I moved to Porto two months ago and after a hectic first month of trying to find a place and settling down, this city now feels like home. It has been really hard to leave everything behind and start brand new, especially when there are strings attached (when I say that it sounds kinda casual while it’s everything but), but you learn to manage long distance and you make it work. That is if you want to.
I have a place that I made as homey as possible, because I need my comfort, my blankets, and my reality shows. But as it turns out I also have bills, that needs to be paid, by like, me, which is outrageous to be honest. I’m not complaining though, I always loved the quiet, it’s really peaceful and calming not to hear a lot of noise constantly, my introverted self and I are digging the concept.
So anyways, I’m doing an Erasmus exchange program and I’m here for a year and I miss Casablanca but I also wanna stay here and bring all the people I love next to me, one person specifically, buuut this is not what we’re here to talk about. I’m here to show you cool pictures of cool places if you ever feel like visiting Porto.
One thing that is AMAZE-BALLS about here is that people are so warm it’s incredible. Honestly, if you ever ask around anyone will be willing to help you. Even if they don’t understand you, they will still try and do their best to help, I’m constantly in awe because I’m like wow so many nice people is this real ? Where am I ? Language is definitely not a barrier, and I’m definitely going to learn portuguese because I need to percebo some things.
Second thing that I love is that I get to experience fall at its best, it’s my favorite season and unfortunetaly Casablanca isn’t hit by those beautiful autumn-y colors when october is around the corner. So I get to have long walks around my neighbourhood or all over the city where I annoy people on snapchat with my pictures of trees.
If I had to pick my favorite spots in Porto they’d be the following :
– Sao Bento
I have a love hate relationship wih the historic center of the city because if you didn’t know, Porto is built on steep hills. So it’s a beautiful part of town, yet I have to brace myself whenever I feel like going up the hill to Torre Dos Clerigos because lemme tell you, it’s a workout. Sure there’s transportation and everything but you have to suffer to truly appreciate the beauty of baixa. Praça Da Liberdade is magnificient and with Christmas approaching, everything’s lit (yes I mean it in both ways). The river that separates Porto from Gaia (Rio Douro) is something other wordly, no matter how many times I go there, I still have the same feeling I got the first time.
– Santa Catarina
I have a special kind of affection for Santa Catarina because it’s not far from where I live, and I love cobblestone streets (my street is also a cobblestone street and it’s always been a dream of mine so I feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy whenever I walk home). It’s the city longest shopping street and whenever I feel like being surrounded by tons of people, it’s my number one spot. There’s a beautiful shopping mall (they’re only called « shopping » in Portugal) in the middle of the street, called Via Catarina, and each restaurant in the food court has a typical portuguese facade, with the little windows and coloured azulejos.
– Estadio Do Dragao
I’m not the biggest football fan there is, and yet I love going to watch the games in Estadio Do Dragao. For three simple reasons : I like cheering a lot, I’m fond of caramel popcorn, and I love Casillas. Another sain reason is because the view from the stadium is gorgeous, it overlooks the city and you have an outstanding panorama of Porto.
I’m gonna leave you now with the pictures because I could go on and on about Porto and we should leave that for another article. On completely related news, you should follow me on snapchat because you shouldn’t miss out on my selfies with salads, Nev trying to be funny on Catfish, and all the lovers I hate on the streets of Porto.
Yes the students in Portugal look like they go to Hogwarts, how freaking cool.