A Walk from Debod to Plaza Mayor
We continued to have beautiful weather despite the mid-winter timing. After a morning walk in an Egyptian’s gift in the Debod Palace, we came to camp in front of La Campana for the store to open to try the famous bocadillo de calamares. This was a pretty heavy breakfast, we came just 5 minutes after the store was opened, but the place was packed after a group of cyclist decided to have this as a post-workout meal. Despite being a tad-bit too salty, I love the sandwich. Olive Oil, Batter, Squid, and bread were done right. 
La Campana’s bocadillo de calamares
What’s waiting ahead of us is an afternoon flight to Porto. We checked out and took a taxi to the airport. We were expecting to spend a 3 hours wait before the afternoon flight as we were requested to check-out before the new guests had arrived. I was excited for the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport from the beautiful wooden architecture, similar to the one in Barcelona, but I was wrong. The terminal we were was equivalent to a domestic flight terminal that reminded us of Donmuang airport. Snacks and drinks were sold at a premium, and there were no decent restaurants for us to dine and wait. We waited until the check-in counter open, dropped our bags, and got a bag of chips for the long wait. While waiting, I switched between Don-Quixote and transferred photos that we took in Madrid to my devices. The angle of warm afternoon light in the room kept changing as the day went by, and finally it was time for us to head for the plane. 
We lined up, went down to the first floor, and found out that we needed to take a bus that would drop us off at our plane. It was like moving from one waiting place to another, I was surprised with how bad our generation that grew up with phones deal with boredom. The bus driver waited for everyone who would board the plane to enter the crammed bus, then headed out for the smallest plane that we’ve ever been on so far. 
Our Flight to Porto
I knew it was going to be small, but I didn’t know everyone would fit in one bus. When we boarded the plane, there were two seats on each side of the alley. “No middle seat problem then” I thought to myself. I had been in smaller budget planes with crammed seat, but I had never sit next to a propeller that would lift a plane with a bus load of people from one country to another. 
Through the Dirty Window
The dirty window reminded me of our flight from Delhi to Leh where the landscape that laid beyond the double layer scratched material was the magnificent Himalaya. This flight would also turn out to be one of the flight that I would remember. The propeller speed ramped up and made a loud noise before taking off, during Taxi a 240fps video could capture the blades moving, but thankfully it ramped up to a much faster rpm to lift all of us up. As we were flying southwest to Porto, the sky started getting dyed from light gold to shades of orange, like someone was pushing the white balance panel in a post-processing program. At one point the sun was too bright and I pulled down the shade while leaving some gap for me to see what’s beneath us. 
The Sunset from Above
I love my window seat and the propeller foreground and a crisp winter sky left me in awe. The sky had the slightest hint of magenta when we arrived at Porto. It was a short flight, and during the flight, we were served with egg-tart in packed in a plastic bag. Even though, it was slightly cold, it tasted delicious. Even before we arrived, we know this country is serious about their beloved pastry. Once we collected all our luggage, we went out to the arrival hall to meet a driver who our AirBnB host arranged to pick us up. 
He was a funny driver, and told us we are a lucky bunch to get this kind of weather during winter. We entered a SUV-like new BMW that was well maintained, and I thought to myself how european cars might’ve been cheaper in Europe. Our place we’re staying tonight is in old town Porto, a block away from the Duoro river. It took us around 30 minutes before we were driving down the sloped stone-bedded road which eventually led us to the apartment we’ll be staying in tonight.
The sloped street was a bit tricky, because if you have large luggage, you can’t leave one without it rolling down the street to pick the other luggage. Luckily our kind driver helped us with the one-way sloped street, passcode locked door, and eventually up to our room on the third floor. Upon entering, we found ourself in a modern classy room that contrast the neighborhood. On the marbled table laid two more egg tarts and a crystal bottle filled with port wine. I smiled to this welcoming gestures and thought to myself that maybe this is how you keep your rating up high among all of the other listings.
A warm welcome
What I liked most about the room wasn’t the fancy furniture, the decorated chandelier or the welcoming egg tarts. The window on the opposite end of the entrance was a view of the Duoro river and the city of Gaia, Porto’s wonderful sister. The crescent moon and the blue sky complements the orange city outside the white window frame. Once we unpacked, we put our coat back on to a restaurant that Muew booked earlier. 
The Living Frame
And that night, under the Christmas decoration light with crowd filling the medieval street, we knew this is probably going to be one of our favorite city in the world. We dined at Almeja, a restaurant which was recommended by our lovely host, and aside from the pigeon dish, the food was wonderful. After the meal, we went back and took a long sleep saving our energy for a mini-road trip that we planned the next day. Tracing the river that’s outside of my favorite window east toward the Duoro Valley wine region.

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