Arriving in Lisbon, Alex and I had no idea what to expect. We had decided to come to Portugal on a whim- we were both excited but apprehensive. Not only were we new to this country entirely, but we were also about partake in our first Couch Surfing experience- something neither of us knew too much about. I had downloaded the app earlier, after an accomodation problem in Amsterdam, but had never followed through with a host until now.
The premise of Couch Surfing appeals to both of us in the highest way. Not only do you get to stay with a local in a new and exotic place, but you get to experience their culture and their lifestyle in a completely immersive way. To us, the idea of Couch Surfing vastly outweighed staying in a hostel, hotel or Air B’n’b.
Jumping off a bus in Carnaxide, we walked to an apartment where we were greeted by our hosts Nuno and Sofia. We could not have been luckier. Nuno and Sofia were warm, welcoming, gracious hosts who showed us the best parts of their city including the beaches, parks, mountains and local food. Although only in Lisbon for a few days we made the most of our time and were subtly surprised by how much we enjoyed ourselves. Although crestfallen to leave our new friends so soon, we eagerly boarded the train to Porto- ready to uncover more of Portugal.
Arriving at our Air B’n’b in Porto we again realised how lucky we were as we were greeted by our new host Miriam- who would end up becoming a great friend. Porto is a city that took us both by surprise. We were not sure what to expect and were welcomed into a thriving culture of creativity, art, nature and port wine. We spent our days eating (amazing) vegan food, bike riding around the city to the many beautiful parks, exploring art galleries and wine tasting. When it came time to leave Porto we were torn- we were ready to get back to Spain but felt we had so much more of Porto to see. Jumping on (yet another) bus, we recounted what we had loved about the city and promised to return soon.