>> November 7, 2009

On Monday morning we rode the bus to the Santa Justa train station and sent Natalie on her way. Then we went across the street and picked up our rental car and hit the road for Porto.
It felt good to be driving again. But I quickly realized how hard it is to get out of the city by car, when you don't really know the roads. After a few too many roundabouts and some help on the phone from Gui on Google maps, we found ourselves headed in the right direction. The Portugal border is only barely an hour away.

After nearly 7 hours of driving, a large amount of tollroad fees, and too many tanks of gas, we finally made it up to Porto. We had to wait for our host to finish taking her Portuguese exam so we spent some time walking by the river. This is the bridge we had just driven across.

We moved on and found the cafe/bar that was to be our meeting place. It was called Piolho's and I guess is somewhat famous. It is a big hang out for the university students. Sarah and I enjoyed a nice dinner and finally was able to fully understand that Spanish is not like Portuguese. But we learned how to get the point across. They are more willing and able to speak English than most Spaniards. I had the "house special" called Francesinha. It was a sandwich-like mixture of bread, meat, and cheese, covered in a sauce that Sarah said tasted like alcohol. I am sure it was not the least bit healthy but it was delicious. Sarah had some sort of sausage with an egg on it, and french fries.
We found our couchsurfing host, Noortje, enjoying a celebratory beer with some other students and we joined them for a bit until we all headed to the apartment. She had a spare room set up for guests and after some nice tea we were ready for sleep.

In the morning we all headed out for a tour of the city. Noortje had a free day and was willing to show us around. This picture shows two different churches side by side who we heard sadly are always in competition with each other.

This bookstore is famous for its crazy stairway.
We were able to snap a few pictures before being yelled at.

Kinda trippy

Wouldn't be Portuguese without the pig

The weather was a little rough but we didn't let it stop us.

I think all cities should have a river

There were lots of abandoned buildings. But they all cost a fortune.

Probably the most touristy area of the city.

The stairs went on forever, but they were fun.

These are the old port ships that you can ride. All of the Port houses were on the other side of the river. Sadly we didn't make it to go port tasting.

Noortje took us to a great local place. We were thrilled to find how much cheaper Portuguese food is compared to food in Spain. Sooo much food! We enjoyed Portugal's famous green wine.

Noortje - She's Dutch if you couldn't tell.

Noortje hates pigeons

Tiles covering everything

Sweet reflection shot

To close off our time Noortje took us too an awesome tea house that had over 200 teas! We were super blessed to have her as our first couchsurfing host ever. We invited her to come to Sevilla to come and stay with us anytime, and we hope to visit Porto again someday.


~MOM~ November 7, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

Grandmother and I are so happy to see your first batch of pictures. We are anxiously waiting for the next batch. Your photography is amazing, You both have a very good eye for pictures. I should be cleaning house, but this is more fun. Love you much,
~MOM~ and Grandmother......

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