Summer has finally arrived in Germany and I cherish every little second of sunshine. The other day, I was waiting for my bus home when I suddenly longed for a cold, fresh pressed orange juice. I sat on a bench in the sun sipping my juice and realized how much I miss Portugal. A country where you can sit outside in the sun year round. A country where every little pastelaria sells freshly pressed orange juice for less than a Euro. How much I loved the Portuguese for their sweet tooth that they even serve the most delicious orange juice [...]
My beloved Lisbon and I have an ongoing love affair, which has lasted for years. But if I ever happened to cheat on Lisbon in a weak moment, it would be with Porto. That other great city, up in Portugal's north, where the people are even friendlier, the food is heartier, and the wine is even sweeter. The old wooden boats of the port wine cellars Porto is just adoringly Portuguese: Beautiful, at ease, a little slow. It is not a perfect city - the streets aren't free of dog poop, and most of the houses in the city are [...]
Although nothing compares to my beloved Lisbon, Porto may be just as pretty... It's so Portuguese, yet so different from Portugal's capital that it repeatedly took my breath away. The Ribeira do Porto is the old heart of the city on the riverside of the Douro river. I think I will never get sick of staring at the bright colored, slightly decayed of Porto houses against the clear blue sky...
My good friend Carola and I had been thinking about a grand vacation for a while back in 2008, when she remembered that she met a Portuguese girl at an international youth event a few years back: Cláudia had invited her to come visit her in her home town Porto, in the north of Portugal, and we more or less spontaneously booked our flights. We naturally also wanted to spend some time in Portugal's capital Lisbon, so we booked a one-country Eurail ticket to be able to spend some time in both places, and get around easily. In Lisbon, we explored all [...]