We walked out of the medieval village of Óbidos and followed the castle wall down to the still functioning but shuttered train station. Taking regional trains to Oporto brought us past orchards, farms and some light industry. It was the most efficient mode of transportation to get us to Portugal’s second largest city in about three hours.
We walked along Porto’s Riberia passing many cafes, colorful buildings and it’s six bridges.We then headed up the steep incline to our apartment and the Sé Cathedral for our daily carimbho. It was well marked with the yellow arrows and scallop shells.
The inside of the central Sao Bento train station is filled with azjulo tile murals which depict stories about the history of Porto dating back to Roman rule. Further up the steep hills of Porto is the Igreja do Carmo dos Carmelitas which has the azulejos on the outside.This beautiful church is across the square from the University of Porto. Take note of the school uniforms.A block away is the well-known bookstore Liveria Lello. This is a magnificent place with trompe-l’œil wood stairs and walls. It is, famously, where JK Rowling conceived the library in the Harry Potter series of books. Entry is €4 and that can be used towards the purchase of a book.We walked past the botanical garden and the Palacio Cristal (crystal palace) to the Synagogue but there were no tours available at the time. At times, the misty fog of Porto gives the impression of being in a Stephen King or Harry Potter book.Along the banks of the Douro River are the boats (Rabelos) that originally transported the grapes to be used for port wine from the valley. Today, the boats are for tourists to enjoy. We walked across the Dom Luis bridge to the Vila de Gaia neighborhood to enjoy several port wines in the cellars.A few pasteries and some Vinho Verde made the steep climb up to our apartment a little easier.
One thought on “Porto, Oporto here we come ”
Not sure what was best – the spectacular tiles, the boats, the pastries or the wine.
The Harry Potter uniforms and bookstore is truly the books come to life.
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