Pretty Porto

Friday, June 28, 2019
Porto, Porto District, Portugal
Today, it was time to leave Lille and head to Portugal, where I will spend the next week in 3 cities - Porto, Sintra and Lisbon. 
Paris traffic is crazy. I’m glad I don’t have to drive in a city like that. I arrived at Paris-Orly (the smaller of the Paris airports) a little over 2 hours for my flight. I was grateful that I didn’t have to check a bag and checked in online, as the check-in line at AIGLE AZUR was a hot mess. And the luggage people have...I can never get over that. And it was HOT - easily over 90 in Paris today. 
I was able to go right to my gate and forgot that because I had flown into Paris already and had my passport stamped, that I didn’t have to get it stamped to leave and go to Portugal. Security checkpoint was like, come on in! I showed my boarding pass, and that was it. Once I got through security, I found some macaroons that I had been craving, from Lauderie, a famous shop for them in Paris. 
We boarded the flight, and I had to gate check my bag. I wasn’t sure why, as when I got on, there was plenty of overhead space. Oh well - it’s not like I was going to argue. Flight time was about two hours, and it was easy. 
I had arranged to be picked up at the airport by a company called ‘Welcome Pick Up,’ and so far in my email correspondence, they have been very welcoming. I received an email a few days ago that ‘Filipe’ would be picking me up. I didn’t want to mess with taking the metro or even a taxi. There are times when it’s just nice to do it the easy (non-Jamie) way and have someone waiting for your with a sign. And, I didn’t want to spend at least an hour figuring out the metro, taking it, walking to my guest house, and likely not finding the guest house for several minutes and getting ticked off. 
Filipe was waiting as I exited bagged, with a sign with my name. He was super friendly and made sure I got into my guest house. (There is NO WAY I would’ve found that on my own.). I decided to go for a walk after getting settled in. 
Wow! Porto is stunning. I’ve seen a lot, and I haven’t seen anything like Porto. It’s full of tourists, as I expected. Filipe said that tourism has increased in the last 10 years, so I’m about 10 years too late. I still think it’s fabulous. I went into Sao Bento Station, which has beautiful tile work and is historic. Then, I had to try a ‘francesinha.’ This is a local Porto delicacy. Bread, grilled with 5 meats, cheese and a tomato and beer sauce. It’s actually very good. I also tried a pastel de nata, a Portuguese custard egg tart. It is as heavenly as it sounds. It’s a good thing I am walking a lot ! 
You can check out a vid of my day here. Tomorrow I have a walking tour, and a river tour planned. I also hope to get to mass in the evening, if I can locate one. 
Boa Noite,