I had expected there would be sockets in the night train, yet when I got in and sat down on my place I realised that, due to the train’s age, there were no sockets. Instead, it offered an old plastic table such as any other train does, except that those, or at least mine, wouldn’t stop falling out of its mount, as well as a chair that could be put back by almost ninety degrees, thus allowing me to have a decent sleep.
Thursday, August 23rd
A sleep that in fact was so deep, that I overslept my stop. When I opened my eyes, it was a quarter to five in the morning and the first thing I was able to see, was the sign indicating the train station’s name: “Coimbra B”. I tried to pack my back as fast as possible, but it was too late, few seconds later the train drove on again and left my stop behind. The woman sitting next to me, whom I had talked with before falling asleep, told me not to worry and as the train conductor came into our compartment, we briefly explained to him my situation. He proceeded to take out a sheet on which were listed all the stops along the train’s way and told me to get off at the next station, where a regional train would be driving to Coimbra an hour later.
I got off the night train, it was now five o’ clock in the morning and I was freezing. Even though it was the end of August, Porto’s weather didn’t seem to have any mercy and so I put on another jacket of mine, an old, purple, Lafuma jacket I had borrowed from my mom. It didn’t exclude much of the coldness, but it helped. I took out one of the books I had brought with me and decided to read until my train would arrive.
A few hours and train stops later, I was in Porto – at eight am. I had planned to explore the city first and to check in at the hostel later and so I did, leaving my backpack once again in one of the lockers provided at the train station. I first got some breakfast, which I took with me while strolling through Porto’s roads and alleys. After a few hours I got to the harbour with its charming promenade and of course “Ponte Dom Luís I”, the bridge Porto is known for and which was built by G. Eiffel’s pupils. I crossed the bridge and made my way to the Graham’s Port distillery, where I planned to do some port wine tasting, which I eventually did. There’re two advantages about drinking port wine at noon: It tastes delicious, even more with some cheese, and it lets you enjoy the rest of the day even more. Which I eventually did, by reading my book in one of the cafés located at the seaside and with a breath taking view on the surrounding scenery.
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