I’ve always been a fan of travelling since I was very little. I simply love the art of adventuring new places where I can learn about different cultures, meet new people and see the unique beauty the country offers.
I was beyond thrilled to know I got an opportunity to travel to Porto where I have been dreaming for two years. I truly believe, “If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney, is what makes my dream come true.
Although I could choose to transit once only, I chose to transit twice to save my boss’s expenses (pretending to be a good employee lol 😛 ). Actually, I can’t deal with long haul flight which I often need a bigger space to move around and have some fresh air. I was truly the happiest when my flight landed in Doha as I knew I had 10 to 15 mins to spend at a brand new Hamad International Airport which was only opened last year. I’m not kidding it was by far the most beautiful airport I’ve ever visited. The design of it was modern and luxurious with a touch of Middle Eastern vibes. Although the gigantic bear seems to capture most of the attention from tourists, I actually enjoy the entire design of the airport. The glass ceiling, the lighting, the palm trees and the gigantic bear altogether created one of the most mesmerizing pictures and I know I will never forget it.
I was talking about the gigantic bear a lot, but you wouldn’t be able to imagine how gigantic it is until you see it in person. I suggest you to learn some fighting skills before visiting Hamad International Airport because everyone is fighting for a good spot to take a snap of this lovely guy.
The other side of the airport promotes a much more futuristic vibes which I personally adore. I somehow felt like I was an astronaut exploring an unknown planet lol (am I daydreaming too much? 😀 )
back to the reality…My flight finally landed at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport after 7 hours. I was quite exhausted at this point since I already travelled for 16 hours all the way from Hong Kong to Madrid. However, I still had a lot of energy fantasizing how wonderful Porto is. Unfortunately, Madrid Airport decided to give me an ultra exhaustion before I could see my fantasy. I had to go one floor down and walk 10 mins for baggage claim. Then I went back to the same floor to get my luggage checked-in before clearing the customs. After clearing the customs and I thought I could start relaxing and waiting for my flight, but it was only the beginning of my nightmare. I came to know I had to walk 26 mins before reaching my gate. Thank you so much for the physical activity!!! (I know you put your heart and soul to plan for it in order to keep me in shape)
Arrived Porto finally, yay!!! Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the entire apartment arranged by my company. It was a cozy little apartment and more than enough for me to stay there. This lovely spot of my apartment was one of the favourite places to lounge around. It was also where I practiced yoga almost every morning.
Speaking of “favourite”, the view from my apartment was definitely what I loved the most. Looking at orange roofs against the clear blue sky was already beautiful enough to take all my exhaustion away. But, I seriously didn’t expect how calming it was to look at that stunning river. It relaxed me to another level. When I was enjoying the view, one of the seagulls suddenly came say “hi” to me. (what a pleasant surprise!) I would love it even more if he came say “hi” to me every day hehe.
I guess I spent too much time on enjoying the view and I didn’t even notice how hungry I was. My stomach started to complain by growling lol 😛
When my colleagues and I were on our way searching for a restaurant, we saw this adorable dog. No matter how much we tried to disturb him, he wouldn’t even look at us. He was simply enjoying himself and the view. The wind kept blowing his hair while he enjoyed the view. I felt like he was being smart to let his hair air-dry (I should probably learn from him not to blow-dry my hair by using hair dryer that often).
This baby was too tired holding himself in one position to let his hair air dry and therefore he had to take a little rest.
After looking around, we decided to have our lunch at a restaurant specializing in making pizza. I didn’t know why I didn’t feel like having pizza. I ordered seafood fettuccine instead. It looked pretty decent, right? But , it was completely tasteless. I guess I was too stupid ordering pasta at a pizza place lol. I didn’t know if it was too tasteless to satisfy me or I was too hungry. I still felt so hungry after having it so I decided to order something else. I knew I wanted to try their pizza since my colleagues kept telling how delicious it was, but I didn’t think I could finish an entire pizza myself. So I chose to share a pizza burger with one of my colleagues.
I’ve never tried pizza burger before. It looked a bit like Chinese BBQ Pork Bun (Cha Siu Bao) to me 😀
I wish you could taste this pizza burger with me. It was seriously tasty. The patty was really juicy and the egg was perfectly cooked (the egg yolk was still runny). After having half of the burger, I was way too full… felt like I couldn’t even move anymore…
Even though I was carrying a heavy belly with me, it didn’t stop me from exploring. I found a magnificent sculpture just few mins away from the restaurant. It was the first sculpture I saw in Porto and also the most stunning sculpture compared to all the sculptures I have seen in Porto. When I stood next to the sculpture, I felt the power of it. It seemed to empower me with the strength to conquer all the obstacles I may face in my life and keep me moving forward. Each small detail of the sculpture reminded me of all the hard work behind making this sculpture and why I love art so much.
No matter how much I loved the sculpture, I knew I better saved some more time to visit one of the most beautiful train stations in the world- Sao Bento Station. It is a station blended with beauty and history. The design of Sao Bento Station was inspired by French Beaux-Arts architecture. 20,000 of tile (azulejo) panels were being placed to build the interior of the station. Historical events, landscapes and ethnography were being portrayed by the tile panels. It is what makes it truly unique and world famous for attracting people from all over the world.
The moment I stepped into the station, I thought I was living in the world of art and history. The camera can’t even do it justice for how breathtaking it looks. I simply ran out of words to describe its unique beauty. All I can say is to see it in person and feel the essence of each tile will truly make you understand what I mean by “living in the world of art and history”.
Nostalgic feelings were slowly appeared when the sunset was approaching. The natural lighting became dim to ask people to stop running for the train, but to enjoy their daily life at a slower pace.
The sun was finally set and it was the time for Sao Bento Station to put on a glamorous outfit to shine through the dark. The darker the sky is, the more glamorous it looks. The history and beauty of it will never be faded. It will only get stronger with time.