Before our trip to Porto, Julia and I make one wish each: She wants to ride the tram, and I want to see the Atlantic Ocean. We are thrilled to find out that you can perfectly combine the two and take the little vintage tram out to the shore of the ocean. During the ride a young gay couple sits across from us. Love radiates from them, they give off the impression that either they haven’t been dating long or they don’t see each other very often. The are so affectionate with each other, and whenever my look grazes theirs, they smile wide smiles at me. It is beautiful to be in the presence of love.
From the tram stop we have to walk along the mouth of River Douro for a bit before we reach the open water. Looking back to Porto, Arrábida Bridge shows its white arc in the distance.
There is a small alley of palm trees, and if it wasn’t autmnally chilly, this would feel like the Carribean (which I am fairly sure it does in summer!). We shoot a couple of pictures of each other. I have to say I am quite enjoying this – one of the perks of not travelling solo is that I actually get to be in pictures that are not selfies and show some of the scenery around.
Only a short walk later we get to the pier which we walk along with lots of other weekend strollers. A lot of the tourists here speak Spanish, and all of a sudden that language that I have always found beautiful and passionate sounds harsh and loud in comparison to Portuguese. There are wave-breakers, and if you wait long enough, the water will crush upon them, breaking the wave quite literally into an explosion of white froth.
What is even more amazing is that once the white, manifest-looking water retracts, the most intense rainbows are on display in front of the view of the shoreline.
I could stand and watch the beauty of this forever, the infinite shapes that come up with the water, the amazing sounds of the mighty waves crushing onto the rocks and spraying up in spume. Julia and I sit down in the sun across from the water spectacle. But soon our eyes start wandering toward the horizon, and the eternal width of the ocean. I have seen the Atlantic, but only from the other side, from Florida, when I was 16. It is weird that back then I was looking in the direction of where I am now, while now I am looking in the direction of where I was then. Did I try and look to the future, to my 29 year old self back then, and am I looking back to find 16 year old me today?
Julia and I sit there for quite a long time before we get moving. It is surprisingly warm by the water, almost no wind, and the sun is shining almost hotly down on us. We go and look for a beachside coffee place, and after having had coffee, we are still warm enough to feel in the mood for some Sangria.
As it goes in this city, as soon as the sun starts to go down, the cold comes promptly, abruptly. We need to get moving, and we start to make our way back towards the river – not without having caught a gorgeous view of the sunset from our coffee place. It is impossible to tell from the pictures, but the clouds have silver linings. I explain to Julia about that saying, and I become aware that I have never seen it illustrated in the sky so clearly as today. I feel like this might have some hidden significance to me. Yes, the clouds that darken my life from time to time, they have their silver linings too.
We walk past the tram stop, we have decided to walk back into town. Every now and then we turn around to face the sunset, and the sky turning that amazing orange, red and lilac colour. The black sillhouettes of boats look so romantic against the sky in all its colourful glory. I think I am going to really like this town.
Have you ever seen the Atlantic Ocean? Do you like it best or is another ocean your favourite?