Thursday, September 17, 2015

Europe Adventure Day 14


Almost bedtime and time to blog. Looking at my pictures I must say it's a mottley collection.

Breakfast included in this hotel. We are really not used to breakfast like this but who can resist "Brötchen"?



I thought "what is this" but figured it out: individual yoghurt in holes on ice.



And soon we were on the hop-on-hop-off. We decided to just stay on, do the whole round and then decide what we might want to see. Take it easy! A selfie on the upper deck.



It really gave us a good impression of the city. Old town, new town, residential areas, "regular" houses, posh houses etc etc.



Loved the part along the Atlantic Ocean. Part is the Camino.



The bus drove on the lower part of the bridge to the other side. We changed our mind and did hop off. Part of our tickets was for a boat ride. Weather now was so nice that we decided to do it right then. We were lucky. We had almost no wait.



Like the bus the boat also had something to plug earbuds in and select from 16 languages. It's a lot of information to take in. I am lucky if I remember 10%.



First the boat went up the river under several bridges.




Where it turned I took a VIDEO thinking it might give a better impression. The turning sloshed some water in the boat. We were sitting in the very front and almost got our feet wet.

Then the boat went the other way towards the ocean. The whole trip took about an hour and was really nice.



Since we were on the other side we thought we would walk up so we can walk back over the bridge on the upper level. Wow it was steep!



We thought we were almost up. The view was gorgeous so I thought I would take a VIDEO.




James thought since we had come so far we should take a look at the monastery. What is another steep street at this point?

We had to pay a € 2 entry fee since it was not really a church any longer. But it was very interesting.




The chapel itself was very unusual. It was totally round with 5 meter thick walls.




Choir chairs we have seen before. When the monks have to stand for a length of time they help for them to perch somewhat but if they fall asleep the wooden seats might fall down with a loud bang.



The (former) monastery is on the World Heritage register which is very strict about restorations. Those have to be done in a way that you can see what is not original (like this wood here).



This really is the highest point now and the best view over the old city.




From the bridge: those little boats on the left are not used any longer but there to show what used to be the mode of transport of the port wine casks from the vineyards along the Douro River to the port here in Porto.



Those river front cafès are very nice.



We were hungry though and just stopped at the first place at the end of the bridge. Ensaladas and cerveja.



We were close to the cathedral so went in to have a look. That was a bit of a disappointment (after all we have already seen).



But the walk from there downhill again to the Igreja (church) S. Francisco was very interesting. We were told on the bus and the boat we should see it. It is now a museum rather then a church and we had to buy tickets and photos were not allowed. It was very interesting to see. Very baroque inside. I had hoped that the link (above) would show some of the art closely.

The tickets also included entry to the catacombs under the church which was kind of a graveyard.



By now we were a bit tired and went back to the hotel to refresh. Here is a VIDEO we don't really know of what. We had seen groups of young people yesterday and today several times ... Who were chanting.



This is the entrance To our hotel! Not the Parador or the Ritz but a few steps up from an albergue.



And of course, later we went out again (since James had found a hotel so conveniently located). We went down to the river. Had to have port in Porto again. I didn't know that there was also white port. It was very nice too.





After our pre-dinner drinks (and Padron peppers) we wandered off in search of a dinner place. This was in a little side alley. Too cold for us to eat outside but we peeked inside ...



It was very small but they decided that they had a table for us. It was a nice place with real table cloth and napkins and very nice service.

We ordered and I had a glass of wine. We were warned that in Portugal they do put things on the table like in Spain but most likely it is not free and when you partake you are expected to pay. We were pleasantly surprised that we were told when he did bring bread and oil that this was free but the fish crocettes which he also brought were not and he told us the price. Well, they were not very expensive and very delicious.






I had salmon which I saw him take off the ice and carry it into the kitchen.



James had oxtail stew.



All was most satisfactory. When we left, a guitarist was playing outside. My look back here.


Walking around there are so many little details to see. Here the statue of Henry the Navigator. He sounds interesting. I have to look him up on google.



We were in need of a coffee though and made another stop on the way home. Too bad it also "came" with dessert.






Night night. Have to get up early tomorrow to catch the train to Lisbon.



  1. Beautiful! I'm wondering if, after so many days of quiet, you are finding the hustle and bustle of a city a bit jarring?

  2. Wonderful experiences and sights with good food.