Weekend in Porto
I went to Porto for a weekend. I had to sleep at Stansted to catch the early flight, which is always a horrific experience, and in my exhausted state I bought the wrong metro ticket and ended up in a distant suburb with no cash to buy a new ticket. I walked into town.
Once I'd made it there, I walked down to the river, where the red roofs of Ribeira climbed up the hills on the Porto side. The buildings looked crumbling and poor here, and there were a lot of beggars around. Underneath the Ponte Dom Luis, I walked up a street down which smelly water was running. Small grubby children were playing and I felt like I was in a poor part of Latin America. On top of the hill was another story - shiny new metro trains rumbled by, and grand buildings lined the streets.
I crossed over the Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia, home of the port industry. Some sort of parade was taking place, and bands were marching by. I sat down and watched them going by, eventually falling asleep, exhausted by my night at Stansted.