Day 2. I arrived at the train station and grabbed a taxi. I didn’t know it then, but I would be having dinner very near to the train station later.
I have many reasons to stay at a place or not or where to stay. I typically want to stay where there are funky restaurants, boutiques and galleries. This started long ago with my favorite ex, Mike. We loved going to San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district. We stayed at the cute Hotel le Richelieu.
Ever since then I look for places like that. My first night in Porto, I stayed at an Airbnb and it was a small efficiency with windows. It had an interesting shower and kinda stinky pillows but everything else was perfect. I would have stayed another night, but they were booked. The room was also situated in a place that was hard to get to by Uber/taxi. Hilly and cobblestone. So I left. Decided on the train. I tried to Uber to the train station, but internet stopped as I left the apartment, so I walked up the hill and then down a bit. I remembered the taxi driver telling me to go into the train station to see the tiles. I looked at the map and could see the station was close by. I found it, bought a ticket and the train was leaving in 20 minutes. I had a second class seat. I picked. A seat and knew that I had to transfer relatively soon. There were other people with luggage so I watched them. My ticket was pretty vague. When the “people with luggage” got up to leave, I followed. Yup, they were mostly young people, which I still think I am! Lol. I asked a girl with a backpack if she was going to Lisbon. Yes she was and she and her boyfriend weren’t sure where the platform was either. He went on ahead and I found out she lived very close to our friends in northern Germany. Small world, but it got smaller…
I stood at the platform and saw a worker point someone towards the end of the platform, indicating second class. My new German friend asked if I had a seat, I said, yes not really knowing if I did. Again vague ticket. Later I realized my car and seat was on the ticket. I moved back toward the end. The train arrived, looked for car numbers, there were none. I boarded, because there were a lot of people with a lot of luggage. There were a couple of young girls near me and they couldn’t figure it out either. So I sat with them for a minute, until we were told that we were in the wrong seats. They were from San Diego! I moved back further, they were actually in first class! I tried to sit again, wrong seat. Finally, I found the right seat, so I thought. The train departed and I was happy. It was three hour trip.
Well that was down the rabbit hole. The whole reason for the diversion was explaining why and how I pick places to stay. So as I was contemplating that yesterday, I thought that I would add to my must haves, was a place with a pool, it’s going to be hot, a bar/ restaurant so I can be more social. I am single! And maybe I am getting lazy, but staying in one place sounded attractive. So here I am in a 5 star hotel, Iberostar Selection hotel. It’s very nice. But, a little stuffy.
It was about three and I needed some food. A beautiful day so I wanted to be outside. First place was open but not outside. Next place was open but had to order inside and they would bring it outside and they could only serve pizza. I remembered the siesta time in these areas. The very sweet server sent me outside and my amazing pizza arrived soon.
Great food and Aperol Spriz! After a bit, I wasn’t feeling well, dizzy, tunnel vision, so I paid my bill and went back to the hotel. Jet lag? Not sure. Took a two hour nap and felt better.