Day 5 – Porto

Our tour today started at the Cathedral from which we had a good view of Porto.

In front of the Cathedral is a large monument. Our guide pointed out four hooks from which offenders were hanged in the past.

I wanted to get back to the Cathedral later on the day, but I never made it. The hills in Porto make navigating a challenge.

Porto has several vintage tram lines. Unfortunately, several of the lines are not functioning because of work to construct a metro station.

Our tour took us out to the place where river meets the sea.

Fishermen frequent the area

along with runners, bikers and walkers who enjoy the promenade area.

We started on a cruise which took us up and down the river. The buildings in Porto are very charming, with tiles covering many of the facades.

Part of Porto’s original walls as seen from the river.

Everywhere tourists and not a local to be seen. Where are they? The hotel receptionist told me that tourism has taken over, and few locals can afford the astoundingly high housing costs. They have moved to the suburbs, leaving these places to Airbnb and the tourists.

A funicular runs from the river to the upper part of the city. It’s easy to see how Porto’s high river banks, really cliffs, provided the city with good defence.

I was done in after the river cruise. The intense sun and drone of the boat motor made it hard for me to keep awake.

I spent about an hour resting at the hotel then finally found some locals along with the tourists on the main shopping street: Zara, Benetton etc.

Some of the buildings and their interiors are beautiful remnants of the past.

I stopped a place called Manteigaria to check out these Pastei de Nata, a specialty of Porto.

Windows allowed viewers to see them being made. The lines were long – another time.

I found the Mercado do Bolhão and had a look around the enormous building housing all types of food and craft products. Some interesting snacks I was happy to forgo.

On the way back from the market, I stopped at a cafe on the corner very near the hotel and ordered a SALAD. Finally some greenery. It was delicious despite its meaty covering.

Tomorrow we’re off towards Lisbon. This is all going fast but at just about the right pace.

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