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Discovering Porto

Porto is truly a magnificent city. Though unmistakably Portuguese, it is quite different from Lisbon. Obviously Porto is much smaller then the sprawling Metropole in the south, but that’s just the obvious difference. While Lisbon is more polished and colorful, Porto has a more rugged feeling – ochre color tones being much more prevalent in the cities architecture. Basically the narrow streets of Porto are every writers dream city for the location of a suspenseful historic thriller set somewhere between the 16th and 19th century.  And then there are the churches, covered in pure gold, they are monuments of the past glory of the town. A time when Porto was literally the main port of the country and all the riches of Brazil poured through the city, bringing previously inconceivable wealth to the citizens. Finally there is the Port wine, conceived by the British, to be able to ship wine from Northern Portugal to the British Islands. While it is strong and heavy, at the same time it tends to be sweet and gentle. Much like the city itself actually.

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Photographing Lello & Irmão

Also called the “Harry Potter”-Bookstore, for JK Rowling supposedly being here and taking inspiration, Lello & Irmão is a magnificent piece of architecture in Porto, Portugal. It was build in 1906 by Xavier Esteves, a well known Iberian architect of the prewar period. Usually the style is described as Neogothic-Jugendstil, while that being true, it has definitely a fantastic or mystic touch. Certainly the bookshop would fit very well in any wizardry story and it is the perfect place to dive in into your fantasy book. The store and the books seem to mix here in an interesting, almost magic way. I very much recommend a visit.

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Portugal V (last part)

Some weeks went by since I visited Portugal in mid of February and started to share my impressions with you in a series of posts. This one will be the last one for now. But I will be back in April with new pictures of a new city (hopefully :))! Enjoy.

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What is truly great about Lisboa and Porto and what I didn’t mention before is the great choice of hostels here. Portuguese hostels win competitions on hostelworld and hostelbookers almost every year and they definitely deserve the prices! A lisboan hostel I can recommend from own experience is the Good Morning Hostel on the Praca dos Restauradores in the city centre. The people there were lovely and very helpful. We cooked together and had a great time. If you go to Lisboa check it out

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Honestly I can’t remember the name of the church, but it was most certainly in Porto. The city has many magnificent churches, some of them made of pure gold. They are remains of a colonial era in which Porto became on of the richest cities on the Iberian peninsula thanks to trade and the importance of the local harbor. + I miss the blue sky terribly.

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Number 28 again as seen on a rainy day in Alfama. My favorite part of the old town. Especially the surroundings of the Castello are beautiful and very charming. A nice part of the town for a walk, but you shouldn’t mind steep hights 😉 In case there is always a tram to bring you up & back.

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A panorama picture of Porto. One day was definitively not enough for Porto. Although there are not many traditional “tourist sights” here the city doesn’t need them at all. It is the maritime flair, the port wine and last but not least the architecture and the small streets which are selling Porto and making it so attractive (especially for Britons we were told because there is a cheap connection from London introduced recently).

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There had to be a cat picture at some point 😉 I get her anger, probably wouldn’t enjoy it either if someone would point a camera on me 10 cm in front of my face. So I was a bit of a cat paparazzi here. Guilty as charged. Still cute 🙂

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The end of the world. Almost. The end of the European continent at Capo da Roca 3000 km from home. An amazing, almost spiritual place. But unfortunately we had bad luck with the weather, the wind was awful and cold as ice so we had to return rather quickly. Our hope to see the sunset stayed unfulfilled either. It was beautiful nontheless.