The German word “baden” means “to bathe”. And bathe we did when Matt and I went to Baden-Baden in South-West Germany last weekend. But we didn’t only take advantage of the thermal spas in this small town in the Black Forest. We also climbed a mountain, checked out a casino from the 19th century and sampled some of the local cuisine.
Even though I’ve lived most of my life in Germany, any place south of Frankfurt is pretty much completely alien to me. So going to Baden-Baden felt almost like an exotic holiday. I’d heard years ago that the town has thermal spas, and I’ve been wanting to check it out ever since.
Ryanair flights from Stansted are cheap and go directly to Baden-Baden’s tiny airport, which used to be a Canadian airbase.
When we arrived on Friday afternoon we soon realised that the bus to Baden-Baden station only goes once an hour. A taxi into town costs around €50, so we decided we’d rather spend our money on beer and pretzels at the only airport café and wait around for the next bus.
After 40 minutes we finally took the bus to the station, changed onto another bus to the town center and checked into our Airbnb. It was really roomy and clean. I can recommend it.
Large parts of the second day of our Porto weekend was spent similar to the first day: eating and taking photos!
Our Airbnb hosts were so nice as to deliver fresh bread and pastries to the flat in the morning and we went out to the nearby supermarket to buy a few more ingredients for a breakfast at home. I love going to foreign supermarkets and looking at all the products and buying strange things. This time we ended up buying a lot of different colourful cans of fish.
After breakfast we made our way over to the market. Market photos are in this blog post.
I recently spent a weekend in Porto. I’d been to Porto a few years ago and I have to admit that I didn’t really like it that much. It probably didn’t help that I spent a few days in Lisbon before coming to Porto and comparing those two cities directly, Lisbon will always win for me.
But when my friend Jayna said that she was going and invited me to come along, I thought I’d give the city another chance. I hadn’t really travelled anywhere for a while, so I was desperate to get out of London and see something different.
It also helped that flights were cheap and Porto itself is not very expensive either.
The weekend started with an early Friday morning Easyjet experience. Always a pleasure.
From here it could only get better. And it did! We arrived in Porto to beautiful sunny weather and in time for lunch.
Roast pork sandwiches!
After lunch we decided to make the most of the weather and walked around the city taking photos.
On my recent visit to Porto I got quite excited about the laundry that was drying outside so many windows. All those different colours of shirts and towels and pants in front of the colourfully tiled houses looked really attractive to my sun-starved eyes which over the last few months became so adjusted to the many shades of grey that London has to offer during winter.
Or maybe deep inside I was just really jealous that these lucky Portonians can dry their laundry outside while I’m currently sitting with a load of wet jeans next to me in the living room.