I was constantly checking the weather for Porto, Portugal on my iPhone. Casie and I were only going to be there for Saturday and Sunday, after all. No way can it be raining this weekend, right?
Looking out of the window on the airplane ride over, there were dark clouds in the sky. It was still beautiful. To our surprise (and favor) the weather turned out lovely. As our host-mom Sol says, We bring the sunshine! We all stayed at the Gallery Hostel, and I know what some of you may be thinking as soon as I even mention the word hostel: dangerous, sketchy, dirty, even the movie Hostel. But those notions need to be thrown out. Because although it was the first hostel I’ve ever been to, I know it will be my favorite. Free breakfast and walking tours in the morning, artsy décor, super clean everything, friendly (English-speaking) staff, and for 10 euros, delicious and plentiful dinners at night. Plus I met some cool people while I was there, including two girls who are backpacking across Europe. The place exceeded my expectations in every way. Upon arrival, Casie and I knew close to nothing about Porto or even Portugal. Luckily the staff of Gallery was there to give us maps and advice on where to go. Our first stop? The garden of the Palacio de Cristal.
Leaving the Porto airport to begin our journey
I know I say this about a lot of the architecture in Europe, but the buildings in Porto are truly beautiful. Each are unique in their colors and many were tiled.
The walls of the newly renovated hostel were adorned with these original, historical tiles
Lunch at this tea house, one of the places the staff from Gallery suggested, and it was perfect.
The egg and spinach quiche was delicous
There’s a face in the sidewalk!
And here starts the garden’s of the Palacio de Cristal
Got a little startled when this broken-looking fountain spurted up with water
I found blackberries in this tree. And sweet, they were.
This looks safe. But, the blackberries were worth it
There were so many peacocks at the garden. This one was doing what I think to be a mating call to the other bird for a good ten minutes
Stopped in a store that specializes in olive oil products, made in Portugal, and got some free tasting.