Hello everyone from one of the oldest European centres and the second largest city of Portugal, Porto.
After Lisbon, Porto has been one of the places that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. I was planning to go there for the weekend and asked my friends. “Is there anyone who wants to join me during this trip?” Michal said: Yes! Then, we made a plan in detail, including how to go there, where to visit, what to eat or drink. After that, we bought our two way tickets, which were quite cheap. While looking for hostels, he bumped into a Turkish couple, who would be glad to invite us to stay in their house through couchsurfing. Let’s begin our journey!
We woke up at almost 6 o’clock and went from Amora to Lisbon, from Lisbon to Porto, which took totally 5 hours. At half past twelve, we got off the bus and started to walk to find the house of our host. We were lucky that the house was very near to the bus terminal and the city center of course. After meeting a Turkish couple, who were living for more than one year in Porto, we took their some tips and advices about the city. We left our backpacks there and hit the road.
Porto is famous for its churches and cathedrals covered with gorgeous azulejos, which are both highly old and durable. Azulejos are called ceramics in Portugese language. We visited almost all of them, including Chapel of Souls, Porto Cathedral, Monument Church Of St Francis, Clerigos Church and Tower, Carmo and Carmelitas Church, Lapa Church and Church of Saint Ildefonso. They all were amazing, especially, I was impressed by Chapel of Souls and Carmo and Carmelitas. More than their interiors, exterior surfaces were very enough to put me under a spell. I would not even need to mention the Sao Bento railway station. It was not only an ordinary railway station, but also a visual feast itself.
It’s time to eat. We had already looked for the traditional dishes in Porto and came across a food called Francesinha. To be honest, it was bigger than I expected. Francesinha means little French woman or simply Frenchie in Portuguese. Anyone who is interested in the story of this food can read it from this link. I am leaving it here.
Let’s go on. We went to Crystal Palace Gardens that our host recommended us to visit. It was very peaceful and calm. Drinking coffee toward the Douro river in Riberia Square was a pleasure for me. After making a visit for the other side of the Luis I Bridge, we were ready to cross the river and go to Gaia by walking. It was full of people and the sun was about to go down, which was very nice view of the whole city. From the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, we watched the scenery. So, our first day in Porto ended like this. I will not tell about anything related to our second day there because I do not want to finish everything fast, so Michal may want to talk about it. Let’s give him something to tell a bit.
To sum up, I have found Porto unique in terms of its history, architecture, nature and weather. Some people ask: ”Do you like Porto or Lisbon more?” or “Which one do you like most?” In my opinion, making a comparison between these two beautiful cities is quite hard, so I am leaving a smiley face by cutting corners 🙂 All I can say is that If I have a chance to go there again, I will be glad.
A piece of advice for gourmands: If you happen to pass by Porto one day, I recommend you to go to A Sandeira do Porto, which is a very cute place and taste delicious sandwiches and soups.
See you soon on other trips!