Ahhhh Porto, what started off as a discounted Black Friday getaway a few years ago turned out to be one of our favorite places.
Is it me or does my head look freakishly big in that picture?
Either way, you can’t wipe the smile off your face or the happy off your soul while visiting Porto!This may be the only place we said we MUST stop into while trolling around Europe.
We were in Lisbon before this, so here’s what we decided to do.
Hit the bakery got some sausages, buns, laughing cow cheese (an excellent creamy cheese that you can spread out of its individual pie shaped foil pocket) some pickles, water and wine.
Grabbed 2 train tickets to Porto.
Pretty artsy photography what with the reflection of my smiling face above. Seriously can’t help smiling.
I love the trains here. They’re spacious, comfortable and you get a peak at the countryside as you roll along.
The apartment we picked out was a 6 minute walk from the train station. We were on the middle floor of this incredible building.
We got it off VRBO and were totally stoked to be staying in a traditional building like this tiled beauty!
Here’s what we got for 50 Euros/day if you were at all wondering – off season, as it was January.
This is the bedroom as you walk in from the foyer.
That door you see opens out to a tiny little balcony overlooking the vibrant street below. It felt cozy and comfortable as soon as you walked in.
This is the little seating area beside said balcony and really the only ‘traditional’ thing about this apartment. Everything else was very modern, very IKEA.
If you turn right around there’s the living room and kitchen. Picture the apartment as a U shape.
That couch also pulled into a bed. We always figured somewhere along the way someone might say screw it and take off to Europe to join us.
No TV here. It was awesome!
We like to refer to this apartment as the Chocolate and Guitars place.
Sometimes the VRBO definitions don’t include little extras.
Like this place:
Nut Porto is basically a Nutella dessert and coffee place.
The Europeans LOVE Nutella (who doesn’t am I right) I mean they really love it and build entire businesses and dessert menus with ice cream around it.
North Americans be like ‘I LOVE Nutella but I read on Google it causes…’ we’ve all heard the Nutella google horror stories.
Well those stories, I’m happy to say, don’t exist here 🙂
Would I like it better if there were a ketchup chip place below us – of course but that’s because I’m salt not sweet inclined.
As a result of our apartments location, we were treated to the wafting aromas of hot chocolate EVERY DAY!
MAGIC (said in a sing songy voice).
On top of that little added bonus was the quaint café beside Nut Porto that had the live music of various singing guitarists every night.
One lady’s set caught our attention, it was a slow jazzy version of Enter Sandman by Metallica.
You know when you know the words and you recognize the melody but you can’t quite put your finger on where you’ve heard that song from?
This was her MO.
She did quite a few heavy metal/jazz fusion sets.
Again – amazing!
Our street was filled with various artsy crafty stores.
This store was just bar soap.
Nothing but strategically piled bars of soap and light bulbs – lots of light bulbs.
It intrigued me. It was like the Apple store of soap.
Just bars of soap.
How much is a bar of soap here? What makes this soap special?
How do they pay their rent selling nothing but bars of soap?!
Finally, after many walk-bys I was ready to see just what the heck was going on in there.
As I approached the front door with determination I looked up and was stopped in my tracks.
If you were watching me it would have looked like I hit an invisible wall and bounced off in a weird angle.
As my eyes slowly moved from the task of navigating the curb of the cobblestone street up towards the store there they were…
Three people identical in their attire of black turtlenecks, standing, with hands clasped and straight arms, waiting, waiting…for me.
I wanted to scream holy shit people it’s JUST soap you’re completely freaking me out!
Luckily for everybody my body did the charade version of that sentiment instead smashing into the invisible wall and spinning me around 180 degrees whilst still keeping a steady pace as if I never meant to actually go IN there just needed to do a weird dance move to break the boredom of my stroll ugh.
Needless to say I don’t respond well to overly enthusiastic salespeople.. I’m sure they’re lovely people.
Probably smell nice too.
It’s just one of my quirks?
Stevo’s look said ‘what the hell is wrong with you I thought you were going into the soap store…’
Now we HAVE to go back to Porto and go in that store!
Flores street is stunning in all it’s oldness and cobblestone glory.
The buildings are all works of art with colorful tiles and a flair all their own each one.
Even the garbage cans are artsy and inspirational.
A quick walk down takes you to a scene both traditional and contemporary
The ever enchanting grandma at the fountain feeding pigeons…oh ya and the poster for the bondage art gallery showing!
People have asked, why do you blog about this stuff?
You’re not selling anything.
What’s the point?
We have always had a natural thirst for travel.
Getting lost – YUP sign us up.
Each place we visit, be it to the north or across the pond, actually becomes a part of who we are.
An extension of the world as we KNOW it not as we’ve seen it on TV or in the movies.
Back in the day, travel used to be considered one of the highest forms of education because it opened the mind, challenged the spirit and as a result you learned about people, life and ultimately about yourself.
I like to write, I like to travel, it only makes sense that I bring you with us ❤