Portugal
Pedras Rubras

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    • Day 2

      Rainy, Windy, Beautiful Porto

      October 17, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 68 °F

      We flew into Areoporto Francisco Sá Carneiro and took the train to Trinidade and then to San Bento which is near the Cathedral of St. Michael which was a magnificent old church with carvings, tile work and gilding galore- it was breathtaking! After obtaining our Credencial for the pilgrimage, we were free to marvel more at the intricacies and the achitecture of the church and actually climbed the stairs (many!) up to the tower which afforded a bird’s eye view of the city and the River Douro. We walked across the King Luis I bridge and happened into a port tasting room that was pouring 10 year old bottles and the port was smooth and delicious. We checked into our hotel, The Poet’s Inn and then hiked along the river to where it joins the ocean, shopped and bought some groceries…all this while walking in pouring sheets of rain and high blustery winds! Our Altus ponchos kept us dry and even though the day was dreary and wet we powered through and got to enjoy beautiful Porto.Read more

    • Day 6

      The Encapsulated Storm

      September 19, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      It's been a little while!

      Since I last posted, I rescheduled my flight, canceled it altogether, and booked it again. I am considering rescheduling it.

      My Camino this far has truly been a test of my patience, emotional and physical strength.

      Long story ahead, and warning: the timeline may be screwy because I barely know what day it is.

      Saturday, the first day I started, I wrenched my knee pretty solidly. I took a break, hoping it was just a small thing. It swelled and hurt.

      After hours of internal reflection, I made the very difficult decision to go home. Changes in flight booking cost me $1700. I booked a hotel close to the airport because my flight left at 8:30 Monday morning.

      As I was packing up everything, I was listening to music and thinking. And I realized I HAD persevered. All that training I did. All the money. Everything. It was all perseverance.

      And there was no way I was going to throw that away. So I swore to myself I would see the Cathedral in Santiago. I was determined. I booked an uber to the local Decathlon (Portugal's answer to REI) and bought walking poles, new sunglasses (mine broke), electrolytes and a few other things. Then I took an uber to the hotel. I'd already booked and paid, so I wasn't going to waste a night of rest.

      I got into my room and did everything that needed to be done; unpack, shower and laundry. Then I hobbled around looking for somewhere to eat. I got 3 km in and my knee swelled again. I went back to the hotel.

      I took some ibuprofen and slathered my knee in arnica. I called the front desk for ice (ice isn't really a thing here!! There's no ice!!!) I set up pillows, elevated my knee and cried. I was heartbroken. So much internal strife. How was this happening?! How?!? I didn't want to go home. I couldn't. I'd done too much to get here. And I'd already canceled my flight. I was an ocean away from everything I knew. I had no return trip planned or booked. And yet... My knee says no, thank you.

      So I talked to several friends. I searched my soul, I meditated, I tried to sleep.

      And I knew I had to go home. So the flight was re-booked and I was scheduled. I wished with every fiber of my being that I would wake up tomorrow and all would be well, but my spirit was shattered and I knew better. This is soft tissue damage, which can take weeks to heal, and I don't have that time. I was leaving Tuesday.

      *********

      2:30 AM Monday morning, I finally fell asleep. My heart was heavy for a number of reasons and it was a toss-and-turn, can't-hit-REM sleep, not restful at all.

      Still, my reservations came with breakfast. So I knew I had to be up early. I rested as best I could.

      *********

      This morning. Monday. I think. My flight is scheduled for tomorrow...but the swelling in my knee has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY. It still hurts, don't get me wrong. But I was able to make my plate at breakfast and move around with less difficulty than yesterday.

      I have a tiny spark of hope left.

      I finished breakfast and came back to my room to reassess the situation. Trip insurance would cover my flight if I have to come home for medical reasons. This means I will get the $1700 back, which I would then use to book another trip to Portugal in Spring of next year, after I healed. I just had to rest and continue training until then.

      But I've come too far. I want to keep going. Part of this journey is about pushing myself. I don't want to cause any more damage to my knee, but if a couple more day's rest will get me back on track then I will do it.

      There is A LOT that happened between all this, but that's the gist of it.

      Current situation: Flight home is booked for tomorrow at 8:20 AM. My knee feels significatly better this morning, but definitely not 100%.

      So right now, I have three goals: get to a doctor for an actual diagnosis (not just a poke and prod), decide whether or not to push on from there, and look at the details of my trip insurance. I can further test my knee by walking to the doctor, which is about a mile away. A very short walk. If it swells during that, pretty sure I'm going home. If it doesn't, I get a dx and decide once again from there whether to cancel my trip home and keep going.

      So that's where I'm at right now. I didn't have the strength to write during all of this, so this is a short version and doesn't come CLOSE to the maelstrom of emotions I've whirled through in the past 24 hours.
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    • Day 74

      Zeit für Qualitytime 👨‍👩‍👧✈️🇪🇸🌊

      October 18, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Es ist soweit: Das Kapitel Solo-Travelling ist beendet. Zumindest vorerst. Jetzt heißt es nämlich erstmal quality time genießen. Und es ist verrückt, während Frida in Porto auf unsere nächsten gemeinsamen Abenteuer wartet, fühlt es sich an nach Hause zu fliegen und das, obwohl ich meine Eltern auf Mallorca und nicht in Deutschland besuchen gehe. Beweist doch wieder einmal, dass Zuhause nicht nur ein Ort sondern auch Personen sind. 🧡Read more

    • Day 19

      Das Surf-Mekka

      May 14, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

      Nachdem wir unsere Akkus am Campingplatz aufgeladen hatten, ging es für uns gegen Mittag frisch, froh und munter weiter.

      Einzig die Batterie des Campers hat trotz Landstromanschluss nicht geladen und somit einen vollständigen defekt 🪫

      Auf unserer Tour nach Porto hielten wir zunächst am Praia do Baleal und bestaunten dort die vielen Surfer 🏄‍♂️ und wie sie mehr oder weniger auf den Wellen ritten 🌊

      Im Anschluss fuhren wir nach Nazare, das Surf-Mekka wo Wellen bis zu 25 Meter hoch werden können.

      Der Strand und die Promenade war extrem voll, leider gab es keine Surfer und keine Wellen da diese lediglich vom November bis Februar so extrem hoch sind.

      Im Anschluss fuhren wir bis Porto und aßen zu Abend bei McDonalds und probierten uns hier durch die Portugiesischen Burger 🍔

      Die letzte Nacht verbrachten wir mit einer Runde Karten.

      Morgen geht es für Vicky in den Flieger nach Deutschland ✈️
      Read more

    • Day 24

      Homeward Bound, leaving on a high note

      June 23, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

      3 am airports never vary.... People sleeping in contorted strange positions, sorting and repacking bits, tired looking returnees , much more alert departing vacationers. I'm waiting for our gate to be announced for our 5 am flight, and pondering my budgetary choices 😅. Actually we saved a lot on this flight, it was worth it.

      Our last day in Portugal was an absolute delight, I think we saw the best of the best. We got the first morning rabelo boat tour, about 8 of us on a peacefully gliding Duoro River trip. Rabelos are the boats used in the past to transport casks of port down to Porto, now they are used for tourism. These pretty, small wooden boats are a much more authentic experience than a crowded cruise boat day trip. Although the real river cruise boat we saw looked very tempting!

      Then the plan is to head for Sabrosa, the town 16km away that I've just read it's the birthplace of Ferdinand Magellan. As I explain it to Brad, if Magellan could attempt to circumnavigate the globe in the 1520s, then surely we could drive that short distance to visit! The only difficulty is that there is a price to be paid for breathtaking views, and that price is often a white knuckle drive. Incredibly gorgeous scenery does distract a bit from hair raising switchback elevation gains though, and we're soon enough in Sabrosa.

      A last picnic lunch in a park under trees, and a short walk through the old town leads us to Magellans birth home. We pay our quick respects there. I can't imagine the vision and drive of a person born in 1480, to believe the impossible could be done, and set out to do it. It's really sad he didn't quite make it, dying en route.

      We visit the nearby Sabrosa wine cooperative, where we have an excellent personal tour with a young local. For 4 euro each, this includes tastings. And it's a wonderful layout, the cooperative has kept much of the old equipment to display. An old copper still, which is no longer permitted to be used, manual filling and corking machines, we can see the effort required in the old days compared to the gleaming efficiency of the new. A bit less poetic, of course.

      And far less dangerous, as we are shown enormous vats where the grapes have their initial press. Once the liquid is siphoned out for the next step, even to this day, someone physically must crawl through a tiny door and scrape the mast out!

      A fascinating visit, not at all what we expected. So, down a routine highway, into a routine hotel, and here we are entering that vast complex system of transport. To be thrown out the other end many hours from now, jet lagged, achy, desperate for fresh air....and happy to be back on home ground!
      Read more

    • Day 1

      Porto (OPO)

      May 13, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Angekommen in Frankfurt 😅 die Durchsage der Flugbegleiterin sorgte für ein großes Lachen 🤣
      Jetzt gehts mit der Metro Richtung Altstadt und auf Suche nach einem Plätzchen in einer Herberge 🙏🏻

    • Day 1

      Flug nach Porto

      June 19, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Der erste Roadtrip meines Lebens stand auf dem Plan und es sollte nach Portugal gehen. Vom BER brachte uns EasyJet (mit extrem wenig Beinfreiheit für eine 2m große Person wie mich) nach Porto (OPO). Dort wartete der Mietwagen auf uns und nach einem kurzen Halt bei der nächsten Tankstelle ging das Abenteuer los.Read more

    • Day 1

      Airport Porto | Bem-vindo

      May 2, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Ziemlich pünktlich um 20:45 Uhr (nach deutscher Zeit eine Stunde später) sind wir in Porto gelandet. Dadurch, dass ich ja nur meinen Handgepäcksrucksack dabei habe, konnte ich fix aus dem Flughafen zur Metro. Bei der Metro angekommen, direkt an den Ticketschalter. Ich wusste welche Linie ich nehmen muss und wie die Haltestelle heißt. Tja und dann ein Automat, der nur auf portugiesisch mit mir kommunizieren will. Herrje. Zum Glück sah ein junger Mann, dass ich anscheinend etwas mit dem Automaten kämpfte. Er half mir, wir sprachen halb spanisch halb portugiesisch und irgendwie klappte es dann. Die Menschen sind hier auf jeden Fall nett und helfen, auch wenn sie kein Englisch können.

      An der Metro musste ich 25 Minuten warten und dann ging es in die Innenstadt bis zur Station Trindade, von dort aus nochmal 20 Minuten zu Fuß zum Hostel. Es waren milde 21 Grad und viele Menschen waren noch draußen und saßen vor oder in den Restaurants und aßen. Immer wieder erstaunlich, wie spät die Südländer essen. Es war mittlerweile 22:15 Uhr. Ich sah viele Obdachlose, was mich überraschte, viel mehr als in Hamburg. Sehr präsent in den Straßen und auch spazierend zwischen den Touristen. Irgendwie ein anderes Gefüge als bei uns.

      Auf jeden Fall ein schöner Weg zu meinem Hostel. Catarina vom Empfang hatte mir zuvor schon per WhatsApp geschrieben und gefragt, ob alles nach Plan gelaufen ist mit dem Flieger und wann ich eintreffe. Sehr nett. Sie erwartete mich schon. Sie gab mir eine Karte mit der ich rein und raus komme und erklärte mir alles und dann ging es in den 3. Stock ins Bett. Man beachte die Aussicht.
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    • Day 4

      Arrival in Porto

      April 25, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Taxi was on time and picked us up at 7 to take us to the airport. Check in smooth. Half hour delay after boarding due to fog too dense to take off, but smooth flight of about 2 hrs to Porto.

      The Metro from the airport took us to the centre of town (get off at Trinidad station) and we walked up and down, down and up cobbled lanes to get to our apartment as we had arranged a 1-2pm arrival, but nobody was there. Found a gelateria and had sit down while we continued to try to reach the owner. He advised he forgot to the send the codes to get in....was never planning to be on site as we had understood. Finally got codes and got in about 3:30. Accommodation adequate, good bed, clean. Other tourists going in and out the buildings, definitely an area of redevelopment with buildings empty and derelict looking next to others that are being lived in and renovated. Everywhere it is like this, an old, old city, very narrow streets, tuk tuks taking tourists about, some renovated buildings, most not although outside appearances can be deceiving.

      Porto is very photogenic.
      Read more

    • Day 4

      I’m Here!!!

      June 22, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

      So happy! Porto countryside looked beautiful and green as we landed. The airport is much smaller and to my liking! I got some Euros at the cash machine and bought a yummy strawberry energy drink at Starbucks while listening the cashier sing along to Britney Spears “oops I did it again”! 🤣 I also spotted the pastry that has been recommended over and over, but my stomach is not ready for that yet! Im off to find the metro to the city and then Andrea!Read more

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