Posted by: Stevie D | July 15, 2012

Porto

We’re not big on cities, Jayney and I. Generally we prefer to explore the remote places and small towns.But a couple we met at the Vila Cha campsite had been to Porto and said how fine it was so we delayed our departure by a day and set off on the bike to see for ourselves. The ride to the city was too short and soon we were dropping down into the narrow cobbled streets of this bustling old city.

First impressions were of a city from 100years ago, except for the traffic.

The backstreets are a world away from the hurly-burly we found down by the river.

I’ve found by experience that in coastal or riverside cities, all the action takes place down by the water so, at times like this when I’m completely lost, I just keep going downhill.Sure enough, after a while we came upon a most impressive iron structure called the Luis 1st Iron Bridge which carries pedestrians, road traffic and the railway across the Rio Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia.

The multi-functional Luis 1st Iron Bridge.

We crossed the Luis 1st Iron Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Although the riverside area is a magnet for tourists and is obviously geared up to cater for them, it still maintains an air of authenticity which many tourist hotspots tend to lose.

The tourists thronging the riverside are amply catered for.

On the opposite side of the river from Porto itself is Vila Nova de Gaia. This is home to the many companies making and marketing the areas most famous export, Port wine.

Jayney shares centre-stage with one of the most famous of the Port houses.

Looking across the river, Porto’s Ribeira district is an impressive sight.

Looking at Porto from across the Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Another view across the River Douro.

We re-crossed the bridge into Porto and strolled along the Ribeira riverfront, soaking up the atmosphere.

A view down the famous Ribeira riverfront.

I like two wheels myself, but there are limits.

Porto has an old tram system which still uses it’s original tramcars, Heritage trams, as they are known.

One of the original ‘Heritage’ trams.

When we left, we took the seafront road heading north towards Matosinhos, where the Duoro estuary becomes the sea and people come to promenade and take in the clear air off the Atlantic.

The seafront road heading north passes the statue of King João VI at Praca Gonçalves Zarco.

Next day, we left Portugal for pastures new, but neither of us will forget the time we spent in lovely Porto.

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Responses

  1. It looks like a charming place! I can see why you liked it!
    I’m with you… the two-wheeled segways don’t appeal to me much. But they’re popular with tourists. We have many of them in St. Louis as well.

  2. We don’t see many of them over this side. My comment was kinda tongue-in-cheek though as I guess they’d be fun….for a little while at least.


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