This was the first international trip I took without Leslie. My companion for this trip was my best childhood friend and best man to-be, Brent! Brent and I had been discussing a destination for a guys trip and ended up landing on Portugal. And Brent is a lot like me in that he likes to do the planning. When Les and I go on trips, I do 99.9% of the planning and try to be as detailed as I can. This time, it was the other way around - I did .01% of the planning and Brent took control. It was nice to have a little break!
I was set to arrive on Sunday March 17 at 630pm (after a 10 hour layover in Dublin). By that point, Brent had already been in Lisbon 3 days.
DAY 1 SUN 03.17.2019
IRELAND BONUS: I did not miss the chance to leave the airport in Dublin (on St. Patrick's Day!) and explore the city for a few hours. I didn't do a lot but if you'd like to check out what I did, CLICK HERE for a brief bonus page on Dublin.
I played it safe and arrived back at the Dublin airport a little earlier than I needed to, which ended up being a mistake...the flight to Lisbon was delayed 3 hours. I got into Lisbon at 930pm and just took a taxi straight to Brent's airbnb. Shoutout to Brent for getting me 2 ham and cheese sandwiches so I could have something to eat. I was exhausted from a super long day and we crashed!
DAY 2 MON 03.18.2019
That might have been the best night of sleep I ever had, which was good because we had big plans for Monday...
Train from Lisbon to Porto
Sao Bento Station
Lunch @ Rib Beef & Wine
Luis I Bridge (sunset)
Dinner @ O Caracas
Night photo @ Cleric's Tower
Lisbon to Porto: After a quick breakfast, we headed to the most beautiful train station I've seen (I haven't seen that many but it was beautiful), Estação do Oriente to get us from Lisbon up to Porto for the next couple days.
São Bento Station: Upon arrival, we were greeted by this beautiful station. Good job with the train stations, Portugal.
After checking into our airbnb, we were ready to get out and explore Porto. We were staying right in the city and were able to walk pretty much everywhere we needed to go. Our first stop, however, was for lunch at Adega São Nicolau, a 'slow-dining' experience in Porto. This place had been recommended to Brent and looked and smelled delicious. After waiting 2nd in line for about 30 minutes (people in front of us still hadn't been seated), we decided to move on and maybe come back here the next day (we did). Instead, we ate at right down the street at Rib, Beef, & Wine, which was delicious!
Rib, Beef, & Wine: We were seated much more quickly and ate inside (although their outdoor patio looked just lovely. This was my first meal in Portugal and I was obsessed with the flavors of wine sauce and perfection they put into the Francesinha (€12,50). "It is like a Porto staple." I'm sure other restaurants have delicious ones as well, but you wouldn't be disappointed here. We also split the mushroom, potato, truffle and ox jus (€8,50) appetizer and it was incredible. Those sauces!!
After lunch we did a good amount of just walking around Porto looking at sites, architecture, and trying to take good photos. Honestly, I couldn't tell you exactly where we walked but I believed we walked around the Ribeira and Vitoria parts of Porto close to the Luis I bridge. Here are some photos of places we were...
Sunset / The Evening: After walking around the city for a bit, we relaxed at the Airbnb for about an hour before heading to the perfect spot in Porto for sunset, the lookout of the Luis I Bridge at Miradouro da Serra do Pilar [41.138203, -8.608597]. We were here for about 2 hours shooting sunset and into the evening...
After that, we had dinner at O' Caracas, a restaurant that Brent had found in his research that was highly recommended. It was delicious, by the way. We were greeted in a homey-feeling place and we were offered 2 options for dinner. We both chose the veal.
From there, it was pretty much time to head back to the airbnb and go to sleep. We did make one final stop on the way back for another shot at some night photography. We used Cleric's Tower as the subject and got some long exposure photos of the traffic going by.