May 18, 2022 Porto PO

Porto turned out to be a great introduction to Portugal. It is the second largest metropolitan area in Portugal and compared to the towns and small cities we have been visiting feels pretty big.

An interesting block of apartments in the old town. The building on the far right is a Fado hall. Fado is the national music of Portugal.

When we were looking for a place to stay we couldn’t find anything close to the city that we were happy with so we landed in a campground in one of the outer suburbs near the ocean. When we arrived at the metro station we joined 2 Dutch couples and 2 German couples from the campground having a team meeting around the only ticket machine at the stop trying to decipher how to buy round trip tickets, much to the bemusement of the Portuguese who all had an app on their phone. We eventually conquered the ticket machine and were on our way.

One of the many buildings faced with blue tiles, some are just geographic patterns and some are art work showing religious or historical events.

One of the first things we noticed is that many of the buildings in town are faced with ceramic tiles. By far the most popular color is blue though other colors are used. My hasty research says that there is no deep meaning behind blue it is a stylistic choice.

The newest tourist attraction are replicas of Thai Tuk Tuks. Nearly every major tourist city now features a Tuk Tuk tour.

Ton handed me a list of places she wanted to see today. The first stop was the market which she told me had just completed renovation last year. The article she had read was optimistic as the market was still undergoing renovation. It looks like they are doing a nice job on it even if they are a little behind schedule.

A view of the city from the cathedral.

The next stop was the cathedral which had great views of the city. The exterior of the cathedral didn’t impress us too much and we passed on paying to view the interior.

You can get a sense of the size of the hills on either side of the Duoro from this photo and the photo at the top of the post, this is taken from near the deck of the bridge looking down.

Porto is extremely hilly the drop from the main town to the river is easily a couple of hundred feet and in a short distance so the climb is steep. Interestingly though the entire hillside as steep as it is, is covered in residences. I’m not sure how many are occupied these days, but the residents must certainly be fit.

One of the tile walls in the main railway station depicting various scenes from the history of Porto. Though done in medieval style, they are primarily from the 1800’s.

Ton wanted to visit the railway station to look at the tile walls there, so we headed over there before lunch. Porto is famous for a sandwich called fransecinha and we decided we would split one for lunch as they are huge. They consist of a slice of mortadella, a sausage, a piece of beef all covered in cheese with an egg on top and placed in a gravy with French fries. When Ton saw one she chickened out and ordered a much healthier plate of grilled sardines. I went for the fransechinha and enjoyed it.

My fransechinha. It was quite delicious and just a little over the top.

After lunch we decided Porto needed another day, as it was already quite late and we had not even made it to the other side of the river. So after a stop at the main shopping street lined with all of the luxury brands we headed back to the metro station. The trip back was easy and we enjoyed a quiet evening resting up for the hills of Porto tomorrow.

Most of the streets in and around Porto consist of paving or cobble stones. We have come across these before on pedestrian malls and occasionally for short stretches in towns. Here it seems to be the primary road surface.

2 thoughts on “May 18, 2022 Porto PO”

  1. You won’t be leaving there without the word , Opporto, in your travel guide, will you? ……or is that too common an attraction to mention for you gourmet travellors?

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