Monday, 10 June 2013


With 257 photos taken over 2 days, Porto deserves a post all to itself.....don't worry I won't bore you with all the photos, but it is a beautiful city. We didn't realise quite how big until we took a Yellow Bus tour which included a cruise and 2 Port Lodge tours, with tasting, all for €22. The great thing about this tour was that you could get on and off wherever you wanted and also included the normal bus trip back to our Orbitur campsite at Madalena, an hours journey through the narrow streets from the centre. The local bus ride was an adventure in itself due to the speed which the driver skilfully negotiated the narrow lanes. There is a great beach here in the centre too, lovely destination for a short break.

This advert made us smile...."Join the sexiest paper on earth" ....

The Ribeira section down by the river is a warren of narrow streets and steep steps up to the centre. Washing still hangs out from upper floor balconies and many restaurants crowd the river bank. We stumbled across this little gem, cafe with the red doors below, tucked away in an ally just off the name but if you can find it then order the Bolinhos de Bacalhau, a local fish cake we watched the lady make, absolutely delicious!

These boats used to be used to transport the barrels of port from the Upper Douro vineyards down to the port area here, but now they are just used during regattas by the Port companies and lorries are used to move the port.

The river Douro flows 576 miles from Spain to the Atlantic here. In the upper Douro valley grapes are grown in what was the first ever demarcated Port region and it is now recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The river cruise took us under the 6 bridges, one of which was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1877.

Vila Nova de Gaia is on the opposite bank to Porto and is where all the port is blended and left to mature in the barrels. The maritime climate makes ideal conditions and also it is shaded here until late in the afternoon. We toured the Calem and the Graham's lodge and tried out a selection of their port. There are now several bottles stashed away in Libby for drinking later.

Like any city it has its share of dilapidated buildings and graffiti, though we did find the streets very clean.

Below is a statue to the Luso-British Forces. It is a lion crushing the French eagle which celebrates the victory in the Peninsular wars. Maybe this old alliance is why the Portuguese people are so friendly towards the British tourists today. We have found welcomes and smiles everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. it looks absolutely beautiful- i could so do with some sunshine anda break right now- can't wait to hear about ti at retreat! :o)