Even though, I have developed a great deal of love for Spain and especially Cantabria since I've been here, we decided that for New Years (in spanisch 'la noche vieja') we had to get out of town. After quickly consulting the map for which places could fit our expectations (sea, hipster town, cultural suff, old buildings, new buildings, as long as it was close to the sea and had the right vibe actually it did not matter... ) we had the perfect idea in mind. We'd jump in the car & it would be road trip time again. This time the destination was Porto. With two detours to Salamanca (yey! Finally getting there again) & Santiago de Compostella (it's famous at least!). Well - what can I tell you, this town has stolen my heart.
I've never been in Portugal before this trip and I did not know what to expect. I have to admit - my expectations were exceeded. Somehow while in Spain you think - 'this is dirty and rundown' in Porto you think 'this is dirty and rundown. But i'm loving it'. I don't know how to describe it better, but somehow Porto manages to keep a great deal of charm even though the innercity is a rather touristy place and not to many people life their day by day lifes there.
We stayed close to the river in a hipstery corner of the center. Porto has a great deal of cool, small handcraft hipster shops (yes, I will use the word hipster a great deal of times in this post, because it is the one and only word to describe this city.) along with (Port)vineries and craft chocolate stores. I know - what more could you want?
I know. My hipster heart and soul have been very happy with Porto, especially after being so exhausted here in Santander. My work & projects here have been driving me crazy: Porto was the holiday for heart and soul.
I was very surprised by the amount of people that were visiting the city for new years. Apparently it is rather popular, also among spanish and portugese to come to Porto for the last night of the old year, because it is apparently very cheap to go out (1.50€ for a beer at the main plaza around midnight speaking for itself). We enjoyed however not only the prizes but also to great atmosphere :) Definitely a city saved on the 'oh if I had so much more time and money I would go back in an instant'-list...