22:30 Tue.
27 Oct, 2020

City of Porto (wine)

12:00 am
12:00 am

Next morning (Saturday) it was time to return to Porto, but not before Jakob tried to persuade me for at least half an hour to go swimming with him. Needless to say it was cloudy,  rainy and there were 2m waves., luckily in the end he didn’t do it, but it was close.

After a failed attempt at swimming and yummy breakfast on the beach we took a bus to Santiago. In short what took us 13 days to walk, we did in 8 hours with a bus, train and another bus. Well all in all with waiting for the next form of transport and moving from one bus to another it did take us whole day to get back to Porto.  Though I must say that the train ride from Santiago to Nigran (near Redondela) was really special, as we could watch the villages and fields that we encountered while walking. Now that I think about it, the hiking path follows the train line quite closely.

After arriving to Porto, at around 10pm, we only had time to walk to the closest hostel, take a shower and go to sleep. After so many days sleeping in hostels one would think you get used to them, well, not true. We actually had a talk  with Aljoša, a couple of days ago while hiking, how cool the hostels are, and that from then on we’re going to try to book them more often, when travelling privately. Well the impression was from albergues, where firstly they were half empty and secondly everyone in albergue was there for the exact same reason as everyone else, what’s more we actually befriended a couple of travelers so it was more like an extended group of friends. The hostel in Porto, however was the standard, soulless hostel, I imagined before. There were 18 other strangers, from all over the world who were also older than what we encountered on Camino (40+). I’m sure I must have imagined it, but it felt like everyone was looking at me (us) and I was just waiting when someone is going to try and stab us during the night. Well we survived the night, but for the next two nights I persuaded Jakob to book a private room in a guest house. It actually wasn’t much more expensive than the hostel and the location was even better.

Hostel in the city center of Porto. About 13€ per night. Frankly, I think the guest house we later found was much better and only 2€ more per night.

So enough about sleeping arrangements. We arrived to Porto on Saturday evening and left it on Tuesday afternoon, so we had a couple of days to explore it.  Despite being February, the city was full of tourists, the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. I’ve spent hours just walking through the streets, admiring the old buildings and vistas, while Jakob went to visit a couple of the museums. He bought the “tourist ticket”, which grants you free entrance to some museums and galleries and some discounts in wine cellars. Although I don’t think it was really worth it, from what I gathered from Jakob, he paid more for it than he would if he just paid normal entrance fees. I guess it depends on how quick you are in visiting and how many you visit.


What is Porto most known for? Well, Porto wine. If I understood correctly the grapes only ferment for a day, then they mix it with strong spirit that kills all the yeast (or something), and then age it in barrels. You can get is as cheaply as €5 on one hand, while the sky is the limit for really limited and aged ones. Jakob actually went to visit a royal wine cellar where he had a chance to try a sip of Porto wine from 1850 or something like that. For me, I’m not sure I’m such a fan of them, I really don’t like the red / rose ones, I can tolerate the white ones but prefer the normal wine.

Besides wine, we also tried several local delicacies such as pasteis de nata, it’s actually very good, I must have eaten a dozen of them over the days, goes well with coffee or for breakfast with juice. Its some puff pastry with egg yolk cream, if my taste buds are to be believed.

Pastel de nata, you can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are really good.

But the most interesting was the dish called francesinha. By description, you would think that this is the worst thing ever, the looks don’t help either, but the taste is actually surprisingly good. So what is it? Well, it’s a toast, with meat and egg, inside a spicy tomato goulash topped with french fries. I know how it sounds, but believe me, it actually is really fantastic.

Besides traditional food, we also found some really cheap fruits and vegetables, for example they were selling strawberries for less than a €1.5 per kilo, so naturally I bought a whole box of them.

Breakfast for the kings.

So what else did we saw in Porto, that is worth mentioning? Well, they have peacocks walking around in the parks, a big house that celebrates cans of sardines, a library that was used for shooting, or was at least inspiration, for Harry Potter movies, oh and the most interesting one, an ancient book store, something from 19th century if I remember correctly, where instead of selling books they focus on selling Porto wine and some baked potatoes things while a guy plays organs (instrument) live. Everything is absurdly extravagant, haha anyway I really recommend visiting.

Besides that you can take a gondola from the bridge to the winery, visit the beach and if you are lucky it’s open. When I was there the waves were so high that the whole beach was closed for public. Me, being me, instead of taking a tourist bus to go sightseeing I just went for a long run and saw most of the city. The city as a whole is really nice, lots of interesting old buildings, lots parks, coffee shops, pastry shops and in the end lots of tourists.

After four days of exploring Porto and stuffing ourselves with their delicious food it was time to return to Slovenia. The whole trip was truly amazing, and the time (and kilometers) just flew by. I’m really hoping on doing something similar again.

We are still debating, how lucky we were with the timing. Firstly, we hit the jackpot with the weather, February is considered the rainiest month, on average it’s pouring rain every day and it was up to a day before we arrived and it started again as we left, secondly we made it back just in time to escape Covid-19, as I think a week later the whole Veneto region went into quarantine.

Measuring temperature, due to Covid-19, at the Venice airport
07:30 Tue.
27 Oct, 2020

Lets do 90km in 2 days!

12:00 am
12:00 am

What could go wrong?

Well, remember how I said I went to sleep, when we returned from the restaurant at about 11pm and how Jakob decided it is better to party with the rest of the guys instead?

This is my OMG Jakob, get moving, you are slower than snails! What do you mean you didn’t sleep at all?! OMG, OMG, OMG

The first day we actually did 2 stages, to Negreira (~30km) and then continue to Caminos Chans  (~28km). In order to do it in time, we woke up at 5 am, ate breakfast (I finally bought some strawberries, I found in store the previous day! :D). The weather forecast was not the best, and it was pouring rain, so we improvised a bit with our shoes and were off at about 5.45am. It was completely dark and soon we were out of the Santiago, so headlamps came in really handy.

Despite bad weather, it was interchanging between pouring, light rain and even some sunny hours, I really enjoyed this leg of the race. We started going quite strong and everything was more or less fine, until we reached the first climb after about 3 hours of walking. Then it finally showed how important the sleep is. I literarily didn’t know what to do, if we should turn back, continue forward or what, Jakob looked like sad pile of misery.  I still don’t know how, but after an hour or two of miserly slow pace, a couple of rests and a bit larger meal he somehow pulled it together, and we were flying through the countryside again.

The path was mainly going through the forests, fields and pastures, with almost no civilization. At one point I think it took us almost 3h to get from one house till we reached the next one. This was certainly my favorite part of the Camino, at least path wise.

We calculated that we should walk at pace around 5.30/km in order to reach our destination in reasonable time, with only one longer stop (about 30 minutes) for lunch, the rest was walking or short stops for walking.  Well because of reasons mentioned before it didn’t go exactly as planned, at least the first half, but we picked it up a bit on the second half. I believe it’s not hard to imagine, our legs toward the end felt like cement. All in all it took us about 13 hours to finish, about 11h of pure walking. I’m still amazed how Jakob managed to do it, I mean I was dead tired at the end, had much more stamina and slept at least a couple of hours the night before. If I didn’t know better, I would say it was a miracle that he made it.

The village at the end was tiny, it didn’t even have a store, just a small restaurant, that actually sold some basic food ingredients like pasta, bread and tomato sauce. We were more than happy to buy it, despite costing more than double, what would in “normal” store.  But after walking whole day, the last thing we wanted to do was go sleep hungry. (Also, pasta for breakfast next day!)

The next day was a bit more reasonable, only 35 kilometers. The weather was also better, partly cloudy with no rain. First half of the path took us through some valleys and forests. At one point a dog, that was watching over some kettle joined us and walked with us for about an hour or so, it was quite fun at the beginning, but toward the end we were beginning to worry he wouldn’t leave.

After about 4 hours we reached the shoreline, where we had the biggest doughnut I have ever saw. The rest of the way was alongside beach and more or less civilized areas, since I guess during summer there are a lot of tourists here. It wasn’t as fun as walking through the fields, at least in this weather, and we started constantly looking how much more, how far is it. At one point, you can already see the end, but the path winds along the coast and seems to go on forever.

In the late afternoon we finally reached Fisterra! Yeey, our journey was finally over, well almost. We first checked in the albuerge, where we also got another certificate for finishing this Finisterra  part of the pilgrimage, then the only thing left was to reach the end point – the lighthouse about 4 km out of the town.

WE DID IT!!! We found the 0 km sign!

We reached it right in time, when sun was starting to set, our journey was actually over, nowhere further to go, unless we wanted to swim to America., but that is a challenge for another time.

We sat in silence at the lighthouse looking as the sun went below horizon, and thought about the journey in silence. It’s hard to describe how we felt, well tired but also proud, or more than that, something deeper. The whole journey actually touches you on some deeper level,  as cheesy as it might sound.

Final diploma

We returned to the Albergue, where we had a nice dinner. I know what you will be thinking, ah pasta again, but wait no! Since it was such a special occasion, we decided to have tortellini instead!

Last dinner of the pilgrimage, still in style, as it should be.

With this, our pilgrimage was over, the only thing left was to return back to Porto for couple of days and then back in Slovenia, just in time, to escape Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.

10:55 Mon.
18 Sep, 2017

Sleeping at noon

Nova Gorica , Slovenia
15 °C
Mostly Cloudy
6:48 am
7:10 pm

After another long flight and not so long drive with a car we have finally made it back to Slovenia. It was a long travel all together, more than 24 hours combined, most of them stuck on the plane. Luckily I was able to sleep quite a lot on the plane and when I was not sleeping I had a chance to watch some movies from last year I didn’t had a chance to catch up to yet.

Anyway I’m home now, preparing to have lunch and then probably going to sleep at noon. I’ll guess I’ll fight it in the following days.

Now that I’m home I’ll be able to go through the total of 4000 photos we’ve accumulated over the duration of our trip and post the interesting ones here. I also have some interesting stories to write about second half of our trip where I was without my computer.

06:32 Sun.
17 Sep, 2017

We're going to miss you.

Sydney , Australia
18 °C
5:52 am
5:49 pm

After a month we are sadly leaving Australia to fly back home. It was great, wish we could stay for longer.

11:53 Tue.
27 May, 2014

Back home

Day 292 , -146 remain
Lulea , Sweden
9 °C
2:15 am
10:42 pm

After about two hours of flight, but not before I managed to spill juice all over Veronika, we landed in Venice, where my parents were already waiting for us.

It was strange seeing them after so long but nice nonetheless. On our way home questions “how was it”, “where do I like it more (here in SLO or SWE)”, etc. were asked. We got home at 2am so there wasn’t much more to do but go to sleep. It was weird sleeping in my bed after so long.

In the following days I seem to have been answering those standard questions “how was it”, quite often. It was a bit weird talking in Slovenian on the street as well. I swear first few times I actually started speaking in English.

Slowly I went back to old habits and sadly I soon felt like I never left Slovenia. At the end of January I still had to do “oral” exam with my multimedia course from Luleå. We did it over Skype, it was quite funny actually. Professor was at his home (not in his office) and firstly he showed me a bit of his house and after I complained we have no snow here, he also showed me frozen lake behind his house where some kids were skating, after that he asked me some questions about course and I was done.

After that the only thing left to-do from Sweden, were arrange for some papers to be shipped here, so I could get my grades transcribed and the rest of Erasmus grant.

This concludes my “reports” for my Life in Luleå.

The only thing left is to gather my expenses data and present them in some nice(r) form to present them, when I’ll do this I don’t know, probably not soon. And hopeful write a better conclusion to everything.