Saturday we have tickets on the 7:20am Alfa Pendula (AP) train. We are up early, order an Uber, and arrive at Albufeira-Ferreira a couple of minutes before the Station Master opens up. Other people trickle in and the small waiting area begins to fill. We strike up a chat with a couple from Ontario. They spent 3 weeks here rather than going to Texas and loved it here. The people, the food and the weather. They're already planning on returning to Portugal next year.
We settle into our seats on the AP. This train is newer and nicer than the Euro City (EC) class train we took from Lisbon to to Albufeira. It is designed so that the train itself tilts, allowing it to run faster on rails designed for slower moving trains. One side effect is that the train sways a lot. I find that I cannot read or write on my iPad without feeing motion sickness. I look out the window at the passing countryside. I occasionally glance at the information board above the door and the highest speed I observe is 220 kilometers/hr (136 miles/hour).
We arrive in Porto's Campanhã station a little before 1 pm and grab a taxi to our AirBnB. The apartment is on Rua de Santa Catarina, a major shopping street which we now realize is a pedestrian street so the taxi driver drops us at a cross-street. We walk two blocks to the apartment then call the AirBnB Host as instructed. She arranges for the maid to arrive in 30 min and let us in. This is one of the disadvantages of some AirBnB's - waiting for the keys and "check-in." In our other two Portugal AirBnB's the Host was waiting for us when we arrived.
The apartment is on the third floor of a business building. The small elevator is just large enough for our two suitcases, William and myself. The apartment has a great room with a kitchenette on one end, two fairly large bedrooms with queen size beds and a very cramped bathroom with a shower.
We're hungry so William Google's "restaurants near me". Pedro dos Drangos is 8 minutes away and is listed as BBQ. Sounds good! When we arrive we see that they have two buildings opposite each other with delicious looking rotisserie chickens spinning away. We grab one of the few open tables and take a look around at what people are eating. At least half have chicken on the table. While the menu is long, we take a tip from our fellow diners and order a whole chicken which comes with fries. We also order bread, olives, white wine and pint of beer, which arrive quickly. The meal comes just a few minutes later. The chicken is great. We have to laugh when the bill arrives. The food plus two rounds of drinks totals 16.60€. My wine was just 1€ a glass.
Walking around this section of Porto there is a bakery and/or an ice cream shop on every block. On our way back to the apartment we stop in Confeitaria do Bolháo, a traditional place where mothers bring their children as a special treat. It reminds me of the family traditions at the Walnut Room in Chicago. William and I each have a pastry and coffee to finish out our meal and give the maid more time to complete her cleaning before we return.
After unpacking and resting in the apartment we take a walk around the area in the evening. People are milling up and down Rua de Santa Catarina doing their shopping or sitting at cafe's. Very pleasant