TDL and I woke in the middle of the night, in serious intestinal distress. It was most likely food poisoning from eating hotel buffet eggs. We know better; TDL even had a microbiology professor tell his class to never eat eggs in a buffet. We did it anyway, at 11 am- the very end of breakfast, when they had been sitting out for hours. Ugh. Lesson learned. The good news: we didn’t have to check out until 15:00. The bad news: TDL had to cancel surfing, and we had a flight to Porto at 21:00. We laid in bed, moaning, until checkout time, then we got in the car and drove to Monchique.
Monchique is a spa town in the mountains and it is shockingly beautiful. There were little stands, selling fruit and other food, on the side of the winding road up to the town of Monchique and water cascading down the verdant mountainside. But it was raining really hard and we had no energy or remaining gut content, so I have no pictures. We barely got out of the car. Next time we will at least make a day trip out of it, but I think staying the night would be nice.
After leaving Monchique, the day got more difficult. Our struggles included: getting lost in the outskirts of Faro while trying to find the rental car drop-off, leaving our passports, credit cards, and currency in the rental car after we dropped it off, and a very bumpy flight and landing.
Somehow, eventually, we made it to Porto! We arrived sometime after 22:00, so Catarina, 4Rooms‘ innkeeper, had arranged for “her driver” to pick us up at the airport. We tried to play it cool when “her driver” turned out to be a badass-looking guy in an expensive suit who drove a gorgeous new Mercedes with two sunroofs. It was the most luxurious ride from an airport I have ever had!
Even better was the luxury that is 4Rooms. As the name indicates, it is a very small bed and breakfast, on a narrow street in the lovely Porto neighborhood of Foz do Douro. My TripAdvisor review is here. The house and apartment (called the Sky Loft) where we were lucky enough to stay (off-season upgrade!!!) were designed by a famous architect and I could just gush on and on about how wonderful it was to stay there. Everything was perfect and it has spoiled me on hotels forever. After freaking out about the Sky Loft apartment, we went down the street to Casa da Foz, a cute yummy restaurant with a good-natured smart-ass of an owner. Here are a few pics of the Sky Loft: