I would go out on a limb and say that Porto is one of the European cities that has truly captured my heart. It's like stepping onto a historical movie set and its sights and sounds leave a lasting impression on all of its cast members - except for the fact that tourism is still rather scanty. Between my two trips to Porto, I have totaled a whopping 5 days there, and while that is certainly little time to accurately judge, it was the welcome nature of the people, landmarks and openness to the sea and River Douro that made me feel immediately at home. Both times it was relatively simple to get into a routine, to discover a coffee shop to frequent (great and cheap coffee in Portugal), a bakery to visit during the afternoons, and an old grandmother to buy fruit from. Both times, I was saddened to leave the seagull studded sky, but have hopes for returning one day, hoping also that it stays somewhat frozen in time, as quaint and gregarious as ever.
Isn't it about time you saw Porto for yourself?
Campanha train station, antiquity of 1877, where you can access the local metro as well as lines to Lisbon and to the north.
Sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal.
Flower from the Jardim da Fundacao Serralves.
Francesinha the typical northern Portuguese heart-attack on a plate; french fries, cheese, bacon, eggs, a tomato based sauce and frankfurters. Also don't miss bacalao (cod fish) dishes.
Many of the sweets and desserts in Portugal are made from an yolk egg base.
The Atlantic Ocean viewed from Porto's coast.
With all the blinds shut it appears some of these cute row houses are empty, but I think I just caught them during nap time.
Back corner alleys lead to discoveries.
Dusk along the River Douro.
Panoramic shot of the bridge, river and river boats that carried the famous drink of the same name along trading routes in Porto, Portugal.
Porto's Campanhã train station silently awaiting its next visitors.
City view along the Douro. Porto is enchanting.
You can get rather close and personal with the bridge, Ponte do Freixo.
What would life be like today in Oporto living among these river homes?
Galo de Barcelos, The Cock of Barcelos, a symbol of Portugal in graffiti.
Brightly painted doors line Porto's 19th century homes.
Another symbol of Portuguese design and architecture, tiles known as azulejos.
An antique candy store turned into a modern shopping window among Porto's downtown.
I felt as if I had walked back in time, and I adored it. (however wish I had taken my camera out faster)
Another beautiful sunset in Porto.
The Cathedral in Porto at dusk.