Porto Part I


The best thing about living in Europe is being able to just say 'well, I need a holiday' and drop everything at a moment's notice, hop on a plane (or train) and find yourself in a different country without having to do all the long haul nonsense. It is in this spirit that I went with the manfriend to the city of Porto, Portugal after handing in my dissertation.

I've been to Lisbon a couple of times - once on a schooltrip when the french boys buying beer from the supermarket was considered the highlight of the trip (ah, to be 13 again) and once on a stop-over to Florida, so I knew how to say 'Obrigado/a' and not much else.

We chose where to go on the basis of where we could get good flight deals, and Porto just happened to be the most exotic sounding place on the list - we booked it without doing any research, and then we googled it and saw this:

Pretty impressive right?

Here are some of my iphone pictures from the mini-break (because I go on mini-breaks after University hand-ins now) and the analogue photos taken on my Nikon F-601 will follow!

The holiday didn't get off to a fantastic start as our train from Euston to Birmingham was totally full and we had to stand (I was also wearing heels, very clever). So we made the best of the situation and stood awkwardly in the doorway of the food and drink carriage downing over-priced mini wine bottles for a while.

Somewhere past Watford a nice businessman took pity on us (the man in the food shop kept apologetically asking us to move to access various cupboards and we felt like a bit of a nuisance) and we grabbed seats. As you can see this immeasurably cheered us up!

1 short flight later....

First stop before we got the keys to our flat was Portugal's first Cookie & Wine bar, we arrived on their first full day of business - big shout out to the owner who was super lovely and gave us free mini-macaroons (I didn't photograph them because my best friend Tasha made a great point about how annoying it is that bloggers can't seem to consume macaroons without photographing them on their laps first).

The main square near our flat, with compulsory imposing building at it's head.

We managed to get on a boat for an hour and look at houses from a different angle, also six bridges, in a bizarre variation of architechtural style. We didn't really listen to the explanations too much because two men with very strong northern english accents were loudly commenting on seagulls right next to us,

The market along the seafront sold what I would kindly describe as 'generic shawls' but it was a quite nice atmosphere anyway (as you can see the weather was perfect, which helped to stop me getting too annoyed at how blatantly tourist-trappy it all was - I have a strong aversion to restaurants with wooden seats and red checked tableclothes)

Our lovely flat was so well-decorated!

If I could buy every single piece in the picture above and recreate this perfectly I would be so happy. The owners obviously had a strong intuitive sense of interior design.

Part 2 featuring MORE riverbank pictures coming soon...

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