The Day We DIDN’T Step Foot Inside a Church, a Fort OR a Castle. Not one!!

16 September 2019

Oh Porto!!

You are magnificent!!

From your beautiful Sāo Bento train station main hall, covered in tiles, to the monuments, the waterfront, and all the bits in between, you impressed us.

We caught the train to Sāo Bento and walked into the main hall to be greeted by hundreds of tourists, cameras in hand, happily snapping away at the 20,000 tiles adorning the walls. If you can’t beat ‘em…..

Grahame’s pic

Stepping outside was a shock to the senses, people everywhere, sirens blaring, tour groups huddling, car horns beeping and so many, many more tiles to photograph.

Walking down Rua das Flores, we came across this busker playing a type of pianola style organ. The five feathery chooks perched on top were cleverly bouncing up and down to the music. It wasn’t til later in the day, when I saw him again, I realised the chooks were real! I thought they were cute puppets.

Another busker looked like a statue, sitting absolutely still until someone put money in his bucket. He would then whack his hammer twice into the nail on the boot and then return to his statue like pose. His sign proudly announced his successes in local Living Statue Competitions since 2007. Twelve years is a long time to be sitting still!

Now Portugal has a thing about sardines. You can buy tins of them, elaborately wrapped, anywhere and everywhere. There is even a chain of sardine shops that have made sardine selling an art form. We couldn’t resist popping in.

Tins of Sardines art

There’s a popular bookshop nearby that Mithyl was keen to visit. She had done her research well and convinced us that it was a “must see”.

The “Livraria Lello” now charges an entry fee for the pleasure of buying its books, such is its popularity.

It’s a small little shop stuck between much larger shops and I wondered how hard it would be to find.

Let’s stand here

This turned out not to be a problem. The 150 metre queue of people waiting to enter led us , eventually, to the front door, only to discover we had to queue somewhere else to buy the entry tickets which gave us the privilege of standing in the entry queue!! Oops!

Livraria Lello

When we finally made it through the doors, it was definitely worth it.

The hordes of people traipsing through, posing for selfies etc, made it difficult to actually look at any books, so we followed the crowd and found ourselves ejected through the front door not long after.

We walked towards the river, crossing one of Porto’s amazing bridges.

The views were spectacular!!

We caught the gondola down to the other side of the river where all the Port “Caves” or tasting rooms from all the big vineyards are.

When in Port……

Far too small!

On the way to the Port tasting place, we came across this piece of street art covering the corner of the building giving a 3-D effect. It was made of old junk: bits of tyre and wire and old hub caps and painted up. So clever!

A cruise along the Douro River was compulsory, in order to see all those bridges (six in fact), and the wonderful colours of the Portside.

See what I mean?

A light rail ride took us back to Rua das Flores for a wander and some dinner before catching the train to Miramar.

Possibly my favourite find of the day was this guy and he was not inside a church, a fort or a castle. Promise!!!

Bridge Troll?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s