It’s obviously a celebrated fact in Porto, but JK Rowling moved to Porto in 1991 to work as an English teacher in a language institute after her first marriage ended.
As she says, “Nine months after my mother’s death, desperate to get away for a while, I left for Portugal. I took with me the still-growing manuscript of Harry Potter, hopeful that my new working hours (I taught in the afternoon and evening) would lend themselves to pressing on with my novel.”
She was writing what became Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone at the time, and used the mornings to sit in cafes around town and write. Read more
I bought my Trenhotel high-speed night-train ticket several months ago, sitting in my freezing flat in Wellington, hunched over my laptop and under 3 layers of clothing and a rug, at the time heart in mouth as I attempted to navigate Renfe’s site in Spanish to book myself a sleeper compartment and not a seat for my all night train ride across Spain and into Portugal.
The departing train track in San Sebastian was changed at the last minute which caused a lot of anxiety for non PA Spanish/Basque speakers but finally figuring it out, I hefted my pack down the stairs against the human tide and back up to the new platform, quickly boarded the newly arrived train in the pouring rain to find my 4 berth female compartment (phew), all ready to leave. And waited, and waited… Read more