V and I have been enjoying our first couple of days. Soaking up the relaxing lifestyle, going to the beach, sitting in cafés for hours, walking endlessly through narrow streets, sharing drinks with my cousin P until the wee hours of the morning. What a great sight it is, seeing so many people out so late at night, with clubs only closing at 7ish AM. What a difference from London where pubs will close around 11 pm, and clubs closing at 2 am. P took us on a tour of Porto the first night we arrived, taking us through the Ribeira, the gritty and poor but oh so picturesque and romantic neighbourhood filled with narrow streets and even narrower buildings. We found a back alley bar and stopped for drinks, sitting beside a table filled with local young men (some only boys) who were discussing plans of robbing tourists in order to make themselves a couple of extra Euros. We then went to the Unisersity district and had a couple of drinks at a local hangout called O Piolho (The Lice), filled with hundreds of students that spilled out on to the streets happily sharing drinks with friends.
Day number two had us going to the beach at Espinho, a 45 minute train ride away. It was an overcast day with a little sun once in a while, but despite this V still managed to find a way to burn herself after having fallen asleep for quite some time. The water was absolutely freezing, causing our limbs to go numb upon entering. Nevertheless we felt obligated to take a dive in the ever so salty water. We both took some time to get into the water, but once inside we quickly dove and ran out to huddle within our cozy towels. By the end of the day we were exhausted (we all know how exhausting a long day at the beach could be) arriving home after another 40 minute train ride, it goes without saying that we slept well that night.
The following day, V and I went with my mom to spend the day in Porto. We walked for hours upon hours through the winding narrow streets of the Ribeira, made our way across the Ponte D. Luis to Vila Nova de Gaia, met with extended family in more central Porto near the Estaçao Sao Bento for a heart attack on a plate, otherwise known as Francesinhas. We finished off that day with a nice family reunion of sorts, enjoying spending time with more of those who I haven't seen in half my lifetime.
Back to the present, we've just finished up our cafés, while sitting in a local park beside a wonderful sounding fountain feeding into a quaint pond, soaking up the sun's rays, while trying to decide on where to have lunch. Living the life...
|Our local Estaçao (Station), Ermesinde...|
|The clock at the picturesque Estaçao Porto-Sao Bento...|
|Homes in the Ribeira district, by the riverside...|
|With mom and V from Vila Nova de Gaia, set against the beautiful Ribeira of Porto...|
|A reunion 12 years in the making, with cousin...|