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Portugal part 2: pretty Porto

When I realised we’ve  been back a month it hit me that this follow-up post was severely overdue! Our holiday already seems soooo far away that I’m already day dreaming about the next one (this is where my hubby chirps in & says keep dreaming!).

This trip was a little different for us in that we’ve always just flown into our destination city & then flown right back out, so seeing a 2nd city was a little bit of an adventure of its own. Porto, also known as Oporto seemed the natural choice, as the 2nd largest city in Portugal, one of Europe’s oldest cities and having been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. Of course all the locals we spoke to in Lisbon, told us Lisbon was far better than Porto 🙂


Next stop Porto…*

After asking around a bit, we opted to take a train from Lisbon to Porto. It cost 99 Euros for 2 2nd class tickets and took just under 3 hours to get there. The train itself reminded me of a local low cost carrier flight & was comfy enough plus we had the bonus of Wi-Fi. It was a scenic ride most of the way & really interesting to see what the areas outside of Lisbon looked like (I was beginning to think everyone lived in match box apartments till then).

This time we stayed at The Sheraton Porto a 5* business oriented hotel, for which I bought a “secret hotel deal” off www.lastminute.com at around R800/night excluding breakfast but I’ll do a separate post on that  as it was the 1st time I used aggregator site.


The gorgeous Douro River…


The most famous landmark in Porto is the Douro River & it was buzzing with tourists despite the rain. The streets are lined with restaurants…*


Ponte Luis I (Luis I Bridge) built in 1886*


Taking in Porto…

If it rained while we were in Lisbon, it poured when we were in Porto but I’m so proud of us, we were completely undeterred & invested in an umbrella (which we dutifully huddled under walking through the streets & then kept forgetting in restaurants every time we stopped off! ) & rain friendly shoes & trudged through the city soaked to the bone some days. At times like this I’m so grateful for my fro – it was just one less thing to have to worry about in the rain!

Not that I can tell you too much about it, but you’ve already probably already guessed it from the city’s name, but port wine is a key attraction & export in the area & there are wine tours at every turn.

We did the red hop-on hop off bus day we arrived & mapped out the places we wanted to explore further. And explore we did!

Anyway, I’ll shut up now & let you see Porto for yourself….


Pockets of the city are under construction so between that & the rain we really had to watch our step…


Rooftop view over Porto from the cable car


We saw this dear old lady while we were waiting for a bus…*


Carmelita’s Church, 1st built as a convent in 1622.


This is the only pic you’ll see of my hubby on Wiscellaneous 🙂 *


Porto’s characterful streets…*


 São Bento (Saint Benedict) station 1 of 2 main train stations in Porto*


Waiting for the train back to Porto after some late night shopping outside of the city*

Like I knew it would, writing this post has made me miss Portugal, such a great stay!




*Pictures courtesy of Man Make Picture.


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