Anne and I flew from Amsterdam on Friday night to Porto. We arrived around 9pm, and caught the train into the centre of Porto arriving at the Sao Bento station, then walking to our hostel. We were both pretty exhausted by the time we got to the hostel, so we didn't go out exploring until the next morning.
I found Porto really interesting. Old, colourful, beautiful, fabulous food, great wines and ports, delicious sangria, and friendly people. This first image is the street very near we were staying. We were just around the corner (Bottom Left). The streets were cobblestones and the pavement pretty rough which meant I had to be really careful at all times with my totally stuffed ankle!
At the bottom of the street, I turned around and took the image the opposite way. I loved seeing the colourful washing hanging in the street.
Up near the top of the town, taken from the train station. The street we walked up was the one on the right. The streets were very narrow and there were lots of roadworks going on, with streets dug up and the laying of new cables.
The inside of the train station. All beautiful blue tiles. The blue is from when Portugal was ruled by royalty, and the colourful tiles up the top is from the 70s, when Portugal became a democracy.
The Main square of Porto, with the City Hall at the end...
I couldn't resist photographing an amputee. I empathised with him and wonder if I'll end up like this in a few years :)
Around Porto there are many abandoned buildings in great disrepair. This was one of them...\
Another square. Used for markets.. We were on a free walking tour. This was near the beginning. The walking tour covered a lot of ground, and up and down some very steep hills. My muscles are still groaning!
The oldest building in Porto..
This image is of two churches. However, when they were built it was decided that two churches couldn't be built together. So a house had to be put in the middle of them, to separate the two. See that tiny strip in the middle with the green door? That's the house!
We then visited the famous Lollo book store. Inspired by Harry Potter, it is known as the 3rd most beautiful bookstore in the world. It was truly beautiful, but we weren't allowed to take photos. This next image is just across the road from the book store. I loved the building with the trees on the roof. In the distance is the tallest religious building in Porto.
We were then taken across to this amazing bridge that the trains run across high above Porto. It was a wonderful phtographic opportunity..
One of the many old colourful buildings and a woman folding her washing that hung out the window...
A poorer part of town and a typical residence...
One of the many Churches...
We then started heading down the hill towards the river. Many steep ramps and lots of stairs as we slowly descended through amazing alleyways through colourful residences and beautiful rooftops.
Once we reached the river at the bottom we were taken to a restaurant to have lunch. Anne and I shared a franchisina, which is a dish made from bread with ham, sausage, chicken, and lashings of cheese. It was really nice, but my arteries are now considerably thicker. Here Anne and I are sharing a carafe of the most amazing Sangria. Alcohol was cheap. We started with a glass of Green Wine for 1.20 euros a glass. This Carafe of Sangria was 6 euros.
After lunch Anne and I walked along the river then over the bridge to the other side of Porto - to Gaia. This is an image taken from the bridge and shows a neat restaurant made on an old fortress. I would have loved to have had a drink there, but anything right on the river like this meant that it was expensive.
This is the view of Porto from the Gaia waterfront...
Old boats that bring the Port from the vineyards to the wine cellars here in Gaia. There were a lot of Port places in Gaia - Sandeman, Taylors, Crofts, Offley and Barros just to main a few... They all had cellar doors open for port tasting.
We just had time to walk up to Crofts which is the oldest cellar in Portugal. It was started by some monks back in the early 1600s. Anne and I did the tour, then had three tastings. Prior to this, Anne hadn't really tried it before, but she is now rather partial to the Tawny Ports!
This is looking from the entrance of Crofts, down towards the river...
We walked back to our hostel, and managed to get to our favourite bakery just as they were closing to pick up some cake for dinner. Not terribly healthy but certainly very scrumptious. We had breakfast at this same cafe earlier. Two cups of coffee, bread rolls, and a few mini pastries which was more than enough for both of us, came to 3.50 euros. That's about $5 NZD for breakfast for two. I was amazed.
This last shot was taken in lowlight around sunset. At the top of the street and around the corner was our hostel.
What an incredible day!