Weekend trip to Porto

Finally, I have been to Porto. It is located in the north of Portugal and – as far as I know – the second biggest city of Portugal with about 200.000 inhabitants. So pretty much the same size as my home town Linz. 😀 Usually, I am not a big fan of small cities, but I really liked it there.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will rather just show you how it was than blablabla-ing about it in this post. Here are just a few facts about the trip:

  • 3-4h bus ride
  • We were a group of – I think – 11 people.
  • We stayed in a pretty nice hostel in the center of Porto.
  • Porto has maaaaany bridges.
  • We also did a wine tasting.
  • Aaaaand we went surfing again.
  • More photos might follow after I managed getting the rest of them.

 

 

Weird things in Lisbon – part 2

Of course, I have already collected a few more weird facts about Lisbon. The more weird things I am faced with here, the more I like this city. 😀

  • bags for your umbrella: When you enter some shops, you will find long, slim plastic bags next to the entrance. When taking a closer look, the instructions tell you that you can use this to put your wet umbrella in there. First thing that came to my mind: Heyyy this is very thoughtful, in Austria they don’t provide you with this. Second thought: What a freaking waste of plastic. I usually take my own plastic bag or if I forget it once, I will just shake off most of the water before entering the shop and then walk around carefully so that my umbrella does not touch anything.
  • cashiers packing your bags: Another reason, why everything is much slower here. When you buy a shopping bag at the grocery stores, some cashiers help you pack the things you bought. That’s weird, but I like it. 😀 (Although I almost always bring my own bags. But again: Waste of plastic. haha)
  • flea market: There is this street not far from my home with heavy traffic, which was once closed for a flea market. When I go running, I usually pass this road and one day (I think it was during the weekend) the whole road – even the sidewalk – was blocked. So you can imagine how awkward it was when I had to run between those tables and all the people selling/buying things. Eventually, when I reached the bridge that I usually cross I was able to see how big this flea market actually was. (Technically I wasn’t, because I couldn’t even see where it ends, even though I had a nice view from the bridge.)
  • insanely huge offers: In the supermarket you would get for example “18+6” packages of tissues or “38+10” rolls of toilet paper. haha I mean, here it might make sense, because that’s something you will always need, but when it comes to candy it’s insane. I never did it here, but I remember once buying 8+2 gummi bear packages when I was in the United States. But that’s ‘merica and I am in Europe here, wtf? haha
  • planes EVERYWHERE: (At the time I am writing this, it has already happened a few times. haha) So Lisbon’s airport seems to be very close to the city center. hmm Why would I think that? Because you can literally see/hear every single plane that is landing here. And it’s not just a cute little white plan far away in the blue sky. Let me explain it like this: I can tell which company operates this plane by just reading the freaking name of it on the outside. (And I certainly do not have perfect eyes, since I need glasses when I am attending my universtiy courses.) So imagine this: You sit in class, listening to the teacher and every 5-10minutes a plane passes by, producing so much noise that your only chance understanding what the teacher says is, by being an expert in lip reading. I am not joking, this is so weird. haha
  • Harry Potter: No, I am being serious, the school uniforms from Harry Potter were apparently inspired by the uniforms in Portugal. (Not the other way round) J.K. Rowling used to live in Porto. Sometimes I feel like I am in Hogwarts when there is a group of students walking around with their uniforms. Awesome 😀

 

p.s. It may not look very close on the picture. Trust me, IT IS close!

Surfing in Carcavelos

YES, I have finally lost my surf-virginity. I mean, who comes to Portugal and does not go surfing? It’s like skiing when you are in Austria.

First things first: I think you’ve already guessed it: Yosi joined me last Sundayfunday (25th of September). After a 40-minutes ride by train we arrived in Cascais where the surf school is located. While wandering around the small and beautiful city center of Cascais, we were able to witness the Cascais Triathlon which led through the streets of the town.

After arriving at the surf school, we discovered that it is not only a surf school, but also a hostel with maaaaaany Germans staying there. I have already got used to hearing my mother tongue literally everyday and everywhere. (Even the Persian owner of a shisha bar talked to me in German. haha) Lisbon seems like the second home for Germans after Mallorca. haha  Fun fact: The majority of international students at Nova SBE are Germans, followed by Italians.

Moving on to the cool part: The surf lesson at the Caracavelos beach. (15mins drive from the Cascais surf school) Although it has already been a week, I still hear my teacher screaming: “Paddle, paddle, paddle!!!!! PADDLE FASTER!!!!!!” (imagine it with this cool Portuguese accent haha) This is what you have to do if you want to catch a wave, which is veeeeery difficult. I only managed to catch a wave once on my own, while the other times I have always had help from my teacher. haha. Even though I fell off the surf board more times than I can count and swallowed a lot of sea water, I had so much fun and I am looking forward to my next surf lessons. (Already booked one in Porto. ;))

Aaaaaand since we were such good surf students, Yosi and I rewarded ourselves with delicious burgers in Cascais. 😀

Have a nice week! 😀

Claudia