Porto, Portugal

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

It’s officially been winter for a while, and in northern Spain you can feel it. (Un)fortunately, no real snow in Logrono, but in the distance you can see it on the mountains and that’s good enough for me.  I mentioned my need to get out and travel more in honor of my paycheck, however there weren’t any cheap or convenient flights to Lisbon… but I still ended up in Portugal.

My trip to Porto/ Oporto was fabulous. For me, the Port wine was an aside. The city exceeded my expectations.

I was given two full sunny days to walk around one of my new favorite cities (so far) in Europe.

Many buildings are covered in different colorful tiles with different unique designs on them.

Beautiful tiles, beautiful building.

They even have a little exposition space with a lot of tiles, and old street signs. It’s a fun game to imagine what kind of tile I would want my apartment covered in.

So many tiles!

I liked this one

I also have things for cities with Rivers…..

Chicago (Chicago River) Iowa City (Iowa River) Logrono (Ebro River) and…..

Porto has the Douro River. It’s important to their grape cultivation/ wine making. They used to transport the barrels across the river.  Now they offer touristy boat rides, and it’s not exactly an eye sore for the residents.

Porto’s proximity to the coast makes it well known for excellent seafood. For example, I ate a sardine and loved it…even all of it’s tiny bones… as well as octopus, and so many unknown things all down the hatch. nom nom nom. I don’t consider myself a daring eater- I’m no Anthony Bourdaine- but travel brings out a better side of me in terms of food. For the most part, I try everything.

 

If you ever find yourself in Porto, walk everywhere. For a big city, it’s very clean, feels very safe and there’s a lot to see.

You’ll probably also want to try the Port. I’m sure the most convenient Port cellars are the one’s that are right on the river, but those visits most likely come with a price. Two excellent and free tours can be had if you are willing to take a bit of a hike UP 🙂

Taylor's tasting area


http://www.taylor.pt/en/

http://www.croftport.com/index_.asp

Croft's

Taylors, and Croft are the two places I visited for free. I personally find Port to be like drinking syrup or medicine….VERY sweet. I still recommend the visits, and trying it out though. My personal favorite wine from Porto was the vino verde. It’s not literally green but it’s like a wine cava mixture and very refreshing when paired with some good fish.

Here are a few final photos of the trip.

Along the river

All the hills were worth it for the views.

 

Google Lello bookshop, Porto to see the MAGICAL inside. No photos allowed.

 

Porto is a city that i’d like to go back to in the Spring or summer. There were gardens that bloom full of roses in the warmer weather and I would like to see that. For the time being though…..

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”

un beso

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