I really did not want to leave Lisbon. It had become my favourite European city to my surprise, which is why it was all the more disappointing that I was all lethargic and man-fluuy for my stay there. I would have extended my Lisbon time, but after noticing what the date was, and realising how wide the top of north Spain is, I knew I needed to keep moving if I want to make it to Barcelona in time for my next flight.
Porto was the next destination heading north, and the second biggest Portugal city. I wasn’t feeling too excited about going there, but as my bus drove over a bridge arching over the massive river gorge that separates Porto from another city called Villa Nova, I was pleasantly surprised by how bewitching it was. My mouth may have dropped open a little.
Checking into my hostel, I was pleased to notice it was a similar level of awesomeness to my Lisbon one although still not quite good enough to make it into my top 5. It was pretty close though. No pancakes in the morning might have contributed to that. But it did have a free shot of port at 11pm every night.
The first evening I went stalking one of the many bridges crossing the gorge with my camera until I got too cold, then headed back to the hostel for a traditional Portuguese cod dinner and that free shot of port.
The next day I spent doing walking tours. The hostel offered a morning and afternoon tour with each covering different sides of the city. The second one included some Harry Potter lore (sqee!). J K Rowling drew her inspiration for the Hogwarts wizard cloaks from the Porto university uniform (which is still worn today). There was also a bookshop that is considered the 3rd most beautiful in the world that inspired the Hogwarts library and staircase. Sadly it was closed that day. I would have loved a chance to look around and breathe in the smell of books.
Love the Portuguese orange roofs
These are real university students!
Unique cancerous trees
We also saw a church with about 500kg worth of gold inside. I had to say for that much gold, it looked pretty dusty to me.
And the best viewpoint of the river gorge. And me.
For lunch I had a traditional Portuguese dish called a Francesinha as recommended by my walking tour. It is designed to give a person a heart attack with the rather unsafe amount of calories contained. It looks quite innocent initially..
But on the inside is many layers of meat and bread and egg all stuck together with a lot of cheese.
I was unable to finish my francesinha which is okay! For dinner that night I had a really healthy tuna salad to help my poor shocked body recover. Along with another tasty port shot to speed the recovery.
Another early-ish night (I was just about recovered from my man-flu with all the extra sleep yahoo) and the next morning I was off to my next destination again. This time in North Spain.
Where I stayed: Yes! Porto
Price: €15 a night in a 4 bed dorm (which was half empty for my stay boo yah!)
Overall: Yet another great Portugal hostel. It ticked all the right boxes with being very clean, modern, friendly and comfy beds. Free shots in the evening along with plenty of hostel activities to choose from.