I’d wanted to visit Porto for a long time, but by the time I actually got here, I almost burnt out of energy. I also hadn’t had a proper coffee or taken my vitamins for a few days, so that contributes. Also, my first experience upon landing was ordering an uber, witnessing a fight between my driver-to-be and a set of taxi drivers in which he drove off nearly into them, so I began a bit unnerved. Since then, I’ve reverted to my former beliefs that walking is the best mode of transport, I should be taking this final week easy and I’ve enjoyed exploring.
My first evening was devoid of entertainment, so I drank green wine and chilled. My first full day involved a thunderstorm, some writing, some exploring, some shopping and chancing upon the most incredible street singer (so incredible that I’m wondering if he was actually miming and the CD he sold me is a duff). Day three included a morning of writing (that I’m really proud of after hitting the biggest wall in the last weeks) and life admin and an afternoon of a walking tour where I really began to get a feel of the city and bought a bottle of port. Should I capitalise that? PORT. YEAH!!
I like this city. I felt no strong draw to it once I arrived; the place I’m staying is a great Airbnb but seems to be in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter rather than further afield. The buildings and combination of modernity and really run down buildings interspersed with no particular rhyme or reason, perplexes me, but I love it. Despite making that sound negative – this is what I love about the Jewellery Quarter. I’m by Herosimo subway stop, but I haven’t taken the subway. I’m not far from the library that supposedly inspired Harry Potter but I didn’t get chance to see it. I was hoping to go and feel what she felt and be excited about my novel again, but I swapped a morning of adventure for a morning of writing and achieved the same goal. I’ve got a new chapter, a new thread and a new character starting to gain some body.
My final day saw me take the train to Madalena, a beach about 5km away from Porto where I’m due to be picked up later and driven to Paris (woo road trip!). It’s from here I sit and write this strange almost conclusion. In a way, this adventure is concluding, but I really have had my eyes opened. I feel the next stage is part of the same adventure. I feel the stage after will be. Life is the adventure now. It is, and always has been, but I’m just more aware of it now. And that feels so damn good.
Here’s some pics as I make the most of wifi in a strange meeting point, a campsite complex where different pop hits buzz from every speaker and I drink coffee from a polystyrene cup. Peace out.