As the year 2017 is just around the corner, we decided to see how was the year 2016. Well, it was wonderful! We started the Travelers Child and we put our traveling to whole new level. We spent most of this year traveling and exploring not only different places, but different foods, different cultures, met a lot of new great people and just had one of the best years of our life. It’s hard to sum up everything and put it all into perspective, but we decided to do exactly that. And what’s a better way than just to look back and think which places we enjoyed the most. Though it’s a difficult task, as we enjoyed every single moment, this also is a very pleasant objective. We hope that you will enjoy this trip down our memory lane as much as we did!
So allow us to introduce you, Dear Reader, to our No. 4, which is:
Porto – the second largest city in Portugal – has been our second home for a while and a city that engraved deep into our hearts. As it had a lot of memories regarding finding new friends or spending wonderful time with the ones that come to visit, Porto was one hell of a place to live in.
Porto is one of the oldest European centres and the old part of the city is proclaimed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. It’s located by the beautiful river Douro, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The geographical situation of this city is just amazing and Portuguese seem to have managed to use this space properly.
Finally, the city is famous for being home for a popular drink – Port Wine. And it’s just beautiful how the wineries are located along the riverside. Also being a wine city – Porto has the most warm, natural and loving people you can find. God, do we miss this city!
What L. has to say about Porto
Place on L’s list: 2
How much I miss that feeling when going to Livraria Lello to buy a book1 is just an ordinary thing…
Though most of the time I’m in love with the places that I’m telling you about, Dear Reader, my feelings for Porto are way more serious. Yes, I saw its bad sides, and even I can’t argue that it has a lot of them. Windy and wet weather major part of the year, a lot of (really, A LOT of) abandoned places, hobos, etc. However, from the second rainy day of our arrival there, Porto seemed like the place where I could imagine myself being for a longer time2. And, actually, it was the first place where I spent more than 2 weeks3 – I joined P. at the end of his Erasmus studies, and we enjoyed Porto together for almost two months.
It’s hard to explain how charming and homey this city was for me. I think it has something to do with the same reason why J. K. Rowling got inspired to start magical saga there. Porto has a magical aura – from traditions to architecture – like no other city has. While P. had to finish his studies, I spent hours just walking around the city and enjoying its magical authenticity. Each time I got back from the city center, I couldn’t stop myself from spilling every wonderful detail I found in the city that reminded me of the wizarding world. Crazy, I know. However, I’m pretty sure that such places like Livraria Lello, or Majestic Cafe wouldn’t leave you apathetic either!
In addition to this, here we had everything what we needed while spending time abroad. Fantastic old town, superb chilling spots, like Ribeira riverside, Douro River with its bridges-masterpieces, outstanding parks, like Jardins do Palacio de Crystal, and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean. Though, I have to admit that it wasn’t always as friendly as, for example, sea would be. Nevertheless, it was awesome to have an option to go to read a book in the beach, to have a surfing lesson or a nice evening swim after jogging in the park.
All in all, Porto is a city lucky to be rich with all the things that a local resident or a tourist could dream of. In Porto not a day goes by without the list of interesting activities you could do, if you want to. There is no place for boredom there, and there is still a lot of place in my mind for it!
What P. has to say about Porto
I went to Porto as an Erasmus+ exchange student and my decision was made basically because I was also hoping to find a place with a better weather than Lithuania’s. I wasn’t really lucky in this part, because only at the end of the spring the weather became as pleasant as I was hoping it to be all year.
But that was really the only bad thing4 that I took from this experience. Everything else was just wonderful. Making new friends, exploring the city and spending time there… Everything left me with memories for life.
Now if we talk about Porto only as a destination, you have to go there when the weather becomes really warm and the trees blossom. During this time of year the city is just hypnotizing with it’s beauty and this incredible vibe of just being relaxed.
Though, the main tourists attractions are in the old part of the town, I think, that the soul of the city is the Ribeira, where parties are happening all the time. Seeing the river flow and the light reflecting from it, is just something magical and just completely takes you away.
For me Porto associated with a lifestyle. Living and being there you just see how you become more chillaxed, clean-minded and open. This city has changed me for life and I’m very proud to say that I can call Porto my second home.
Place on P’s list: 4
Though, both of our comments had a lot to do with the emotions and not describing the place as a tourist destination, we believe, there’s a good reason why it has been ranked Top European Destination two times in a row.
Porto is a lifestyle and a feeling existing in the wonderfully beautiful place. Somehow this city knows how to transform its visitor into true chillaxed wanderlusters who seek to enjoy life to its fullest. And, actually, this particular city is the birthplace of Traveler’s Child.
Rest of the TOP 10
1. Praia da Ursa (Portugal)
2. San Sebastian (Spain)
3. Saxon Switzerland (Germany)
4. Porto (Portugal)
5. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
6. Gent (Belgium)
7. Gerberoy (France)
8. Durbuy (Belgium)
9. Mont Saint-Michel (France)
10. Colmar (France)