Blogs from Porto, Northern, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 12th 2019

And off to Portugal I go - Sue had booked us into this quirky hotel in Porto - Zero box lodge, where all the rooms were basic wooden cubes with a door through to a bathroom. Every room was the same and encased in what looks like Pine, all off a long corridor with a mirror at the end so it looked longer than it was. Getting the key was interesting as they were all kept in a huge glass fronted fridge behind reception and hung over a bottle of beer which you got with the key. Opposite reception was a glass cube with a bed in it which you could stay in for free as long as you were happy with everyone looking on! Someone was staying there that night! A theatre critic, this wasn’t ... read more
Hotel corridor Zero Box Hotel
tiled church - Porto
Flight of Port

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 11th 2019

I know you’ve heard it all before; we slept in, left late, but we did visit the Eastern section of Porto, just to get a different perspective and enjoy the last day of a slow paced visit. We haven’t seen everything, didn’t have a list, but other than the helicopter ride I suggested, and never did, we think we have a handle on Porto. Apparently the chairlift was as far as Sue was leaving the ground, without two wings and a couple of motors involved. A lost opportunity, I’d say. I messaged our Airbnb host to see if he could organise a cab for us early tomorrow, but I wanted a Plan B and C. B was the train. After taking a number and seeing the random call up system operate for about 25 minutes, my ... read more
The Feathered Dish Lickers
A Blast From The Past
Porto Municipal Office

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 10th 2019

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? No. 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 ... read more
It ain’t no Brunettis
Our Neighbourhood, Villa Nova de Gaia.
Just Catching A Few Rays

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 9th 2019

The best made plans never left the ground this morning. We were up earlier but it was 9.30 before we hit the pavement and decided to try to catch a met train. These trains look more like long trams, and disappear into the earth as soon as you are over the river Douro. After that it’s 2 minutes before we are leaving Sao Bento Station to begin our walk to Lello bookshop. As we were already 45 minutes late for our intended 9am arrival at the shop, we called into O Forno, a modern cafe nearby, for a coffee. A staff member approached, placed his arm on my shoulder, and asked how we were, was the drink satisfactory, and wished us well. As we left the store, he saw us out of the cafe, hoped to ... read more
Livraria Lello
Till bought for the original shop and still in use, 2010.

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 8th 2019

Last night we walked down to the main road leading to Ponte D Luis, aided by the clever web site established by our hosts for their business. It has a google map link that highlights the essentials to get us around. We had dinner at a local cafe, an empañada and coke , and while waiting for Sue to finish - I know, I eat too fast; I wish it was an Olympic event - I spotted a trail of people heading up a very steep path to something. At my suggestion to find out what ‘something‘ is, Sue gave me the , look at the hill look, but I was not to be denied. After glowing compliments about how well Lisbon’s trekking had gone, and how she’d even surprised herself, l led and she followed ... read more
Mostario Serra do Pilar

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto » Paredes September 7th 2019

This morning was a casual, no rush affair. We had 4 hours to catch a train that was a 10 minute walk away. I plonked into my favourite chair near the window, and looked out at a large trawler passing nearby, with an orange ferry on one of its many river crossings for the day. It was that bright , clean early morning light that highlights the colourful buildings with their curved tiled terracotta roofs. You’d never tire of this because it’s never the same. Last night Sue and I strolled down to the Praca do Comércio, a large waterfront square overlooking the riverside. It gets very busy as many people come down to sit at the waters edge with a drink, eat at one of the many eateries, or go for what the Italians call, ... read more
Praça do Comércio
Lisbon’s Arc de Triomphe

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto August 29th 2019

Although I woke up several times, I slept fairly well until 10am, having gotten to sleep before 10pm! I guess I was really tired and sleepy. In drank a cup of coffee (actually instant cappuccino that I’d bought in a store yesterday), then walked around a bit, mostly down near the river. I got some great photos of both Porto and Gaia, along with one of three young people standing on the railing, yelling, and acting like they were going to jump. They were still there when I crossed back over the bridge to Porto, so I don’t know if they ever actually jumped. I heard later that a lot of times they try to collect “dare you” money before jumping! After I crossed back into Porto, I walked along the river until I found a ... read more
The famous Majectic Cafe
Iglesia de San Ildefonso
Muralha Fernandina

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto August 28th 2019

I left my brother-in-law’s house right at 7pm… unfortunately in a bit of a rush, leaving my passport and behind! I didn’t realize it until I was on the bus from Seville to Lisbon. This mishap was just one of many. Raphael, my other brother-in-law, took me to Jerez de la Frontera, about 25 minutes away in his car, dropping me off at the bus station. The day before I’d bought tickets online through a website called Busbud for the bus line ALSA, for 82 Euros. They were a bit more expensive than Rome2Rio, but simpler. I was supposed to take bus from Jerez to Lisbon, then switch to another one from there to Porto, with emphasis on supposed to! Raphael was long gone when I found out that no ALSA buses left from Jerez. The ... read more
Bus station in Lisbon
Casa da Musica Bus Station in Porto
Rotunda da Boavista

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto July 13th 2019

Hello everyone, I’m back at writing but still struggling to keep the blog up-to-date because I’m almost 2 years behind! After my visit to the United Kingdom (July 2017), I took a 2.5 hour flight from Manchester to Porto, northern Portugal. Also known as “Oporto” in English, the second city in Portugal has about 300.000 inhabitants and lies on the banks of the Douro River. This was my first visit to Portugal and the 72nd country/territory I ever laid foot on. Almost all travellers I’ve met whom have been to Portugal, including friends, had good things to say about the country. Therefore I visited with certain expectations and in the end I was not disappointed! From the plane, arriving into Porto, I had a good view over the coastline and the beaches to the west and ... read more
Vineyard in Pinhão
Rabelo boats on the Douro River in Porto, Ponte de Dom Luis I in the background
Porto, Ribiera waterfront

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto July 12th 2019

Bonjour à tous, Enfin hier au soir, J'ai mangé à la portugaise, sur les conseils du jeune réceptionniste de l'hôtel. Une bonne soupe de poisson, ensuite une morue, accompagnée de petites pommes de terre nouvelles, épinard, tomate, le tout baignant dans l'huile d'olive. Une préparation portugaise, dommage j'ai oublié le nom, avec un déssert, le tout pour 20e avec le service. J'ai un peu de mal à comprendre parfois les prix pratiqués, les endroits très touristiques comme hier ne sont pas forcément les plus chères. Où cet après midi une bière en plein centre de Porto 1,5e, et dans un trou perdu ça peut être 3,50. Aveiro, la Venise portugaise, c'est sur le papier, dans le concret il y a quelques canaux, avec ces bateaux portugais, les Saveiros, qui servent de trainent "couillons" aux touristes de ... read more
la gare de Porto

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