Thanks to something called the Schengen Agreement, most of Europe is essentially like one big country for travel purposes. Completely open borders.
I took somewhere in the ballpark of 500 photos while I was in Portugal (yeah, I’m that guy). Obviously, they’re not all worthy of their own post, but I figured I’d share a few noteworthy ones before officially moving on to the next country in this journey (spoiler alert: it’s Spain).
So here’s a thing that happens a bunch in Portugal. You’ll head to a restaurant, all excited to try whatever dish they’re known for; you’ve walked a few kilometres to get there, and oh, what’s this? Yeah, they’re closed for the next three weeks. Apparently Portuguese chefs love to shut down for the month of August.
This recently happened to me (for the third or fourth time), and so I was wandering around looking for something to eat. I very quickly (and fortuitously) stumbled on a park that just happened to be hosting the Porto Food Festival.
There are certain drinking-related things you have to do when you go to a country: if you’re in Scotland, you have to drink some Scotch; if you’re in Ireland, you have to drink some Guinness; and when you’re in Porto, you have to have to drink some port wine.
So here’s a weird thing about the subway system here in Porto: it seems to be run on the honour system. There are no gates anywhere; there are machines to load up your swipe card with the fare for a ride, and there’s these little card scanners around each station that (I think) you’re supposed to swipe before you get on a train and when you transfer, but that’s it. I’ve never actually seen anyone confirming that passengers have paid their fare. It’s weird.
If you were under the impression that over-the-top gut-busting meals are the sole domain of the United States, prepare to be proven wrong, sir. Because here in Porto, there’s an insane sandwich that’s just as artery-clogging as anything you’ll find at the carnival.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been going to the place since I was a kid, and thus have fuzzy childhood memories, but I like McDonald’s. I don’t eat there a whole lot, but every time they add something new to the menu, I feel compelled to check it out.
I’ve eaten at restaurants with a nice view before, but I’m pretty confident that this one takes the cake.
I was walking back to the Airbnb the other day, and I passed a storefront that was just three vending machines in a small space — two were pretty standard (drinks, chips, etc.), and the third had a variety of hot sandwiches like fried chicken, burgers, and the one I tried, kebab.
Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind:
- This can’t possibly be good.
- I need to try it.
The Time Out Market in Lisbon is one of those places that you’re pretty much obligated to visit as a tourist; a gourmet food hall curated by a group of journalists, with the idea being that all of the few dozen or so stalls are offering above-average food.