Ring in the new year.

A great year begins with a great journey.

At this time of year I find myself looking back at the last twelve months … 2017 wasn't the year I started going to the gym more often, it wasn't the year I adopted a dog, it wasn't the year I had a relaxing holiday, it wasn't even the year that I took the journey I had promised myself to get to know my country better. But is is now! 2018 is going to be my year and so it is going to have to start with a bang!

I'm not going to miss out this year. I am going to find the best way to welcome in the New Year! I am going to visit the best cities in the country and discover the nooks and crannies of all the towns and villages. And the best way to begin this adventure, most comfortable and economical way is by train. Get off at all the different stations and see the marvellous beauty of the country from a perfect window seat.

“It has been decided! CP, here we go.”

The depart from Faro and head off towards Lisbon. I am going to the capital to meet up with some old friends, wander through the down town area watch the sun set from the view points and finish the evening at dinner in a Fado house in Alfama. I recharge my batteries and head off to my next destination.

Next stop Coimbra and the charm I left behind when I left here. The longing for my university days make me feel nostalgic. I really can't make this great journey without stopping there. I will go back to everywhere that has made me happy.

I go over my plan as I am resting on the train. I lean back and curl up between the window and my memories and transform the carriage into a world of my own.

In Aveiro I am going on a boat trip along the Canal do Paraíso and the Fonte Nova quayside. I am going to see our Venice and indulge in the local sweets and the typical 'ovos-moles. I don't worry about dinner because I am just an hour away from Oporto…and there is a 'francesinha' waiting for me! Oporto never a disillusion whenever I visit it. The people, the food, the night life… everywhere!

I get off at my final destination: Guimarães, where everything began. I discover stories, explore the impressive ruins of Citânia de Briteiros and fall in love with the view from Monte da Penha.

That's enough of dreams. I am going to pack my bags and set off on my only wish for 2018! That it brings me the journey of my life!