Okay, here I am. It turns out that trying to vacation, and work, and attend to the postcard-sending needs of your 5-year old and recover from jet-lag do not pre-dispose one to blogging. Actually I have been pre-disposed, just without time. So here are a couple of catch-up posts to bring you up to today on our exciting euro-travels.
When I last wrote, we were in Dublin, about to head to Portugal. The next morning we caught a cab from our hotel (but for the slightly-too-tiny beads, I highly recommend Egans House for Dublin lodging) out to the airport; it was a quick trip, with no traffic, and we arrived exactly 2 hours before our flight, which is the Ryanair recommended arrival time.
Ryanair, despite its miniscule fares (129 EUR, all taxes in, for three people to fly from Dublin to Porto), was an excellent experience: the plane boarded quickly, left on time, arrived 30 minutes early and was staffed by pleasant flight attendants and a chatty flight deck.
The Porto Airport is stunning: huge open spaces, very quick passage through, very good signage. We were met by a helpful man, friend of the owner of the place we’re renting, who piled us and our luggage into his Volvo and drove us door to door.
We’re renting a house here in the community of Leça da Palmeira, itself a part of the city of Matosinhos, which is just north of the large city of Porto. Leça has a sort of triple identity: gritty industrial suburb, lovely beach-side town and workaday Portuguese community. The resulting mix makes it perfect for us, and the house is everything we could have dreamed of. Oliver is especially impressed with the fully equipped kids’ room, complete with “cave bed” and complement of excellent toys.