By the end of my second day in Oporto I was decided to make the most out of my last day, so as we went to dinner at some restaurant, I took my map and pen and started working on my itinerary. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking at a map full of new places to visit, all the possibilities are there right in front of me, and I get super thrilled and fell like a child who someone just gave an entire bag of candy! Can I do this for the rest of my life, please?
So we were supposed to be out of the house by 8am (my idea of course!). You can guess we obvisouly weren’t…it was 11am when I was dropped near “Bolhão Market” alone, since my friend eventually gave up on me and my tourist day because the rain falling was insane (and the country was actually on alert due to bad weather, but I still wanted to do what I had planned god damn it!). Seriously, Bolhão Market is adorable, with old ladies selling veggies and fruit and everything is so colorful I even forgot about the weather while I was there walking around.
At some point during morning I got mad for never knowing where I was, and decided the problem was the stupid map (I strongly believe it was backwards because I kept walking in the opposite direction ever time!) and not my lack of orientation. I walked up and down searching for the famous bookstore “Lello” – Harry Potter bookshop as the man at the tourist point told me – and actually passed right in front of it about three times without realizing it! Only found it thanks to my cellphoneGoogle Maps and because obviously there was a HUGE line at the door (even with the rain). Entering it, it was beautiful, really looks like a place you’d see in the movies, or in Hogwarts, but the amount of people inside ruined it for me. Can’t stand being in a place where everyone keeps walking right pass me like I’m not even there.
Because of the terrible weather (felt like I was being punished for planning to see the city on my last day) I couldn’t go up Clérigos Tower (which was something that I really wanted to do in the first place). Lesson learned: when at the entry they ask you 2€, don’t say it’s expensive, just pay the guy and climb the freaking stairs!
After eating the typical Francesinha and waiting for the stupid rain to stop (which it didn’t by the way), I decided to face the freaking storm outside and complete my list of places to see by the end of the day, because I knew if I didn’t I would go back home pissed at myself.
The first place that appeared was a church that was on the map, Carmelitas Church! Well, I happened to went in happy, to get away from the rain when I look and realize there is a funeral happening…Great, just great Rita….and me in my wet pink coat. Idiot!!
After getting down some pretty suspicious stairs that made me ask every person passing on the opposite direction of me (that was almost none) if it was safe to go down there by myself, I finally found the center. Relief!!
Oporto has this weird thing that apparently the path, many times, got a little scary and made me think”where the hell am I going?”, but in the end they aren’t that scary or dangerous at all, they’re just different from what we’re used to, and being out of our comfort zone can be really scary, but as you cross those weird scary paths/streets you realize you’re creating monsters that aren’t there, and everything is going to be just fine!
Still, I wanted more, and I climbed a little higher to Mosteiro Serra do Pilar. For real, dont’t miss this if you’re in Oporto. Uau! As soon as I got there I forgot everything! I felt so blessed and happy I can’t even put into words.
I ended the day watching a beautiful view with the sunset on top of D. Luiz I bridge – even though I’m not a bridge person as I get really indisposed with heights – and I had this beautiful moment where I felt really lucky to have gone there. The more I travel, the more I realize I want to spend my life with a map, a pen and notebook and my camera, and simply got to unknown places and explore every corner of them.
I feel amazing!!
Thank you Oporto!
I’ll see you again next year!