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).
The built up tension and your hand brushing my hip, gliding down the spine and resting on the arched back.
It is warm, so warm that we are bound to fall for each other, all of us, 20-someones. Even if it’s for a short time, even if it is for the swimming season. For those three months, we are more attracted, more thirsty. We enjoy this heat.
Climb up, jump around, lay on top of each other, breathing deeply and drinking coke with ice. Extra ice with shaved ice cream.
Your blue eyes and washed off cream in the background of the sea. Sand in between wet hair stripes, toe nails playing with the heart strings.
Full moon, half moon, night.
High eyes. Sleepy eyes. Ecstatic flight.
Bronze skin and wet eyelashes.
I catch your eyes catching mine.
I would like to keep you,
for some time.
If you’d ever ask me what is a writer’s block (which you’d never would care to) I would describe it as following:
I doubt all the letters that my fingers type, my thoughts seem clogged and it feels that there’s no way back to the previous madness, which I poked every now and then to test a quite filled cup of patience; pouring in a form of letters, words, sentences and very often materialising into nonsenses.
I believe that now I will be taking out my metaphor card: my thoughts are like a dried polluted river. Not that this ‘river’ of mine was ever clear, but I adored it’s flowing juxtaposition: alive stream of dirt and all things dead. Perhaps a strong allegory, but on the edge of fighting this craving of madness – I am lost of words. Now all dirt stopped moving. Doesn’t that make my so called river into a puddle? Mud is for pigs. But on the bright side, pigs can be cute. I am cute.
So I started searching for something to spark the madness and make that water moving already. I began with going through the old stuff that I wrote ‘back in the days’ and for my surprise I stumbled upon scribbled words on my e-diary (I was real gay, but hey wordpress is kind of the same thing, right?… ) that I had when I was 13-15 years old. Now that I remember I think I had quite a few diaries while growing up. Nothing was happening in my life though. I mean times were different for a 10 year old girl born in a small country that just escaped Soviet’s regime. –On this note: Putin, please, just cut the nuclear bomb crap.– I had nothing and therefore none to write about. Also I had yet to develop this thing called critical thinking.
I remember, I would stare out of the window, exploring the scenery (was always a little too dreamy) for a period of 3 hours in a car journey with my dad and I would just write down what I saw. It usually ended up being a horse or empty fields and that’s, if you’d ask me now, is a really sad way of wasting paper.
In the gayiary, I would describe the horse’s colour or end up naming him. This was basically how I got into writing. It was like an innocent crap, but I got hooked. It was my escape from pretty grey days. No food, no money and barely seeing my hard-working parents left me with bare fantasies.
Boo Hoo. Right? Thankfully all the diaries had been torn apart and thrown away. This way at least I don’t have to go through papers of embarrassment, full of horses’ colours, names or other bullshit. Also, for some reason I was obsessive over particular names and I am pretty sure I had at least 20 of beautiful Holsteiner’s named Emily in that lockable notebook. And why they had to be locked anyways? What secrets does a 10 years old have?
Anyhow I did manage to find what I wrote in my teenage years. I can’t stop giggling… I kind of haven’t grew out of that mentality, I reckon. And maybe that’s why I don’t get my whiskey at the bar sometimes too (either that or my baby face). I was writing about some dark stuff and how I was an empty shell. Not a suicidal or wrist-cutting scenario, more likely I just discovered a state of numbness.
Writing was my way of self-analysing back then and I guess, is still now. The weird part is that my life was pretty smooth. I had a lot of good things; family, in my teens we were well off too, friends and some sort of love life, yet I was restless. Was that greed or weird self-obsession? I haven’t figured. Perhaps both too. Anyhow from magic-realism stories to more poetic ventures – I was on it. I had so much to say. And as I grew I had more things to add. I think that growing up kind of opens your mind but the key to unlocking that door doesn’t come for free, unfortunately. In fact, it’s quite expensive, obviously in a very abstract way.
It costs you belief, for instance. Belief that If you like something you should pursue it.
Belief that what you do might reach and inspire somebody out there.
You start doubting yourself and your capabilities and end up disguising it as a logical ‘calculation’ or rationality. And if you’d ask me rational thinking is way overrated.
Competition is big out there and there are million reasons why everyone else is better than you. Why even bother then?
Get a 9-5pm job.
And probably see a psychiatrist already.
Stop writing nonsenses about rivers, keys, horses and beliefs. It’s gay.
I mean, I’m gay.
Am I mad?
And thus, pigs had nowhere to bath anymore.
There was only a pile of trash moving down the stream called the web.
In this empty, Bob Dylan’s music-filled room, the sound of doors being knocked drowns… My sharp ear manages to filtrate the irregular tact that interrupted swinging tune. Senses, now alerted, give me an ecstatic goosebumps, yet I decide to wait for the next characteristic course of action to take its place.
Humans and their patterns are easy to predict:
After a short pause interval, the sound of doors being knocked appeared for a second round. Stronger. Louder. More aggressively… Like a prostitute provoking her’s or his (no discrimination) correspondent to react.
I grin as I still manage to read the ifs and buts of the typical behaviour ahead of time. But who couldn’t? We are one way or another the children of society where habits are expected and normal almost as inherited vice. I wonder If the person behind those doors wouldn’t knock twice with much more ‘passion’ would I consider him or her abnormal?
I slowly get up from the ground and before I reach for the handle I pause.
A nerve-wracking wait for, currently, a stranger behind the wall.
Another knock materialises.
And before finally opening the old wooden doors I smile victoriously.
Acts of philanthropy only flushes my pride along the driveshaft. So I just continue to drive Cadillacs, even if it’s only in secret.