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Falling in love with Portugal

With the camino fund-raising walk all finished it was time to explore Portugal for 1 week before heading home.

I walked to the hotel outside of old town Santiago where Nat & John were staying & got a ride with them to Porto in their hire car. It only took about 3 hours and was through quite hilly country and the highway had sooo many tolls! Portugal is 1 hour behind in time. We stopped at servo for petrol & there were many products made out of cork....already felt like a different country

When we arrived at their guesthouse I got some directions towards the river as my hostel was close to there and set off walking. Initially it was in very local areas but as I continued downhill it soon opened up to big open squares & buildings.

Popped into San Bento Station with its stunning tiled mosaic paintings on the walls and ceiling. Just up the road from the station and opposite the cathedral high on the hill overlooking the river & I turned left into narrow little local streets and found this amazing hostel ( had booked through Hostelworld) It would have to be be the best I have ever stayed in . Very new , cool design, great staff and everything you need. It cost 15 e the first night & 16 for the second & third night - total of 49 E. ( which also included breakfast )

After checking in I went out exploring and walked for hours up and down hills. It is a steep downhill walk down to the waterfront . Down at the River Douro overlooking the unique bridge that Porto is famous for, there were markets, cafes and a great atmosphere with live music and lots of people hanging out and going out on boat rides.

My dinner in the old Riberia section was local Porto dish with a toasted sandwich in a soup like liquid. - sound disgusting but was pretty good.

On the way back to the hostel I had for dessert in a cute little cafe, the most divine Portugese tart - a Pasteis de Nata- warm straight from the oven which was amazing. These gorgeous custard tarts are made from flaky light pastry with an egg custard middle and cinnamon and sugar on top. Many more of these will have to be experienced over the next week!

With daylight saving & it not getting dark until 9pm there is plenty of time for sightseeing Back at the hostel I visited the rooftop terrace bar happy hour before going to bed

Big squares & buildings 1

Big squares & buildings 1


Big Squares & buildings 2

Big Squares & buildings 2


Tiled wall inside San Bento Station

Tiled wall inside San Bento Station


San Bento Station

San Bento Station


My bottom bunk with privacy curtains

My bottom bunk with privacy curtains


Communal area

Communal area


Cathedral

Cathedral


Waterfront cafes

Waterfront cafes


The bridge

The bridge


Waterfront live music

Waterfront live music


Cafe

Cafe


Boat on the River Douro

Boat on the River Douro


View of river as I crossed the lowerbridge

View of river as I crossed the lowerbridge


View from start of top  of upper bridge

View from start of top of upper bridge


Monastery

Monastery


View up river

View up river


View straight down

View straight down


View back to Cathedral & side I stayed on

View back to Cathedral & side I stayed on


Selfie

Selfie


Red Rooves of the  Port Wineries

Red Rooves of the Port Wineries


Beautiful Porto

Beautiful Porto


The Bridge

The Bridge


Panorama

Panorama


Rooves of the Port Wineries back to the bridge

Rooves of the Port Wineries back to the bridge


Boats

Boats


Boats

Boats


My dinner - a local speciality

My dinner - a local speciality


Cafe with the Nata

Cafe with the Nata


Inside a Port Winery Cave

Inside a Port Winery Cave


Riberia riverfront

Riberia riverfront

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Portugal

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