weekly recap #16 – albufeira & porto

q. current home/addy where i stayed (neighbourhood) and how long
a. albufeira (airbnb, 4 nights), porto (airbnb, baixa, 3 nights)

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a huge, stocked kitchen which we likely won’t be using at all this portion
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a hallway longer than most of our rental units
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a really comfortable bed but not so great pillows
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and frogs for days. i haven’t figured out what that bidet-like thing is

q. favourite meal
a. flor dos congregados.  restaurant has been open for 100+ years and still run by the latest generation of the same family.  it wasn’t a particularly fancy dinner though the restaurant itself is fancy.  service was over the top, amazing in every way.  1 entree, 3 starters, bottle of wine and dessert came to 37euro; our most expensive meal since barcelona but still very reasonable.  though i didn’t find it off of a tour guide, our floor was filled with mostly tourists which took away from the atmosphere a bit.  nothing a bottle of wine didn’t change.

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chorizo roasted in alcohol
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braised pork cheek – the closest thing i’ve had to butter. the cheek would break off the bone like a piece of ice off a glacier
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terylene sandwich – soft baked bread made in house, sliced twice with a peice of slow cooked pork loin in one incision and smoked ham in the other
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tripe and bean stew… slow, comfort food

q. most memorable moment / best highlight
a. this might sound ridiculous but the sunflower patch we found off the side of the highway en route from sevilla to albufeira

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thanks for not driving 180km/h and keeping the girls happy cyguy
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there were a lot of sunflowers. a f*cking lot.
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i feel like a hobbit

q. greatest challenge
a. the change in eating schedule.  i took a back seat to planning out our schedules and tried to keep my stomach in check but it has a mind of it’s own.  a little bit of growling, a little bit of hangry-ness

q. what i miss most from home
a. chinese food :(  noodle soup, cold chicken (sao see kai), chinese sausage on rice, bbq pork

q. next stop
a. lisbon, portugal

q. weirdest observation about current culture
a. the prevalence of multiple languages here in porto, maybe moreso than albufeira.  portuguese, french, spanish and english all seem to be quite common

q. one tip i would give myself if i were to come back
a. allot more time to travel north of porto to hit more beaches.  our waiter from flor dos congregados got to telling us that he was from north of porto and the area offers up a lot of outdoor beach/lagoon/hiking options; different from the algarve (southern portugal) in that it isn’t overrun by the brits.  duly noted.  we’ve already started looking into how we can end our europe leg coming down the southwest of france to the north of spain and ending around braga

q. friends i’ve hung out with/visitors
a. cyguy and nadia for all of sevilla and albufeira

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our lives were in their hands for 10 days

q. one random/weird/cool thing i learned about the country i’m staying in
a. that tripe was popularized in porto during the attempted spanish invasion.  the meatier cuts of the pork went to the soldiers while the innards went to the common folk which is why we repeatedly see it on the menus here

q. one new experience/memory that will stick with me
a. standing in the wavy, crisp green water looking back at the red rock cliffs that overlook falesia beach in albufeira; only having one group of three even remotely close to us on this giant stretch of beach.  it’s been years since travelling with my childhood friend cyguy and possibly the last trip for some time with their little bumpkin on the way

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a pretty big change from phillipine beaches. we’re coping though

q. portion of luggage that’s been the most & least useful
a.  my carry-on luggage.  it’s expanded and shrunk many times this trip and lucky for me it’s still expanded at the moment; i was able to keep two pairs of jeans and a pair of joggers which came in handy for the not-summer-yet-even-though-it-should-be-like weather in porto.  gopro still the least useful, even on the beach.  pretty sure it’s going to be shipped back home asap.

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