Porto Train Station Murals
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Read previous Quinta Dos Agros or Read next Aveiro amd Coimbra
September 28 to 29 2019
The Andrews, Ray and I drove to Porto after leaving the
villa. Jack was let off at the Porto Airport Hotel where he would stay overnight
before flying home to Calgary. We continued to Porto airport where Margaret left
us to fly to Brussels and catch a train to Bruges. Marg was going on a bicycle
holiday with Calgary friends. Finally, both the Andrews and Burnhams returned
their cars to the rental agents at the airport and took a taxi to the very
comfortable Grand Oceano Guest House, conveniently located very near the train
station in Porto.
You don't need a car to explore Porto. The center is well
set up for walking, provided you don't mind climbing hills. There are no flat
areas in Porto Center.
We had enjoyed our Rick Steves walking tour so much on
our previous visit with the Carvers that we were happy to introduce the Andrews
to Porto the same way. he tour. A special treat were the magnificent tile murals
covering the walls of the entrance to the train station. We couldn't get enough
of them. By using the accounts given in the guide book we were led through the
history of Portugal and village life in the area.
By that time we left the train station, it was almost
time for lunch. We found an excellent small restaurant, Petiscaria, where we
feasted on tapas. Well fed and refreshed, we walked down to the Ribiera
waterfront, a must see for all tourists.
A funicular ride from the waterfront brought us back to
the upper part of the city center. We walked back to Liberty Square where a
busker was performing a clever tango dance with a dummy partner attached to his
We had hoped to see a Fado performance while we in
Portugal. On our way back to the hotel we passed a restaurant advertising an
evening show and dinner. We booked to have dinner and take in the 8:30 PM show,
with two addition sets that evening. The Fado singer had not checked her
schedule and thought this was her night off! The first set started closer to
9:30 PM. The musicians and the singer were very good but we could last only part
way through their second set. It was not a good introduction to Fado.
The next morning we had time to visit a few spots on the
tour we had bypassed the previous day. We took a break at the Base cafe, built
on an attractive grassy park camouflaging an underground parking garage. It is a
popular spot for tourists and local to have a drink and a snack or lounge on
beanbag seats on the grass. More cities should use Porto's example and build a
park, complete with cafe, over a parking garage.
I had hoped to visit the famous bookstore if I arrived
when it still opened. That was not to be. The lineup was even longer that either
our first visit to Porto with the Carvers or the lineup the previous day. Oh
well, you only get about 5 or 10 minutes to look inside the store anyway.
It was time for us to check out of the hotel and take a
taxi back to the airport rental agency to pick up our car for our trip back to
Lisbon. We headed off to stop briefly in Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, and
spend the next two nights in the University town, Coimbra.
One thing we learned about Porto; just like Lisbon, the city is definitely worth a visit of several days to truly see all it offers. Ray and I didn't even get to the Port Lodges, but we certainly enjoyed a glass of Port after our meals at the villa.
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