Why Porto should be your next destination
I was promising to be a bit quicker with posting. So here is my report on the trip to Porto in Portugal (with a short visit in Lisbon which will be an additional entry). It´s probably no surprise to you that I was traveling with this guy, who by the way used to start every second sentence with “In Portugal, we have a tradition…”
For those of you that don’t know me that well, that’s my partner Francisco. He’s Portuguese. Since we were staying with the family, I can not give any recommendation regarding accommodation. But of course I can say something about Portuguese “traditions”. Just to say that right away, I don´t speak any Portuguese. However, my Spanish and my Brazilian friends make me understand at least the context of conversations.
1. As a city, look absolutely picturesque from above
Porto is after Lisbon the only global city in Portugal, however it is one of Europe´s oldest centres. Since 1996 the inner city is UNESCO world heritage. In 2014 Porto was European best destination. This touristic advertisement movie says it all: https://vimeo.com/86438582
To get a view from a birds perspective, enter Torre dos Clérigos:
It´s also worth to look out of the window on the way up (however, here I just liked the composition of the picture):
Enjoy the view:
I am a bit proud of how the pictures caption is within the picture here:
Looking towards the river you can see some other major attractions of the city, like the Cathedral:
2. Again as a city, be at a rivers estuary, close to the ocean + have quite some bridges (which is true for Porto and Lisbon)
The family´s apartment is located in Foz, according to “Europe´s best destinations” this part of Porto is a must-see. I can definitely confirm that the waterside promenade is wonderful and the area seems to be a really nice place to live. Following the promenade towards the estuary and then up the river you reach the city center. A walk that I recommend to anyone planning to visit the city.
Walk from the apartment in Foz towards the city, with a short stopover at the cloudy sea:
The most famous bridge (Dom Luís I):
View from the bridge:
3. As a city, have various sights from ancient to modern
I will not describe all the attractions in detail, but I highly recommend making little pauses while visiting the city to enjoy a small coffee!
Avenida dos Aliados with the city hall in the background:
University of Porto:
How to fill a gap:
Casa da musica:
Pavilhão Rosa Mota:
And the surrounding crystal palace gardens:
I´m aware that this is a normal neighbourhood, but the painted tiles are actually a real Portuguese tradition:
And look how this seagull added to the symmetry on top of the middle house:
More tiles at Igreja de Santo Ildefonso:
4. Sell and eat good food
Looking through all of the photos I took, I barely found any of the food we had. I wonder if this is connected to the fact that I was traveling with someone who immediately shouts “Instagram, Instagram!” if you´re trying to take one?!
Market impressions (thanks to Francisco’s mother for insisting to go there):
A ton of olives, please:
Chili and garlic:
This is a francesinha (sandwich that is originally from Porto), it´s only slightly caloric and I had enough after one for the full week, but Mr. Lima apparently can eat this more often 😉
I found this recipe in Portuguese: http://www.ideiasereceitas.com/francesinha-tradicional-simples/
And this one in English: http://hubpages.com/food/How-to-cook-Francesinha
5. Good wine
Of course Porto is known for port wine. I have to admit, that I was not really familiar with this kind of wine. If you come from a region that produces wine yourself, you sometimes tend to be a bit patriotic, drink-wise. Whatsoever, port wine is a dessert wine, mostly red. The taste was so good, that I brought some bottles to Berlin.
Even though it was cloudy again, this is the beautiful view in front of the wineries:
Tasting wine and chocolate:
We´re probably the only ones that do some fancy wine tasting wearing hoodies:
Ah, and yes, I was also there (in case you already wondered throughout the post):
6. Lovely people
This should be number 1 of course, but I intentionally put this at the end of this entry, to say thank you to Francisco´s family again 🙂 Thank you, Francisco x2, Teresa, Pedro, and Leonor, for the warm welcome, I really enjoyed staying with you and would be really pleased if I could come back!
In the next entry: Meeting Carla in Lisbon!