I almost gave up writing a post about our Porto trip as the first two days here were quite dark and gloomy. Thank God for #sundafunday and the sunniest day we had in Portugal since we came. Perhaps because of the weather or tiredness, but we found Porto lacking in personality, taste and it seemed quite old and empty. Luckily this changed on Sunday. I have divided this post intro three categories: city, food and the Ocean.
The je ne sais quoi
As you could see Porto is very colourful and has a colonial look here and there, and of course I matched with all the walls and doors in the area. Lots of old buildings and doors which give this city its charm. We did not think much of the city centre and were quite disappointed after Lisbon, but when you move away and closer to the water … Mamma Mia! Awesome food, happy people, old trams and many, many colourful doors.
My favourite part about Porto, after Port wine, are these restaurants on the sidewalk where you eat grilled fish fresh from the Ocean and some frozen. The smell of the smoke everywhere on the streets makes you stop even if you are not hungry. Which is what we did and had a second lunch for the day. We were actually being good tourists and were visiting Porto by bus, when the smoke hit us. We begged the driver to stop in the middle of the street and let us go and have one more lunch. And he actually did. Portuguese are just awesome!
We stopped at the restaurant you see in images and had grilled fish and a creme brûlée as dessert, accompanied by Port wine. In order to caramelise the sugar on the dessert they took a sort of ladle from the grill and pressed it against the sugar. The smell! Yum! You could actually taste the smokey sugar and it was just perfect. And it cost us both with everything 39euros (salad, main course, dessert, bottle of wine, Port wine and coffee, times 2). It has been long since I felt this good in a city. Perhaps since my trip in China.
Gone with the wind
A much nicer part of the trip was to be on the 14th of November on the beach wearing a T-shirt while your friends from home sent you pictures of snow and slopes. This area was also very lively, full of people with skates and dogs, roller blading or just jogging. There were tons of street sellers which offered anything from ice-cream, cotton candy, roasted chestnuts, popcorn and tons of sweets.
I think a weekend is more than enough to enjoy the city. I would always combine it with Lisbon; you make the best of two worlds. And it is very easy to travel in between the two cities by train. It takes three hours and the trains are quite good and new. You really need to book your ticket in advance otherwise you end up having to take a later train than planned.
What other cities in Portugal did you get to? Send me some more tips.
Photos by moi on the streets of Porto.