Porto Trip, Portugal, November 2011

Ahoy fellas, due to the national holiday I then graced by the long weekend for this week. How can I not happy? More holidays mean more family time. So how are you my dear readers? Do you also have long weekend? If not, then hang in there fellas, it’ll be weekend soon. Today’s post will be about another story related to my Europe trip. You know what, sometimes, it’s not easy to remember every single pieces of my trip since I don’t possess any notes, just pictures, but here I am, try to share my wonderful memories because I might explode if I don’t do so J well, then, please enjoy.

I decided to visit Porto by accident. I have a friend named Kartina, she’s half Indonesian half Belgian. I thought she was in Brussels, Belgium, but when I contacted her, she told me that she did the exchange programs in Porto, Portugal. Well, after searched for the ticket, I found that it’s pretty convenient to go there. Thus, on the third week of November, I booked a round trip ticket and flew to Porto.

One of the reasons why I agreed to visit Porto (besides Kartina was there) was because the direct flight from Lille to Porto. Well, I used Ryan Air, the low-cost airline in Europe, and usually it flew not from main cities and main airports, therefore when I found Lille-Porto on the list, I should got going, shouldn’t i?? My flight was at 7pm, but I already waited for the Navette (shuttle bus) since 4.30pm. Being raised in Indonesia make you understand that anything can happened in the road, like what if there’s a traffic? Or strike? Hahhaha, anyway, I arrived in the airport at 5pm, well, it’s better than late 😀 Oooh, before I forgot, the Navette was pretty cheap, for single trip you’ll have to pay 7 €, but for round trip you only pay 9 €. Woohooo!!! Alright then, after 2.5 hours flight, I finally landed in Porto safe and sound. Too bad it’s already dark when I got there, so the sight-seeing started the next day.

The next day, I woke up with amazing due to the warm greet of the sunshine. The temperature in Lille at that time was around 1-5° Celsius, and meanwhile, it was 15° C in Porto, yippie!! So I woke Kartina up, made quick breakfast and started the city tour. Kartina took me to the downtown by bus. I already bought one day ticket that enabled me to use all kind of transportation mode for one day (but in particular zone only). Our first stop was Torre des Clerigos. It was the tallest church tower in Portugal. Well, I saw no significant difference between the European church, or maybe I was just not into church design 😀 And then, just by crossing the street, we arrived at Universidade de Porto, this university wasn’t as big as my hometown university, but at least bigger from my uni in France, hehehehe. We then walked again till Avenida dos Aliados. It was like the main street in Porto.

It was a large boulevard surrounded by town hall, big hotels, famous banks and many shops. My eyes caught many tourists were centered in this boulevard to take pictures or just waited for the other. I started to feel that I was overdress there, but my laziness in carrying my coat made me kept suffer from the heat. Kartina then escorted me to the main train station and grabbed some roasted chestnuts there.

I stumbled on the facts that the price in Portugal was cheaper than in any other European countries. Not only in the food price, but also the apparel!! When I entered Zara and Stradivarius stores, I saw the double price tag. We could see that Portugal got the lower price. Kartina told me that it was because the crisis that forced the government to tighten the debt and country’s budget then implied to the rise of unemployed rate. It was kinda sad seeing many building and apartment labeled with “for rent, for sale” signs.

The weather on the third day of my visit in Porto was a bit gloomy. Before we left the apartment, we brought the umbrellas just in case it turned out into rain. Walked around Porto in rainy day wasn’t nice. Knowing that I was upset, Kartina took me to try the ancient tram. Well, my impression of the tram was wow. Yeaaah, it was a very old tram. The woman machinist was really kind as well. She let us took the picture inside and outside the tram. Hahahah. Unfortunately, the ancient tram route was limited, so we got of near the Ponte D.Luis to sip hot tea there. Ponte D.Luis was a very nice place. It was a huge bridge which split Porto into two sides. Actually there was a subway that could take us to another side of the bridge, but we decided to walk across the bridge. In the afternoon, Kartina suggested me to go to the famous vineyards near the bridge. There were a lot of vineyards down the bridge.

Since Kartina already stayed in Porto for almost 2 months, so she recommended me to enter the Sandeman House. Sandeman is Porto local wine. In Sandeman House we took the tour to know the wine history, wine storages, and the wine tasting. The tour was sophisticated. By only paying 4.5 Euro, you’d receive a one hour complete tour and two glasses of wines. Yaaay!! We decided to go home after to have some rest because at night we would attend the Brazilian Party.

We woke up quite late the next day after partying till almost 5 am. But the weather seemed friendly so we went to Fez beach, it was 30 minutes by bus and subway. Olalaaaa the beach was awesome!! I really like it. It was a rocky beach with fascinating wave. We also went closer to the lighthouse to take astonishing pictures. Wow!! I mean, I went to the beach when the temperature in France was freeeezing, hahahha, I successfully made my French friend die in jealousy 😀 Couple hours later we went to the cinema to see Midnight at Paris. The movie was perfect. Ooh, one funny thing about the cinema in Porto was the break. Yeaah, there was a 10 to 15 minutes break during the movie. I presumed it was because the massive old population in Porto. Seriously, they were everywhere. I experience stunning look almost everywhere. Maybe it was quite rare to see a young Asian girl there J well, it was my last night in Porto, so we went home because the next day I had flight to catch in the morning. I went home packing and cooking my famous bakwan 😀

 

Overall, I do enjoy Porto. It was nice and friendly city, too bad only few of the people there who can speak English. I miss the food, the beach and the sun. Thanks Kartina for being so darling by taking me almost everywhere. See you again Porto J

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