Exploring Porto, Portugal

Porto is a town with a reputation for being lively and fun and that it is. It’s also very historic, filled with beautiful buildings that are centuries old. People have lived in Portugal since before history began. The Porto cathedral was begun in the year 1110 AD but there may have been a bishop here since the 6th century.

Although the exterior of Porto’s cathedral is a plain, romanesque style, the interior has many areas covered in gold, such as the main altar and the choir, shown here.

Porto lies on the river Douro a few miles inland from the Atlantic, in the northern part of Portugal. Port wine is made up-river and Porto has been its trading port for hundreds of years, making it sometimes a very rich town. But not always.

Boats made for tourists today are modeled after the very old small craft used in centuries past for bringing port wine to ships bound for Britain and the rest of the western world.

The 20th century wasn’t so good here, it seems. Many — perhaps a majority — of the old homes and business buildings are derelict and abandoned.  There are workmen and cranes to be seen everywhere, but I think for every old beauty being brought to life again there are many who are still neglected and empty.

A typical narrow, medieval street in the oldest section of Porto, near the river.

There’s a wide variety of ways to spend time in Porto. I’ve been walking all day, every day, seeing all I can. Many people spend the day at the nearby beaches and the evenings in the city. It’s a very affordable place to visit.  I’ve been paying just €1.50 for a glass of wine and no more than €10 for dinner in a nice restaurant.

My birthday delights!

I’m staying in one of the best AirBnB rentals I’ve had, located just off a main avenue about a mile from the river. Yesterday was my birthday (one of those terrible ones for an age ending in zero!) and my lovely “landlady” brought me a box full of delicious Portuguese pastries.  That was so nice.

More to show you and tell you in the days ahead.

Libbie

These 70-year-old feet have walked 30.6 miles in the past seven days according to my iphone and boy, are they tired!!!

About Libbie Griffin

For several months recently I've been traveling around Europe. Write to me at in.my.suitcase.too@gmail.com if you would like to receive a very short email each time I post new words and pictures here. I would love for you to tell your friends who love to travel about this blog. And I would be very happy to read about your experiences, your suggestions and your questions in the comments section. Let's make this blog a conversation! Thanks! Libbie Griffin
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One Response to Exploring Porto, Portugal

  1. Anthony Bourdain tonight had a show (new) all about Portugal and it featured Porto! You may be able to find it online. Also more at at PartsUnknown.com! As I watched it, I kept thinking that you are there (even though I know it probably was filmed awhile back!)

    Like

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