From San Sebastián, Spain we headed west to Porto, Portugal via an overnight train. This was our first experience with a night train so it was a mix of excitement and apprehension. The upside of night trains is you can hammer out a long travel leg while saving a night’s lodging. But the downfall is how much you have to be on guard about theft as professional thieves make a killing on them. Katie and I were put in adjacent male and female four-person carriages. This is another crappy part as you have to split up from your buddy and spend the night (7pm-5am) with a bunch of strangers who don’t speak your language and in both our cases, smelled horribly. While both of us didn’t sleep well (Katie was next to Smelly Melly and I was on valuables watch) we made it out without anything stolen. This might also be because I hid our valuables on a top shelf next to my bed and boobytrapped it with noise things and water. So if anyone tried to get in, there would have been a loud racket and water spilling on them (suckers!). And I know what you are thinking. I’m way too worried, but for me this was kind of fun as I felt like I let out my inner Goonies self with my homemade traps.
We arrived into Porto around 7am and headed to our hostel. This was our first dorm bed/non-private room experience. We never go this route not because we can’t rough it (see Amazon post) but instead because frankly, we are married and too old for that shit. BUT in this case the hostel, Yes! Porto, had the best reviews we’ve seen to date (4000+ averaging more than 9 out of 10). Most comments talked about how this was the best hostel they have ever stayed in. Cue us figuring we had to give it a whirl and we can happily say the reviews were accurate. The staff was exceptionally nice and helpful. The facility was new and spotless, they offered killer dinners ($10 for three course meals and all you can drink) and they had free walking tours. We also met some great other travelers who we spent time with during our days there. Winning on all fronts. I highly recommend staying there if you get a chance.
While in Porto we had to do a port wine tour. Luckily for us it was only $20 and packed full of good times with new friends. We visited three different wineries, sampled seven different port wines, learned about the history of the region and the wine and finished on a rooftop deck overlooking the river and the city seven or so hours later. We even managed to find some churros along the way (clearly i was happy with this):
The city itself is definitely worth visiting if you ever get the chance. There is a ton of history, it’s stunningly beautiful with a plethora of churches and old buildings and the wine scene is great. We will happily go back sometime down the road.