My time in Porto was interesting to say the least. I arrived at around 9am by bus from Lagos. An overnight 8h bus ride that I took after my last few drinks in Lagos. When I arrived in Porto the hostel let me put my bags in the storage locker while they waited to clean the bed from the previous dorm mate. They explained the activities they offered, which included a free walking tour in a few minutes.
My “Free Walking Tour”
I love starting off a new city with a walking tour, learning all the ins and outs right away has proven to be very helpful. So, I sat down in the kitchen with these other Australian travellers and was soon joined by a large group of about 30 others. I thought that was a pretty large group for a walking tour but didn’t think too much of it.
We started out the door and our first stop was this Gelato place about a 10-minute walk away. The tour guide announced we could all pick two flavors and grab a cup from her to go order. I was stoked, best free walking tour ever?!
I started chatting to people learning about their destinations ahead, but something started getting weird. Everyone had come from the same places and were all heading in the same direction. Sure enough, they started asking me if I joined them in Lisbon. Apparently, I had joined this group that were doing a 40-person top deck tour. Similar to a Contiki tour if you are familiar with those.
They thought it was hilarious and we started joking around. They told me they were headed for a river boat tour next and were sure I could come too. I walked with them to the river and then felt too bad to take advantage of this poor sweet tour guide, so I quickly headed in the opposite direction hoping she wouldn’t notice I wasn’t a part of it. Seriously one of the funniest mornings yet!
Hilarious Porto Tour
This funny morning was followed up with a pretty hilarious afternoon. After my “free walking tour” I headed back to the hostel and made friends with a French Canadian from Montreal. We ended up booking this tour that sounded good, €23 for: a guided train ride around the city, a port wine cellar tour and tasting, and finally a river boat tour. Given the last boat tour is €15 on its own we thought this was a great deal.
The train ended up being the funniest part, when we got onto this tiny little “magic train” it moved at a pace a snail could probably beat and played the worst music that I couldn’t even try and describe to you. We were laughing the entire time at what we have just paid for. It then took us across the bridge into a wine cellar. We were told there was two tastings and assumed they would be of a decent size. After a long-winded tour that could have been improved with a video at the beginning that actually made noise, we were given these two tiny tastings of about 1 finger each of red and white port. A little disappointed, we got back onto our little train and continued to laugh at how funny this tour has been so far.
After the train dropped us off back where we started we had to walk to the river for the boat tour. The river boat tour ended up being on a fairly large boat with a voice recorded lady telling us about stuff we can see on the left or right of us as we cruised down the water. Besides her repeating a couple of things and the voice machine glitching out as we were docking, it ended up being the best part of this interesting tour. Laughing all the way back to the hostel we made sure to make it our mission to tell others not to do this tour, unless they really wanted this pretty funny experience for themselves.
Great Last Day
The next day, more hostel friends and I, spent the day trying to explore the city. However, after being too hot and tired we decided to instead do our own port tour. If you cross the bridge away from Porto and into the city of Xxx, there are many restaurants offering Port right along the river. We went to a few of them, working our way down the shoreline. However, I would highly recommend starting at the end. There was this one place, it had one of the last black tents, that offered the best deal. It was €5 for 5 different ports. As opposed to €5 for one glass of port. They also gave us olives, cheese and bread for free, so we really couldn’t go wrong.
Finally, ended off Porto spending the night with everyone eating dinner, going to a few bars and dancing the night away. Porto was one of those places I didn’t feel I needed a lot of time to stay at, but I think I made the most of my 3 days.
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