Porto gave Portugal its name. We are going to explore how this northern and second-biggest city after Lisbon has earned the honour.
The journey to Porto from Lisbon began rather shaky. After being stood up by a taxi we had ordered the night before, The One had to hunt down a cab in the deserted neighbourhood. Miraculously, we made it well ahead of time. To the most intriguing train station I have seen. Entrecampos.
It is so incredibly ugly, it passed the label fascinating. If you have too much time in Lisbon on your hands, take a look. The train tickets (for one way Lisbon-Porto) were 30,30 Euors per person.
We arrived punctual, after two hours and forty minutes. I slept well on the train and noticed that I like sleeping when in motion, being softly rocked back and forth. It feels good to be carried away to new places that way. If nothing else, I take this as a sign that I am a born to be PTraveler.
In Porto, we were picked up by our super friendly host Miguel at the station who still had to get the apartment ready for us. This gave us some time to explore the area and to grab a bite to eat. We live as central as it can get.
Location is key and so with no effort, we enjoyed a meal at the next door Ribiera, flanking the Douro river.
There were also some stands selling souvenirs made in Portugal, like tablecloths with Portugal’s legendary rooster. The printed materials were selling for 1 Euro which would get you a kitchen towel and for up to 10 Euros, very nice folk-patterned table coverings.
The atmosphere was a happy one.
From all the promenade restaurants, we chose one that we had examined beforehand. While passing by, we saw the meals people got and the empty plates they satisfyingly left.
I especially liked the way the starters looked – they didn’t just serve the usual olives and bread, but tuna spread, octopus salad and a fresh potato-beans salad.
The pretty iron bridge from the times when iron structures were en vogue and Eiffel tower inspired.
We all ordered fish. Seabream with veggies and rice.
So good! We paid 40 Euros for us three.
After lunch we explored the city a bit more and here are my first impressions:
Next to our house floats this cube.
Right up the street is Sao Bento Station with fantastic tile murals.
Tile mania followed up from Lisbon.
Interestingly, the churches are often clad in traditional blue-white tiles.
Art nouveau always catches my eye.
Porto boasts historic architecture.
Street art has caught up, too.
Small boutiques trying to compete with high street fashion. This dress was 369 Euros.
Vende, vende, vende – many apartments, whole houses, are rotting away or are for sale. Or both.
Some of Porto’s old buildings are in desperate need for help.
Porto is a hilly city and there is a lot up and down action involved.
In return, this gives some breathtaking views!
A highlight is the walk on the bridge of Dom Luis I, constructed in 1886, connecting old town with Porto’s Gaia, the wine lodge area.
Except that google maps might disagree and lead you straight off it.
Just follow the tracks if in doubt.
Sunset and hunger for supper go together.
In the evening we warmed up with vegetable soup. Because it is rapidly getting windy and chilly once the sun disappears.
The veggie soups are super tasty and cheap in Portugal. Bill for soups and starters (which are always served but normally you only pay for what you eat) for there people: 10 Euros.
Portugal can be a good bargain for eating out.
First impressions are good, now let’s inspect our habitat for the next two weeks in Porto!