you don’t care about how harsh the lighting is, because you’re so happy that the sun isn’t blocked. you enjoy brunch outside while you wait for the bus to beauvais.
but let’s back up to a few months ago to a bleak january.
portugal really begins the same way amiens did. with the same french friend. late at night. where one idea led to another and then another…
“hey cathy… i love your photos of strasbourg. i’d like to go. i’ve never been. the next time you go, can i go with you?”
“of course!” is your immediate response.
[moment of reflection]
you change your answer, “hey e, actually, i have a better idea… since i’ve already been to strasbourg twice, let’s go somewhere we both haven’t been. AND let’s take a plane because i know you’ve never taken one!”
she agrees, “okay! where shall we go?”
[hops on ryanair.com]
“nice? marseilles? toulouse? i haven’t been to any of those places,” you excitedly respond. the south of france! the beach! the south!
[pause… she’s not enthusiastic at all… why?]
“if i am going to get on my first flight… i rather go somewhere else, because that is still france”
[ah. you understand. france is not very exciting for the frenchies.]
“no problem, let’s see what’s available”
[sees flights to porto. 29EUR.]
“how about porto? it’s cheap and neither of us have been there?”
[her eyes light up.]
and so that is how we decided on portugal.
she takes her first flight ever. on ryanair… which is quite a joke. but you’re happy to see the excitement of someone who has never flown before. you assure her that a major airline is not at all the same experience.
thankfully browsing is always free.
and, this week in may happens to be queima das fitas, a weeklong festival for college students. it’s a serious thing – nobody has class, and there is an entire uniform system based on your year and what school you’re attending. different cities have them on different dates, and porto’s just happens to coincide with your visit.
singing in the streets. lot’s of drinking. people dancing. the entire city is just on a high – and you’re lucky to ride it’s coattails.
as well as color. you’re pretty sure that there is a definite link between how a colorful a city in regards to how much sun it gets. a place like porto has tons of sun, so you have a feeling they show it off with their brightly colored buildings. but in normandy, it’s bleak quite often, so the buildings are not so intensely colored….
just a theory.
you love these first days when you travel. because you woke up in evreux. but now you’re walking around on a bridge, full of portuguese food and wine? and in a few hours you’ll be falling asleep in porto.
waking up in one country and falling asleep in another in the same day always makes you feel like time doesn’t exist.