The first time we entered Casa Natal, I could hardly contain my enthusiasm. Of course, not wanting to embarrass myself I kept my glee in check, but oh… in my head a party was going on.
There were a few things we didn’t know as we stepped off the train in Seville. We didn’t know where the bus stop was, nor did we know how to get to our hotel. But the biggest thing we weren’t prepared for was how unbelievably hot it was.
Our relationship with the City of Porto began in 2010 when Abi and our son took a Port wine – vinho do Porto – tour of the Douro Valley and it’s when they first met Andreia and were introduced to the Kopke Port Cellar.
Before settling in to our life among the locals in Porto, we spent ten glorious and utterly
lazy relaxing days in Malaga, Spain. It was the perfect respite for two old hobos who needed to unpack and soothe their weary bones after three months of fast-paced travel through nine incredible European countries. Funny thing is, we never intended to land in Malaga. Had it not been for a reunion with vacationing friends, we might never have known the beautiful wonders the city offered.
One thing I may not yet have mentioned about the city of Porto is the hills. They’re a bitch. And, there are certain hills that just kick my butt all the way up every time we make the trek, but exercise they do provide. To get from the city center and/or the river front back to our flat, we have no choice but to trek those hills.
There are moments in time when one has to come to a complete stop to just take in said moment because one finds oneself in a place of perfection; a place so extraordinarily inspiring it takes ones breath away. For us, that moment happened when we stepped inside the Mosque of Cordoba. Never before had we seen such a place, and most likely never will we again.
As we pulled away from the parking lot at Vintgar Gorge, the shuttle van driver asked, “How was the gorge?” “Crowded!” I responded, “But beautiful.” He went on to explain that three years ago nobody cared about the gorge, and now, everyone wants to see it and he can’t figure out why.