Excursion · Travel

A Trip to Portugal – Porto

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet!

In the last post we traveled from Monsanto to Porto through idyllic landscapes. You can read about the trip here. We arrived in the afternoon to our next stop. We would be sleeping on a boat in the marina of Porto, about 45 minutes away from the city centre (on foot). I am one of those people who gets really easily nauseous. It goes to such an extent that I can get nauseous by just watching a boat in a storm on TV. Therefore, I was really worried about this stay, but I was looking forward to a less conventional hotel experience.

boat stay

The same evening, after getting set-up in our boat, we walked into the city centre right when the sun was setting. The beautiful colours of the sunset and the lights of the city wrapped it in an almost magical light. Our walk took us along the river.

Once we reached the centre, we climbed the stairs up to the historical city centre, the Medieval city. The cathedral was the first stop. Although the building itself appears like a typical Romanesque building: plump, heavy and grey, it hides shows its charms with the typical blue and white Azulejos.

Detail on the cathedral

From the cathedral we strolled towards our next stop: the iconic train station of Porto with its colourful and intricately designed Azulejos.

Even though it was night, the tiled buildings looked impressive.

building in Porto

detail on the street

When you reach the train station, you’ll find yourself in front of a pretty unimpressive building, but as soon as you step into the station, intricately decorated Azulejos welcome you. The magic, however, ends just as quickly as it started, because beyond this hall, you’ll find the train tracks and no more decorated tiles.

Porto train station

detail inside the station
As we were in Porto, a nice glass of Port wine was a must. Luckily we had an entire bottle of it on our boat.

The following day the sky was gloomy and we were facing some light yet persistent rain. Once again, we headed towards the centre and walked the streets of the ghetto, strolled through narrow streets and got used to the wonderfully tiled façades.

tiles

However, we saw several decadent buildings with the tiles ruined by the passing of time and looking like they were longing for a better past that was long gone.

It was by chance that we bumped into one of the oldest bakeries for Pastel de Nata. We obviously ordered a bunch to have some back-up for the coming breakfasts.

All this walking had made us hungry and we were ready to dive into the traditional Portuguese cuisine! This meant, obviously, Bacalhau!

We went into a restaurant and warmed ourselves with some delicious fish soup, some croquettes with Bacalhau. Followed by Bacalhau à Braga (Bacalhau with fried potatoes, tomato and onion vegetable) for me and rice with bacalhau for my husband. Everything was delicious…

rice with bacalhau

…Little did we know that when we were warned about the sizes of the plates, it meant receiving literally a pot with rice for one single person. Obviously, we did not manage to eat all of it and had to take the leftovers back to our boat.

Next up: we’ll be visiting the Portuguese Venice…

Have you ever been to Porto? What did you like the most? Let me know in the comments below.

Love,

Raffi

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