Flying is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Even on an ostensibly ‘good’ airline it’s an ordeal. The long indignities of the airport, with its random drug screens and ‘place all your belongings in the tray, yes, your belt, too’; the way you Get squeezed into the ever-shrinking confines of increasingly expensive seats, as they cram ever more passengers into each row; the lousy food (its never a good sign if you have to ask, ‘what is that?’, or when you’re told, ‘all we have left is vegetarian pasta’). If only it were possible to drive to Europe.
But here we are, in Porto. Only 24 hours after arriving at the airport in Vancouver. Of course, some of that time – about eight hours – was spent at the airport in Amsterdam. Luckily, we’d had the idea of booking a hotel room for about six of those hours. ‘Room’ might be generous. If was more of a pod, really. But it was perfect for what we wanted: a place to stretch out, have a quick nap and a shower. If you have a longish layover, I highly recommend it.
It’s hard to say what Porto is like yet, as it’s dark. But it’s quiet, and the few people we’ve met so far have been friendly, and enthusiastic about their city and country.
The hotel here is more than acceptable. I’ll write more tomorrow.