. Pretty good, but I could only eat like a third of it.

After lunch, we left the tour and walked across the river to sit and take pictures of the town. We were tired from walking all day, so we just sat for while. Then we went to do some free Port tastings. Porto makes a ton of port, which is sweet desert wine. The white port was absolutely vile, but the red port was good. We bought a few bottles to bring some back to the states for our friends/family, but none of us really like sweet wine.

Since we were so tired from the tour, we decided to take the funicular back up the giant hill. At the top of the hill, we got some delicious chocolate mousse and sodas, then headed back to the hostel to nap/write some blogs/read a little. Then we drank a few of the beers we bought at the store, had some more of our bread and cheese snacks, and watched a few episodes of House. After a few hours, we met up with the German girls from the tour to walk around the city at night. It wasn’t very well lit, so we ended up just going back to the hostel to have a bottle of wine and get to know them. Very nice girls!

The next morning, we woke up early to head to the airport and catch our flight to Madrid. Very excited to be back in Spain eating tapas.
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Dad on

OK. Scarves up now, please.

Mom on

Hi: you gonna post any photos?

Mom on

Porto looks like a very interesting city. Love the details about JK and the Potter robes.

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