Sunday, 1 June 2014

The leaving

Porto is buzzing. The waterfront cafés are full and the pleasure craft are plying the river with more boozy would be sailors than you can count. The flight from Gatwick was swift and uneventful so Easy Jet must be doing something right. After some phaphing about I eventually found the hostel opposite the cathedral which I will be leaving from tomorrow. I am the oldest person by far here and most of the people staying look about 12 years old. They look at me as if they think I have been sent by their parents to spy on them. There is something called an Erasmus party taking place here tonight to which I have been invited. Never heard of it before so I assume it is some sort of religious festival. I have not yet met by fellow six bunkees. That should be fun. As I write there is water coming down through the ceiling and someone is placing a bucket between my legs. Thank goodness I discovered where the water was coming from, for a moment I thought it was me.

Checked out my starting place outside the west wall,of the cathedral for tomorrow then explored. Porto is all hills and is typical of many such cities that war has by-passed. Anodyne housing blocks occupy one side of the river which is connected by a bridge built by the inventor of Meccano. The old quarter is just that, old, crumbling and peppered with tall cranes trying to keep it all together, but it is beautiful, vibrant and fun to explore.

I am wearing my St Lukes 'T' shirt and as I was returning from the port was asked to join a Swiss banker and his new love at their table. They were a charming couple, very much in love and pleasure to be in the company of, particularly as the would not let me pay for the beer. Good luck to you Nadine and Andre I could think of worse places in which to plight your troth.

I have the first stamp on my pilgrim's passport. That will give me entry into the next hostel on route.

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