We are officially on The World Trip (!) and we have so much to tell you about the first city we stopped in, Porto, and how the trip is going so far.
Last Friday, after spending 2 hours at the airport, 6 hours on a (terrible) plane, 1 hour in Customs, 3 hours sleeping in a train station and 3 more hours on the train, we arrived in Porto!
I think both of us were unsure of what to expect from this “little” city near the ocean … all we knew about it was that Port wine is made there, and that they maybe eat a lot of fish? That’s really it. So with our lack of knowledge paired with being jet-lagged from our Amazing Race-style day of travel + finally arriving from the train station only to hop into the-grumpiest-cab-driver-ever’s taxi, we were even less certain of what awaited us.
But, as our crab taxi driver dropped us off near (he told us he couldn’t drive down the actual street, which we now know had to be a lie because there are literally no areas off-limits to drivers in Portugal) our AirBnB and we saw the beautifully tiled streets below the brightly colored European apartments all leading down to the Duoro River, we realized we had nothing to fear – Porto, it turns out, is AMAZING!
…And not only is it breathtakingly charming, it is also C H E AP – so cheap. On average our meals (with tip) total cost less than 10 EUR for breakfast and less than 20 EUR for dinner (and not skimpy backpacking dinner – we’re talking appetizers, wine, etc.) – i.e. Porto we love you and we never want to leave.
After this revelation, we happily spent the first 4 days of The W.T. walking for hours with no agenda through the tiny alleys of Porto. We went to a craft beer and pop-up restaurant event, ate sooo many potatoes *turns out the Portugese love cod, potatoes and vegetable soup*, twice we visited the Jardines del Palacio de Cristal, we walked across the Dom Luis I bridge (again, twice) and on our last day we took a cable car up and down the Duoro River before we went out to our favorite dinner yet with our (super cool) AirBnB hosts.
The World Trip is off to a great start – what has truly made it a different experience from how we normally travel is that we are staying with locals in their homes that are (usually) not located near the touristy parts; not only have we made great friends this way (we love you Lily and Erin!), we are also learning where the best places to eat at are, where to visit and when, and which “must-see” spots you can actually skip. If you plan on traveling (anywhere) we highly, highly suggest booking an AirBnB shared room – you will not regret it!
Also, since we’re on a thrifty-backpacking budget, we walk everywhere (and sometimes get lost – but rarely because Stove is a navigational genius) vs. taking cabs / buses, etc. – we’re not exaggerating when we say we walk minimum 7-8 hours a day. Not only does this mean we can eat whatever we want 😉 it also means we’re experiencing parts of cities we never would have found had we just stuck to a guidebook and taken public transportation everywhere.
Anyway, thank you Porto for making our first part of our dream trip truly extraordinary. We cannot wait to come back one day.