Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Porto Sight Seeing - June 16 & 17

The view looking to the opposite shore of the Duero River - this area of Porto is called Gaia

Porto is a fabulous city! I have spent enough time here to know it would be good to come back and really get to know it. It reminds me a little of San Fransisco because of all the ups and downs. The river is down in a valley and the city spans both sides and is also quite hilly. The city is picturesque, vibrant and quite touristic. By calling it touristic I mean both that there is lots here for tourists to do and also there are lots of tourists doing all these things. Not necessarily a bad thing if you are a tourist. I arrived at the bus station, about 30 min by foot from the hostel but it was right beside a metro station so it was very easy to get to the centre of town and my hostel. Porto is a city with excellent public transit and I am glad for that.

I did find a place to eat a traditional Portuguese meal and listen to a live Fado music show on my first night here. The music just grabbed my soul and as I listened to the singer I was in awe that she could put so much emotion into her singing. It was a great night.
Fado musicians at the restaurant
The street my hostel is located on is a pedestrian only street full of activity
Typical Portuguese churches with tile on the exterior
The Cathedral
Today, I was a complete tourist. I took a boat cruise which went up the Duero river and then back past the starting point so we could see the open ocean. It was the "6 Bridge Tour" and lasted an hour. The weather today is quite hot with a high of 28 degrees Celsius, so the boat ride, with the ocean breezes, was just perfect.
A selfie with the Ponte de D. Luis I (bridge) in the background.
The houses on shore were a colourful jumble of buildings.
View to open ocean
View of the historic area of Porto

The boat let us off on the opposite shore - where all the port "caves" (wine cellars) are located. Port has to age a long time and the storage buildings for all the major port producers front on the street along the shore. Tours are offered and of course a tasting!

I next rode the hop on hop off bus and did a circle tour of the city and listened to the audio guide and so learned about the city and the buildings I was seeing. Also, the double decker bus has a roof over the front of the upper section of the bus and I scored a seat there out of the heat of the sun at the hottest part of the day. I was quite happy to ride around for 2 hours listening to the narrative and fado music that they played in between the information nuggets

I got off on the opposite shore of the Duero, but up high by the tall bridge - Ponte de D. Luis I, which is in the background of the selfie picture I had taken from the boat and included above.
Next I walked across the upper bridge, which has pedestrian and street car traffic only. The view of the river and of Porto was so picturesque. I asked a passer by to take my photo from the high bridge.
View from the Ponte de Luis I
View from the Ponte de Luis I

I ended up my day's tour at a river side cafe for a sangria and a bite to eat. Then it was back to the hostel to sort out my stuff for my journey tomorrow and to write this blog. Tomorrow I walk!


  1. Wow, thank you. What was the name of the first restaurant with the Fado singer, please if you remember... I am such a Fado fan. I'll be doing this soon. 2 weeks from now I am in Lisbon! Hugs Ingrid

  2. I enjoyed this tour, Peggy. Thank you.

    I think I might have spent more time on the river and less on foot. I wonder if there is a ten-bridge tour .... hmmmm ....

  3. Thanks Fram, glad you enjoyed the tour. Actually I think there is a full day boat tour which if had more time would have been nice.

  4. Ingrid, there were different singers in each set and I didn't get names as they were not introduced or on any of the promo material. I asked at the tourist ticket sales both and they had a dinner and show which was able to be booked and i got the tickets there. Wow only 2 weeks! Lisbon, how much fun!

  5. Enjoyed the blog peg....such nice pictures too.