The best part about travelling, for me, is getting to experience new places. The best part about travelling in my own country is to get to see it from new perspectives.
I had only been to Porto a couple of times before, and only in passing. This time, we decided to take a few days to visit this beautiful old city, the capital of the north, and see what makes it so special that people have been calling it a city for over a thousand years.
This was an outfit picked for train travelling and city wandering. Comfort was a key priority but also ease to adapt to changing temperatures, as we travelled from the warm south to the cooler north (or so I thought).
These trousers are one of the items that I purchased on this trip. Well, technically, I purchased it before I went on the trip as I took advantage of the Mango Summer sales and placed the order online just before I left. By the time I arrived at my parents’ it was there waiting for me.
The shoes are from my home-town shoe shop and are perfect for walking. Right thing too as, it turned out, so is Porto!
We walked around the old city, with its old buildings but new life springing up everywhere, until we came to this amazing feat of engineering. Across from it, on the Gaia side of the river, we found all the cellars of the magnificent Porto wine.
I had never really appreciated the significance of Porto, the Douro valley and the wine that is produced there until I went on this trip. It turns out, there’s no other place in the world with the right combination of geographical and meteorological conditions that would allow the production of a wine like Porto.
There’s nothing like travelling to learn about the uniqueness of a place and free one’s mind from all sorts of pre-conceived ideas.
For instance, as a southerner, I always believed Porto to be this cold, rainy place. Well, this trip also taught me that Porto can display the most beautiful, and warm, sunny days too.
The trench, umbrella and foulard never got to leave my Cuyana tote and see the face of day!
On the other hand, this old top got all the glory. Believe it or not, this top will be 10 years old next year. It’s from a place called Promod and still feels like new.
Travelling teaches us all sorts of good stuff, including how to keep an open mind and not be afraid to try new things. Travelling in our own country, however, challenges our most deeply ingrained pre-conceptions of the places we’re visiting and that’s a whole different level.
I was indifferent to Porto before. On this trip, I got to finally feel Porto to the point of deciding that if we ever move back to Portugal, we will get a flat in the old city. If that’s not saying something about the power of travelling, I don’t know what is!
Have you done it lately?