Thursday, 25 July 2013

Day 18: Santiago - Porto the charming city *Eurotrip*

Up at 7am and getting everything ready to go to Porto today, which is the second largest city in Portugal. I'm getting quite used to my surroundings here in Europe. The excitement of being in a new city has worn off and I could definitely imagine myself living here. I'm very adaptable and have lived in many different cities before, so feeling like this is not unusual. I do miss having a place to call home though. 

At 8am we walked to the cathedral through the old city. Being surrounded by so much history everyday must be amazing, but I'm not sure if the residents see the beauty of their city each day? We walked past quite a few different groups of youngsters still in their jolling clothes from the night before. The mascara smudged under their eyes. Sucking on cigarettes. Sipping on beer. Chatting and laughing loudly. Looking lost and anxious, not ready yet to go rest their heads on their pillows. I imagine how perfect it would be for a photo shoot. The contrast of the classic old buildings with the young grunge youth in front.

We reach the cathedral and she looks magnificent even in the overcast weather. We walk around and go inside. Take a few pictures. We get lost in the plaza, but find our way again. Chowed some pies. Got a taxi to the bus station. 

Three hour trip to Porto, Portugal. So we arrive in Porto and we don't speak a word of Portuguese! My friend knows one word: obrigado, but we don't know if it means hello, thank you or pleasure. Lol! Must be one of those. We realise we don't have a cooking clue how to get to our hostel. We ask the info dude, but he doesn't speak a word of English. So the best solutions are to grab a taxi. Two girls giggling and pointing at the hostel address on the printed out booking to the taxi driver. He nods and smile and we know we are sorted. It is a short trip to our hostel. The hostel was recommended by my friend, she knows the owner. We were well impressed. I would definitely recommend this hostel. Everything is new, modern and stylish. The reception lady was super helpful. She took a map and talked me through everything her city has to offer. I said wow, you deserve some commission! She just shrugged it off and said that she wants us to get the best impression of her city. 

My friend and I just had hiking clothes and a few bits of regular clothes. Our plan was to find Primark and buy a few items. This though has been brewing for a while and the list of clothes that I wanted grew and grew. By this time we were beyond excited to go to Primark! I even had a clothing budget put aside and was ready to shop! Naturally the first thing we asked the reception lady at the hostel was how we get to Primark. That was our first mission.

We got settled in and were ready to rock & roll! We grabbed the map; I was the navigator and got us to the metro. When we got out the station, the mall was in front of us. Perfs!

We had some chow and went to the loo, now we were ready to shop till we drop! We were in heaven. I didn't want to miss out on any clothing, so I said that we have to start from the one side and move our way through to the other side. Shoes first. Clothing second. Accessories last. 

We went to go try on clothes 5 x times. The shop assistants were super friendly and they have a great system checking how many items you have etc. I was very impressed.

After 5 hours of shopping, it was 10:30 pm; I found everything on my list except a check shirt, denim shirt and a beanie. I was stoked! We now had to find a bag to put all this extra clothes in! We found a big duffel bag with wheels at a Hypermarket type store and off we were pulling these bags on wheels to the metro. 

When we got outside, it was raining and we ran in the rain! Nothing can bring us down now, we had shit loads if cool clothes! All smiles!

We arrive at our station and we are dragging these bags behind us over the streets that are made of little tiles. We woke up the whole Porto, as you can imagine how noisy this was!

Then we tried to look on the map in the rain to try and find our hostel. It's got a red door and the round logo next to it. So my friend rings the bell of the first red door she sees! I'm like noooooo this is not it and we run away! It was hillar! 

This day was great. The universe was just showing off. We have the best hostel. Most friendly reception lady. Got all the clothes we wanted. I'm with one of my best friends that I haven't seen in 6 years. I'm in a beautiful city. I'm happy and healthy. Life is great!

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