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Since I began this blog I feel like I’m constantly berating myself for posting these entries months behind schedule, but there is a silver lining to it all - it gives me the chance to relive stories that already feel like they occurred ages ago. Cologne for me is particularly special because, looking back, it marks the beginning of when I finally deviated from my original "plan" I outlined back in the US. I knew it would happen eventually, and actually looked forward to it, I just didn't know when it would happen. The only reason why I even ventured out to Cologne in the first place was to meet up with a friend, Stephan, who I met on the very first day of my travels back in Faro, Portugal. I never considered Cologne as a city I'd visit on this trip, but in my experience the best way to travel is with a local; it doesn't even matter what city it is, whenever opportunity presents itself, I always take it.
If you can believe it, my original plan was to skip Porto entirely and head straight for Santiago de Compostela. Since I spent my allotted two weeks in Portugal, I felt I needed to leave the country if was to remain “on schedule.” Many of you may find it perplexing that I keep a schedule considering I have an entire year to travel, but thanks to the Schengen Agreement, I’m limited to only three months in Europe. However, after hearing such great things about Porto, I figured the hell with my plans!