Countdown to Zero: Day 29

I’m behind! I know! It’s a combination of spotty wifi in Albania and Greece, very busy travel itineraries, and a bit of laziness thrown in there as well. But I’ve been constantly thinking about more highlights from the last year and a half, and this one is certainly among them…

Today’s throwback: Festa de São João in Porto, Portugal, June 2013

Probably the country’s biggest party, the Festa de São João in the northern Portuguese city of Porto takes place every year on the 23rd of June in honour of Saint John the Baptist, and my travel plans happened to take me here at precisely this time.

On this day and the days leading up to it, the inescapable aroma of grilled sardines fills the air of Porto, and a traditional courtship ritual to hit one’s prospective romantic interest with garlic flowers becomes a free for all with inflatable plastic hammers! Everyone floods the streets to watch the midnight fireworks, and lanterns are set off into the sky from the Rio Douro. The party continues into the night in the city’s bars and clubs. It was easily one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had!

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