Fantastic times!

Greetings from Porto, Portugal! Ten days in, and the trip is going strong! Our arrival to Europe was very smooth – one nod and stamp from the immigration official, and we’d arrived!

During our first night in Lisbon we met many amazing travellers, many of whom we plan to meet up once we reach their home countries. The atmosphere of Lisbon was a perfect balance of energy and relaxation. The city is pretty well built on a hill, so we’re starting to get into great shape.

We’ve been enjoying the rich history in Lisbon, including the beautiful winding streets of Alfama, a historic district of Lisbon. You can see the National Pantheon of Lisbon below in the pictures. The market outside the pantheon had all kinds of nic-nacs. Even though I am not known to be an avid shopper, I quite enjoyed the experience.

From Lisbon we ventured onto the university town of Coimbra, a two hour train ride north of Lisbon. We caught the tail end of the graduation celebrations for the students. Man – Portugese students know how to party! We arrived for the festival at midnight, which started with a grande fireworks display! Four different bands and local musicians (including Coimbra’s students) played music until 6am. There may also have been copius amounts of alcohol drank – good times!

By now we’ve been in Porto for two days – which was another 2 hour train ride north. A picturesque city on the ocean that is famous for its Port Wine – a sweeter dessert style of wine. We just finished a Port Wine tasting tour – which was fantastic! I blame any spelling mistakes in this posting on the wine. Note that real Port wine only comes from the Duoro River region in northern Portugal. If you’re ever here, I recommend the train ride from Porto along the Duoro River. The scenery and vinyards are quite the sight!

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback! Don’t be shy! Until next week!

The Wandering Shawn

wpid-p1330688-edit.jpgOur first friends of the trip – Alisha and Winnie

wpid-p1330727-edit.jpgNational Pantheon in Lisbon – right next to a fantastic market

wpid-p1330747-edit.jpgTired of climbing – let’s take a tram

wpid-p1330714-edit.jpgVery deep – and with some of my favorite characters!

Flight to Lisbon

Wonder what to bring on a trip around the world? I do to. Here is what I left with summed up in a picture.



A kind of surreal experience traversing around the world in aluminum cylinders, felt almost like a bad magic trick. Some hours in rattling turbulent cylinders a dash of uniformed flight attendants and bam you have arrived sweaty and mildly confused in another land.

We had some hesitation when the time came to cross customs. Trip itinerary in hand and even a plane ticket receipt booked for Madrid, just in case right? Our bags most certainly would get checked, right? Approaching the counter with new glossy Canadian passports, *stamp stamp* and a nod each and off we went slighty more confused. Grabbed our bags and found the exit. Sweet.

We stayed at the Travellers House which ended up setting my standards pretty high, for I’ve not stayed in a hostel before. Great knowledgeable staff who receive you as one of the family. Here is a shot just outside to the right of the hostel door:


Here are a random assortment of pictures from Lisbon:







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Journeying Through Life

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