Jun 14, 2019

Porto, Portugal

Our host Fawzy drove us back to the airport yesterday morning.

Everything was going smoothly until we were right at the checkin desk and the conveyor belt stopped working.  We had to wait a full 30 minutes before we could check in our luggage, we had our boarding passes but had to wait for the belt to work again.  Good thing we checked in early.  That was going to be the phrase of the morning.  We counted seven different checks before we were clear to go to the gate or in our case to the lounge.  The first check was right at the entrance to the airport where everything was x-rayed.  We later had yet another hand check for just our hand luggage.  Colin was interrogated ( and that is the exact word ) as to what type of photographer he was.  It went on and on.  Finally we were both cleared to exit the country.  Seriously, seven checks 😯 I don’t understand why it was such an issue to be allowed to leave the country.  Another question was that they needed the name and address of where we were staying.  The address was not enough and they did not understand about Airbnb and asked what the hotel was at that address.  I explained that is was the Blue Lagoon Riad but they had never heard of it but finally they let us go.

We were down to our last few free passes to use at a special airport lounge. The Pearl lounge has to be one of the nicest we have seen anywhere in our travels.

It was a very relaxing area but we had very little time left to enjoy it. We filled our carry on bags with as many waters as we could which would get us through to Porto.

We had a decaf expresso and a bit of breakfast food which turned out to be a good idea as we could not eat what was served on the flight.

Leaving Marrakesh. So many people crowded in such a small area.

We traveled to Lisbon ( yet again ), we have a few passport stamps from here already this trip. Tap Air does a wonderful job in the cabin with a meal on such a short flight ( just over 60 minutes ) including free wine.

Once out of passport control it turned out that we had to go through yet another x-ray scan in order to get to the area of the airport we needed to be in for the flight to Porto. Because of that we lost all the water we had taken for free from the Marrakech lounge as you cannot bring that amount of liquid through.   What a waste.  Here we got hung up as they needed to search Colin’s bag.  Turns out it was the tuning fork for the guitar that was causing the problem.  Eventually we got through and instead of 2 hours and 40 minutes we had just under an hour to enjoy our last free business class lounge visit.  But we were able to get a few bottles of water to travel with, enjoy a snack and a glass of lovely Portugal wine.

Just as we  were about to board, it occurred to me that our flight was arriving an hour later than I had told our host in Porto. There had been a flight change that I was not informed about.  Texting would not work so I had to call him. Fortunately he answered but sadly he could not meet us as he was giving a presentation for his Masters degree.  So he arranged to have his neighbor let us in.  Phew, crisis averted.  But what if that light bulb had not gone off in my head 💡

Another hour and a quarter flight to Porto and this time Colin sat at the window and I in the aisle seat.  The person in the middle offered to move and we both said no.  Neither of us like the middle seat.  He got to take photos and edit others while I wrote the previous post.  Perfect.  We really are getting the hang of all this travel and technical stuff. I want to mention the the one way flight from Marrakech to Porto cost us 135.00CAD/100.00USD each.  I booked that flight last August and now it costs 288.00CAD/215.00USD.

The arrival in Porto was easy, we only had to pick up our luggage which came quickly.  We then had to find where to purchase an Andante public transport card and went with the Andante 3 Day Tour card for 15 Euro each.  It is good for 72 hours from whatever time it is validated and included the metro from the airport and all transport within the city. Once that was done we figured out how to get out of the airport and into the metro station.

Our Airbnb is in the perfect location.  It is located located directly across the street from the metro.  This station is the main connection to anywhere you would want to go to within Porto.   This is the link to our wonderful apartment, the very best we have ever been in.  We could easily live here. We got the key from the neighbor, unpacked and went to the grocery store about 1/2 block away to pick up wine, port and some food  for dinner. I still can’t believe how inexpensive wonderful tasting Portugal wine is.  We just did not want to go out and find a restaurant, mostly because it was cold and windy out.  Our host did come by after 10PM to give us the official tour of how everything works.  This place is very high end with electric shutters and top of the line everything. He mentioned that the best wine is from the Douro Valley and especially any Douro DOC wine.

Our host here is wonderful and has filled the fridge with cheese, ham, yogurt, milk, mango juice, Perrier, Portuguese beer, soft drinks, a lovely bottle of Aveleda Loureiro, Colheita Selecionada 2017 Portugal wine as well as a bottle of what he calls celebration wine, Raposeira Reserva Bruto, a sparking wine that we have yet to open. Simply amazing. We also had many things in our Marrakech Airbnb as I had mentioned as well as constant fresh fruit but there we were picked up and returned to the airport, a huge help to us.  You have to seriously do a good deal of research to find the right location of your Airbnb and the perks, if there are any.  In many cases there are none.

After a long travel day, it was lovely to relax here in our Porto apartment and enjoy this lovely sunset.

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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Porto, Portugal”

  1. Suzanne says:

    Wow, that is some thoughtful host you got there! Can’t believe all the nice treats he stocked for you! I am eager to hear which ports you get to try. I tried my first white one recently, and really liked it! Lovely sunset. Enjoy!

  2. Rae says:

    The exiting airport has to be confident that you will be accepted by the airport where you’re heading. So that combined with all of the illegal immigrants coming from North Africa into Spain and Portugal explains why you had such a hard time getting out of Morocco. 🙂

    So back to Portugal! Have fun!

  3. George Yates says:

    A lot of travel issues does not sound like a good time, but you appear to be enjoying it. Now to get our and about exploring again.

  4. Kathryn Tycho says:

    The apartment….wow…I’d live there too. Enjoy your stay!

  5. After going through increased Security Check points after 911 we stopped flying. Hind sight says better Safe then Sorry they are only doing their job. Glad you continue to Enjoy your travels.

    It’s about time.

  6. livingrichonthecheap says:

    I would love to go back to Portugal and visit Porto, that is my only regret out of our Portugal trip is that we didn’t get there. Maybe a couple of days on a future Europe visit. Glad to hear Tap is a great airline, I’ve never flown with them.

  7. AZGAL says:


  8. Dolores says:

    I feel like I have been thru the wringer just reading all u had to go thru in that day, can’t imagine how u felt!!!
    Beautiful rooms tho!!!

  9. Fawzy says:

    Thank you so much for any small or big detail you talked about concerning me and my house, it’s really something greatly amazing and also a beautiful feeling that fulled me to read all the beautiful you confessed,wrote and saw in me, it’s really so appreciated deeply by me.
    As that you also has been two great guests that I appreciated so much, your sincerity and your irreproachable behavior, your kindness and respect.
    I am also so sorry for what happened with the airport customers when flight back, I know those are unexpected situations they mostly happen in a Morocco vacation,there’s always something that we didn’t expect,in different situations. You can’t imagine if I start telling about many strange and unexpected situations that happened to some of my guests,some are beautiful unexpected situations and others not 🙂
    I really wished if I could be more helpful to not let you having to live any bad unexpected situations.
    Thank you so much dear Contessa and Colin.
    Thank you,thank,thank you,so much.

    Your friend Fawzy.

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