first 24 hours in porto

jojo:

what do i like?

-small, quaint and beautiful city.  from the orange rooftops to the coloured & tiled facades to the street art to the cobblestone streets (as in the streets, not just the sidewalks), it’s so vibrant

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Ribeira Square and waterfront area

-cheap & casual food – we had 3 sandwich meals (as in steak, shaved beef and slow roasted pork thigh) on our first day, all were great and very different from each other and ran us a whopping 30 euro for everything

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Steak and cheese sandwich
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Roasted pork sandwich

-the bread.  ermahgerd, the bread is beyond amazing.  it’s been getting better as our europe trip goes along.  i can’t get enough dusty, chewy, moist and thick crunchy crust… especially with the soups and stews here
-craft stores.  we’re down the street from the tintin library and the artisan crafts are really amazing to look at

what do i dislike?
-not a whole lot.  the weather’s nice, city is cheap, lots of options for food.

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?
-we’ve been so used to our tiny airbnb apartments that this one feels cavernous.  one long hallway that connects the kitchen and living room with our bedroom.  haha actually doesn’t have to deal with my clicking and clacking all night long and we can also use the toilet in peace

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Long hallway

-i’m in love with this internet.  <geekspeak>with almost 200gb of unbacked up gopro videos that have been living solely on my external drive (open to loss, theft, dropping), i’ve always had this fear in the back of my mind about not being properly backed up.  it took me more than a week to get just my camera backed up to cloud after our deadzone in barcelona, not to mention haha’s pictures as well.  simply put, our upload speed has been more than triple our download speed at any of our recent places.  hope our host doesn’t get a massive overage bill</geekspeak>
-the ‘always one thing’ rule still applies to this airbnb; the pillows are junk.  we have two types of pillows to choose from, the flat one that feels like a folded up shirt and the huge puffy one that turns into a folded shirt once you put your head on it

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Shirt pillows are deceiving

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?
-it feels like we’ve come back from the dead in terms of having options to eat.  cyguy managed to score us an amazing churrasqueira (bbq) shop that served up cheap and awesome food (the best piri piri chicken and chewy, savoury ribs).  aside from that, albufeira didn’t seem like a city that served up any portuguese comfort food options.  it also completely squashed the desire to visit the uk; my short run in with drunk, rowdy brits acting like 20 year-olds regardless of how old they actually are, was enough
-unfortunately, pants :(  gone are the days of boardshorts and lying in the sun for most of the day

what was our first meal?
-conga’s famous bifana sandwiches that they’ve been making for 40 years; thinly sliced pork in a dry portugese roll and slapped with their tomato-beer-chili sauce for just 2 euro with a caldo verde (kale & chorizo in potato soup) on the side

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So saucy we almost needed to eat them with fork and knife
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Thick potato-y kale soup

overall impressions?
after just 24 hours, i’m wishing that we booked more time in porto.  i’m sure lisbon will be just as nice but this place seems like somewhere for us to settle in and explore all the little cafes.  there are also too many things on our little to-eat-hitlist (ie: the infamous francesinha sandwich; bread, ham, steak, roasted meat, fresh sausage, covered in tomato-beer sauce and topped with cheese and a fried egg and served with fries) with not enough meals.  *sadface*

haha:
what do i like?

-The food in Porto is delicious. I love that there is soup on the menu everywhere. There are lots of cute modern restaurants alongside the older established ones. When we are walking around, so many restaurants that I want to try out. It’s too bad we don’t have more time here.

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Porto city hall at night
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Beautiful sidewalks

what do i dislike?

-The weather has turned cold again. Luckily it only rained at night but during the day it was quite windy and chilly. It was back to pants and tights wardrobe.

-Porto’s drivers are super aggressive. I saw one driver nearly take out an old lady and the driver started yelling at her. We definitely make sure we cross the road very quickly and carefully.

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?

It’s hard to believe it’s even possible but the shower pressure at this Airbnb is even more powerful than the one in Seoul. I almost dropped the shower head when I turned on the water. It’s not a bad thing, I was able to rinse my hair in 5 seconds flat.

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?

I’m still having trouble grasping the Portuguese language, even the simple ‘thank you’ is supposed to be ‘obrigado’ if used by males and ‘obrigada’ if used by females. Most times I forget and say ‘gracias’ instead.

what was our first meal?

Same as jojo’s, we decided to share to leave stomach space for other sandwiches. I really like the caldo verde soup. It seems like an easy recipe to make, the soup is thickened with mashed potato and the finely chopped kale makes the soup a filling and healthy meal option.

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Nothing to look at but it’s delicious

overall impressions?

Porto feels like an old European town, gently decaying but still beautiful and elegant. The cobblestone sidewalks have beautiful designs. Lots of buildings have tiled exteriors which is so unique. Yet there are lots of buildings with crumbling facades, broken windows and missing tiles. It’s as if the city never got the funds to give most buildings a facelift. Porto reminds me of a genteel old lady who used to be rich but have now fallen on hard times.

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This building looks vacant and ready for demolition with its broken windows and general dilapidated appearance until one looks closer and realize there is a restaurant on the first floor
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Square and buildings across from our Airbnb
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Amazing tile work on church facade

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