May 15th ~ Porto, Portugal
This is our first time in Portugal and we find it easy to get around. Arriving a few days ago, we hopped on the metro right at the airport and were able to get within a few blocks of the small apartment we had rented for four days. I will show pictures of our place in the next post.
We can tell that we are back in Europe with the change in architecture.
It is the tile work on the sides of the buildings that most stands out for me. I don’t know yet if this is unique to Porto, but I suspect we will see it throughout Portugal.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal with a population of 1.4 million. The historic district was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Within a five-minute walk from our apartment was the Igreja do Carmo Church.
And around another corner is the famous Livraria Lello Bookstore (for Harry Potter fans anyway). There are renovations underway so the exterior was covered, the window blocked and the well-known staircase was encased in scaffolding. We settled for a glimpse…
In this same square is the Clerigos Tower (the symbol of the city) and Clerigos Church.
Later in the day we took the hop on hop off bus to be able to cover more ground and get an overview of areas other than just walking distance from our flat.
Porto is dotted with parks and statues and of course, this being a Catholic country, there are churches everywhere.
Porto sits with the Atlantic Ocean on one side as well as bordering the Douro River. Just across the river is the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. Crossing over one of six bridges, the Luis I Bridge that was designed by a partner of Gustavo Eiffel (of the Eiffel Tower fame), we entered the area best known for port wine.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the opportunity to get an overview of this historic city. From the tile work, to the open green belts, to the gothic architecture it has quickly intrigued us.