Thursday, June 29, 2017
None of us slept very well and the 2 am alarm was not a welcome sound. We left the El Minzah hotel shortly before 3 am, driving through the deserted streets to the airport. After clearing security and customs, we boarded our plane and left for Lisbon at 4:40 am. We arrived in Lisbon at 7 am and cleared customs and security again and after a short, one hour flight we arrived in Porto at 10 am.
We unanimously decided to take the metro rail from the airport to the Hotel da Bolsa, which was 10 miles away, in the heart of Porto. Taking the metro rail was a bit of a learning experience, however it was quite intuitive and with a little help from an attendant and the internet, we were quickly on our way.
We arrived at the the train stop in the center of Porto shortly after 11 am. When we exited the rail station we had a wonderful view of the city of Porto with all of its cafes and restaurants.
It was a short 5 minute walk to our hotel and when we got there, our rooms weren’t ready, so we left our bags at the hotel and walked back up the street to find a lunch cafe. The cafes are all very nice and we picked one that had a nice view and sat down for lunch.
After lunch we went to the Porto Cathedral to get our Camino passports.
At this point we had no other plans, so we wandered through the narrow streets and alleyways down to the river.
During our wandering through the city, we found a marker for one of the inland Camino Trails.
In Europe, as in Morocco, most restaurants don’t open up until 8 pm for the evening meal. It was well after 9 pm when we started looking for a place to eat and we found a unique little restaurant called ‘Churrasqueira Do Infante ‘. We were the last ones to come in and the owners were ready to close up for the night but they served us without comment or hesitation. It looked like a family operated business and after they served us, the five people that were working there, had there evening meal at one of the tables near the kitchen. The food was very good and inexpensive. Kathy had a grilled chicken dinner and Pete and I both had sea bass ( two per plate ). There was plenty of food and including a bottle of wine, the meal only cost 46 Euros which was less expensive than most of our lunches.
I had told Pete and Kathy before we left for this trip, that they should always be ready to make a change in our plans and as of today, they have changed slightly and we will be staying in Porto a little longer than originally anticipated. We’ve enjoyed Porto and how long we stay will depend on several factors.