so this week I am stuck in bed. tonsillitis came earlier than usual. boredom and pain is a killer combo. literally
Recently, (if you are the type to think that two months are recent) me and my loca friend packed our green backpacks of adventure time and went for a petite journey to Portugal. Having Finn and Jack’s coolness levels, we hustled our way to Porto. Before all the fun began we decided to plan a little ergo picked a couchsurfer with an ideal tree fort to match our theme. Besides that, the plan for the rest of the trip was left pretty much unsorted. We like intrigue, you see.
Plane landed our tipsy bottoms safely yet a slight hint of exhaustion was coming our way due to all that bottle popping at 7am. It’s not an addiction problem: The fear of flight made us do it!!!
Still though, waviness did not get in the way as Porto is small and easy to navigate your way around.
Really a no brainer: pretty much all metro lines cross the city centre. Our stop was Casa de Musica, an area boasting of a very modern city opera hall. Distance from there to all hustle and bustle was also walkable. It was a good start.
If you are planning your next holiday ridiculously early, I would advise to pick dates between June-July. April (that’s what we chose) is still the season of rain, so if you are looking to get a serious tan, push the date slightly further. Despite mere rain drops, we did get time to enjoy the beach for a day and I dare to say that we might have got a bit browner.
To make your life easier get a map from one of the information centres, it has all attention worthy places marked. As some may know, the main attractions there are wine cellars, which we ended up not making to. But during our stay of 4 days we enjoyed Porto wine straight from the shop. If you are also on a budget trip – we might be sharing a storyline here.
Firstly, I would advise to wonder around. Porto is designed for that. Personally, I walked till my feet burnt but enjoyed all of it. The night Porto is as beautiful as during the day, so go on and explore nocturnal mysteries and daylight wonders. You will get to see unique architecture that boasts of very colourful scheme, various shops and cafes.
If you are a planning-type sightseer you should definitely visit the following:
1. Livraria Lello & Irmao (Library that inspired its counterpart in Harry Potter )
2. Clerigos Tower (Um… A tower. You can enjoy the view of the city)
3. Casa da Musica (Try to see a performance, but even the building itself is astonishing and worthy of seeing)
4. Cafe Majestic (Truly majestic cafe)
5. Crystal Palace Gardens (Beautiful views, and an excellent place to rest)
6. Cais de Ribeira (Great place to grab a bite, especially seafood)
7. Foz (Take a stroll by the sea and enjoy one of the bars)
8. Marcado Do Bolhao (An authentic Portuguese market)
9. Art Gallery street down Rua Miguel Bombarda.
Also don’t forget to visit the beach, you can easily get there with a bus or metro from the city centre (we took bus 202 from Casa de Musica)
As for the night life, I would recommend to get out on a Thursday evening – the streets are filled with thirsty people (it’s like a student night; drinks are the cheapest). Everyone’s drinking and then heading to the clubs. Really, just visit one of the pubs in the centre, chances are they all packed. Stick to where the crowd’s going and be happy go merry. (Unless you hate the scent of cigarettes – they all chain-smoking indoors, basements or whatever you’ll find yourself at during your night out).
Overall, I think four days was about the right amount for Porto. We have seen a lot of it. I think, it would have been better if we visited during the warmer season and could have spent our days on the sand, baking our bacons. The city is small, yet full of hidden charms waiting for you to stumble upon.
If you like the sound of cats, beach, wine, seafood and Pastel del nata – Porto is a must see for you, pal(-s).
There’s just something about Bournemouth that excites me every time when I come around. Similarly as is visiting an old friend that greets you with a bottle of wine instead of tea in the early afternoon (the fun part is clearly that the “early afternoon” can actually be called the late morning). And these type of friends, I would suggest, are the keepers. But hey, that’s my cup of tea, not necessarily should be yours.
So meet Bournemouth. It is about 2 and half an hour ride by a bus full of old people (no one likes them, supposedly), broken AC, which is pretty much the same as hell, except with reverse temperature + funny throat, and smell of the the summer’s favorite – sweat. Definitely not the definitions one would like to delegate for the start of, but gradually it got better when at the end fresh ocean’s breeze sneaked into the wheels of torture and missus I shed a tear of joyfulness.
So let’s start with the first impressions that as a rule so many times really go the wrong way. And obviously as good kid I followed it: at first, I kind of got the feeling ‘ok this one is a bit of a weirdo’ as various gentleman’s wiggle clubs together with ladies’ freakingly twin-ish sense of style (leather jackets n leggings, bitch) or the fact that no one really knows what’s going on in this small city, have offered. But it’s cool, I guess am not the most normal person too, so I just went with it and actually ended up falling in love. Sadly, for the melodrama fans, it is a figurative type of love or as the T-shirt on the most touristic market stool would quote “I ❤ BM” (I just made up the acronym). Anyhow, the sea at night, the stares of the people, the pier with flirty fisherman, the laid-back attitudes, skating culture, 50% of food on Mondays, the mountainy terrains, guys at the cool clothe shop who raise pigeons as a hobby, the open bus that takes you to the creepy island and much more got me to drop the nasty attitude for good.
The moment it all turned 360 degrees was perhaps at Swanage (a.k.a creepy island). We were sitting in front of the ocean, watching the only few things that the scenery has offered : boats, cliffs, waves, while surrealistic sounds coming from the game machines of the ancient “Entertainment World” filled in the air . It had a calm (as if all inhabitants of the town were in rehabilitation period of some sort) but at the same time phantsmagoric feel to it, which lit the sparks. Not to forget, the cliff and the long walk in the forest with the finale of sitting at the prohibited edge and watching the ocean… Perhaps, it all doesn’t make sense, but the place was strange and maybe even clumsy analogously to a flawed person whose personality is helplessly charming. So yeah, unavoidably, I got bewitched.
Endless walks in the night, laying next to the ocean at dawn and wonderfully cheap red wine. We are thieves of the night. Sneaking, climbing and rioting on the streets gently. The mankurts of normalities kicked us in our guts and away from their absurd kingdoms . But guess what… we like it that way. If stealing small fragments of the joyfulness is a crime, then please, punish us… All the way to the Penal Colony of our phantasmagorias.