San Sebastian - Porto
Today involved driving. Muuuuuch driving! Nine hours of driving to be precise. I would probably recommend people split a San Sebastian to Porto drive, but then, if you're up for some mild torture, go for it! I exaggerate - it wasn't all bad - there were two very positive notes:
- rural north Spain is undoubtedly picturesque and I was struck by the landscape's diversity as we drove from east to west; and
- this photo is taken at a highway stop. That's right, it's not a small goods store or a deli - this, my friends, is a petrol station:
Once we had crossed the border to Portugal and found our way to Porto it took a while to find our hotel, which had only recently been constructed and was tucked away on a brand new street that had not yet made its way to maps/GPS'. Exhausted, we mustered only enough strength and energy to get ourselves to the nearest supermarket to pick up essential dinner/breakfast supplies.
My first impressions of Portugal weren't overwhelmingly positive. Though they weren't altogether negative either. The country certainly appeared to be run down in parts and suffering from the widely reported economic downturn. Having come directly from an historic and beautifully maintained part of Spain, the contrast was palpable. Thankfully, my first impressions mellowed during my stay in Porto, as I was won over by the warmth of its people, the glorious Douro river and, of course, the port!