10 September 2019.: Lazy Day, Boat Ride, Shopping, Mystical Man.

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Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto
September 10th 2019
Published: September 10th 2019
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Our CafeOur CafeOur Cafe

Complete with small alter on the right hand wall, how could we go wrong. Impeccably clean, friendly service, we’re happy.
Today was intended to be a ‘catch up on rest’ day, wander around, and go on our boat ride.

We took the rubbish out - 50 metres up the street, turn left and the bins are another 50 metres - and walked back to the main road down some different streets. I think we found the real local shops. A cluster of tidy cafes sat at the top of the street, followed by a butcher, fruit shop, two strangely stocked hardware shops, and an op shop/ curios business. A recommended restaurant was open and I went to enquire about the hours.

Do you speak English?


And that was it. These weren’t restaurant people, but rather tradesmen who looked displeased to see me. That conversation was over.

Portugués people are loud. They yell and argue in the street and don’t care who hears. It’s passion, bursting unchecked out of their mouths. We saw a young guy giving his partner ( I assume) some home truths today and he was sort of karate chopping the palm of his own hand as if to accentuate each dot point he was making. It was loud and seemed agressive, but
It ain’t no BrunettisIt ain’t no BrunettisIt ain’t no Brunettis

The local cafe. 1€20 for a very strong cappuccino.
she just took it in her stride. Girls and older adults behave the same way. It’s actually quite interesting. It’s not part of my life, that’s for sure. I’m well aware of my boundaries.

Sue wanted to visit the large department store further up the hill, and was ready to give up looking for it , when a huge multi-storey building advertising many leading brands came into view.

Now my only policy here is to have a reason for going in. Browsing isn’t a reason. If it’s browsing, I’m happy to wait outside. Luckily it was a bit more upmarket than where these Sherry’s normally shop, so a couple of grandchildren purchases later, and we were gone. We caught the tram into the centre of town, and decided to eat lunch at O Forno, the delicious cafe I mentioned yesterday.

I placed an order for two serves of bacalou, the traditional cod dish, while Sue found us a table. I noticed the absence of tongs or gloves in the food handling, and decided it was unwise to mention it to Sue. Luckily I didn’t need to. When the man brought our glasses, plates and cutlery to the
Our Neighbourhood, Villa Nova de Gaia.Our Neighbourhood, Villa Nova de Gaia.Our Neighbourhood, Villa Nova de Gaia.

Pretty working class, very safe and friendly, and we are close to the river and public transport.
table, he placed the prongs of Sue‘s fork between thumb and finger, and squeezed, just to remove something that we didn’t notice. He did the same to the rim of my glass. But he didn’t do the steamy breath thing first, so it could have been worse.

We cautiously ate away, and it wasn’t until we were back on the street that I mentioned a few habits that he performed with his hands, that I could see and Sue couldn’t; the most acceptable one being wiping his hot face with both hands. That cafe has dropped right off the list of choices now.

After buying a few things that we had procrastinated about yesterday, we caught the train home, had a breather, and set off to catch the chairlift down to the harbour for our boat ride. It was very windy as we boarded the lift with two other men, and the carriage swayed in the breeze as we descended slowly. As we approached the end the rocking became more severe and I estimate that we missed hitting the final pylon by 30cm; and I was taking particular notice. I took a small video on the way down but unfortunately I couldn’t download it here.

The cruise was interesting. We saw Porto from a different viewpoint and after heading up the river, returned to where it enters the Atlantic Ocean. The ride towards the open sea was rough and a fine spray broke the bows of the boat at times. We were at the front and were unaffected.The smell of the salty spray and the constant noise of the seagulls following the boat was familiar, and it was lovely out on the water.

Porto is a very pretty, compact town. Unlike Lisbon, you can cover a lot of territory in a short time. Both cities are equally attractive in my opinion, but tomorrow is our last day so we need to get through as much as we can.

Back on shore , I wanted to go and look at the boat building, and wandered through the cruise boats bus station , jumped a stone wall, and sat for a while watching and listening to the new planks being fitted and nailed into place. I find the slow deliberate pace of these skills very calming, and it took me back to when I spent years building
Magnet StreetMagnet StreetMagnet Street

This is our third visit up this way. Not sure what the pull is. Next time I’m climbing that tower.
a traditional sailing boat. I still have it, don’t use it, but would have trouble parting with it. There’s a sense of pride in its beauty, and there’s a bit of me in each plank. Plus, I had some help from one of my sons with it, and that makes it more special.

I might get gamer tomorrow and get a closer look. Often people are welcoming if you show an interest in their craft; of course, sometimes they’re not. I’m going.

After our lunch experience at the newly named Salmonella Inn, we cautiously chose a waterfront restaurant for our dinner. Sue chose the bacalou, and I had the Portuguese Pork. Both were delicious, but what was occurring in front of our restaurant was very distracting, and more interesting than the food.

This guy, dressed like an ancient Sharman, was levitating, suspended with one hand, and sometimes just a finger, on the end of a stick.He had a concentration too intense to be real, he moved at the pace of a veteran tai chi master, and popped out these weird cheesy grins every time a donation was made. Convinced it was impossible, I asked the waitress if
Hardware Store. Hardware Store. Hardware Store.

I’m not sure he can do house lots for new builds, but he is nearby.
he was for real. She leant down and whispered to me, No, but it’s our little secret. I knew it! But he was good, he was a true showman and passers by loved him. He deserved everything he was given, as he was just a different form of magic. We were there long enough to see him pack up and get changed. As she said, It’s our little secret.

Instead of catching the chairlift , we walked to the top of the lift and it was all steep winding lanes and banks of difficult steps. We had a few rest stops but Sue persisted , probably using the chairlift as motivation.

Tomorrow we need to sort out a lift to the station on Thursday. The trains don’t stop at our station early enough, and the taxi rank we checked out had no cabs call by for the whole time we waited. We must get it sorted but I’ll make some enquires tomorrow.


Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Bric a brac Shop Bric a brac Shop
Bric a brac Shop

Was closed unfortunately. It was almost a museum. Penny farthing bike, shiny old till.....
.....And 2 Very Long Rifles. .....And 2 Very Long Rifles.
.....And 2 Very Long Rifles.

Not sure about ammo.
El Corte InglésEl Corte Inglés
El Corte Inglés

The local high end mega department store.. Ka Ching for the 1.8 grandchildren.
Carmelitas Companhia, Carmelitas Companhia,
Carmelitas Companhia,

Fabrica e Armazen. Used to be a fabric outlet, but due to low, no, demand, it is now a very cool homeware, toys and clothing store, in an old world timber fitted store.
The Met. The Met.
The Met.

You purchase a cardboard ticket from the machin on your first visit, 3€ for 2 rides included, the recharge for 2€40 for 2 rides. Throw it away when you leave, Ideal and cheap for tourists. C’mon Melbourne.
Cliff side HousesCliff side Houses
Cliff side Houses

So close to the edge, but at least the view can’t be built out.
The Bishops PalaceThe Bishops Palace
The Bishops Palace

Biggest building in town. The Cathedral just visible behind it.


I felt a chill when I spotted this. The Salesians weren’t just in Chadstone. A huge Monastery/ school on the hill.
Waterfront ChurchWaterfront Church
Waterfront Church

Constructed 1393.
That Opening In The Distance?That Opening In The Distance?
That Opening In The Distance?

That’s the Atlantic Ocean
Dodgy Svengali Dodgy Svengali
Dodgy Svengali

I have an idea how he did it. I should too; I watched him for an hour, including him packing up, while we ate dinner. A crowd pleaser and a pretty neat trick. He was mystical in a dodgy kind of way.

We passed under all 6 on our cruise.

10th September 2019

Hey there. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Have been sharing some of your blog with some staff here. They want to know the secret. Have a great time.
11th September 2019

Just a theory but...
.....I think the stick is attached to the ground somehow and it has a curved part attached that supports his lower back. You could see something protruding from his jacket as he packed up. He was pretty convincing though. It’s been great. Tim’s wedding was wonderful and the trip is ongoing. Vigo next, then Santiago, A Coruña, and to Luxembourg on the 19th for 9 days at Tim and Natalia’s Place. Day Trips to Ghent and Germany from there.

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