It's been a week even more full than usual, and even I'm not quite sure how I managed to stay sane. There's been the usual rush to get ready for some time away, which in my case also included booking the final hotel of our trip and organising somewhere to park the car, as well as the more usual pre-holiday activities of making sure the right clothes were clean, having currency and turning up at the airport at the right time!
To add to that I had a night away in Southampton too in preparation for a day on the MSC Preziosa mid-week, like you do, and of course work was busy too - and that was before I'd even attempted to do next week's work (or some of it) before I headed off. I'll be sharing more about my day onboard soon, it was quite the experience. I remain unconvinced that cruising is for me, but I can see why people get hooked.
So in all there hasn't been much time for sleeping, and I was even at the doctors for a top up of my thyroid medication at 7:20am one day too - but that's ok as I got the prescription I needed and sleep at times, can be so overrated. Some times though it is much needed and I'm thankful that everything aligned so it wasn't this week!
There's been some family news to celebrate too with my eldest niece announcing her engagement, which is great news but it does make me feel old. There'll be some time to celebrate all together soon I'm sure. And a hat to buy...
Travelling to Porto went relatively smoothly too, despite Ryanair's predicament. We managed to hit that sweet spot where transport just works, after we made a dash for the airport shuttle. We even managed to successfully navigate the ticket machines and Metro locating our apartment in Bonfim easily. And boy, what an apartment, I knew it would be quirkier than a hotel room, and that appealed, and it's lived up to that promise.
We've spent the weekend exploring Porto on foot and it really is a vibrant place. We've had flaming chorizo, roast lamb in a traditional and off the tourist track restaurant and of course, tasted a few glasses of port. We've taken metros, the cable car and walked back over the Ponte Luis and up and down and round and round clocking up many thousands of steps - and it's been great.
It's also been warm, unseasonably so. Temperatures have been in the mid to high twenties, which is great but a tad hot when you're walking around. It hardly feels like October and in this weather contemplating the chestnuts being roasted on the streets isn't going to happen, although MOH let on he'd never had roasted chestnuts. I know I keep telling him he doesn't like them, but that's so there's more for me, I didn't realise he'd not tried them. I wonder if we can roast them in our pizza oven...
Today we head further into along the Douro valley by train, or at least I hope we will, that relies on if I've mastered the train timetable!, or not!
In the meantime here's some of the photos I've snapped so far: