I just spent the long weekend in Porto, a small city in the north of Portugal, and it was arguably my favorite location of all my travels this year. There is far too much to be said regarding this trip to limit myself to one entry, far too much. Consequently, one may look forward to several installments in the forthcoming days. Most of the riveting commentary will likely be compilations of thoughts and scribbles straight from my journal. Occasionally censored and grammatically altered. Take that as you will...
I have found it. My favorite place in all of Europe: Portugal.
There isn't anything particularly spectacular persay about this country, but there are just so many little somethings about it that have caused me to fall in love. For one, our hostel is freaking bomb and I'm pretty sure we're cheating someone for the price we are paying. (Oporto Poets Hostel for any interested souls headed that direction.) It is immaculately clean and mod and classy and economical and comes with everything! And the lady at the front desk is hilarious. The streets and building facades are beautiful; bright splashes of color and tile and cobblestone illuminate the city. The weather is perfect. Food is cheap. People are genuinely friendly (minus the requisite creepers but that hardly fazes me these days). Ahhhhhhh.
And if this alone says anything...a few hours ago, I was just lounging out in the garden in a hammock strung up on two lemon trees, staring up at the blue sky with the sun smiling back down, munching on a crisp green apple, Seu Jorge on my iPod eventually lulling me to sweet sleep. Not only is hammocking one of my ultimate favorite pastimes, the serenely spent afternoon has been a much-needed rest after a week far too hectic for all of its two days. Mmmm.
It's so beautiful here! I know I seem to use the same adjectives to describe every trip I've gone on, every place I've been to, but they hold such different meanings each time. Venice beautiful was romantic and luminescent. Paris beautiful was classy and cultured. Switzerland beautiful was pristine and idyllic. Portugal beautiful is rustic and real, unpretentious and homey. I wish I had chosen to study abroad here...
And I BROUGHT MY PASSPORT THIS TIME!!!
Congratulations to me! :)