Can I never leave this country?
From the moment I arrived into Faro until I drove out of Porto I felt engulfed by the beautiful people, the inexplicably hilly cities, the sweet wines and the devilly-delicious custard tarts.
For our time in the city, Porto certainly lacked for none of these things.
We arrived on Friday night and our host Marco recommended for us to visit the Serralves Festival, a non-stop 48-hour festival of alternative music and performance near to our accommodation. After a quick dinner stop at Nook Hamburgueria & Pregaria (not very Portuguese cuisine but the Royale burger was amazing!), we found the festival by the roaming lights and the masses of people.
A cool vibe but all the performances had either just finished when we arrived or were starting much later. We did see one girl doing weird acrobatics as she hung suspended on a pole for what seemed like 30 minutes!
Next day we explored the city ourselves on foot. Again with the hills, goddamit Portugal! The ground is mostly flat surrounding the city but once you hit historical centre and cobblestones its steep ravines and scaling the city walls!
What we did to break from the walking and my suggestion to you is; take the cable car after you cross the Dom Luis Bridge. Its only €6 and you get a great view plus a free wine tasting at Quinta Santa Eufemia afterwards.
As well as the free tasting, all of the other wine cellars are on this side of the river. The same wine cellars that produce, barrel and ship the famous Portuguese wine all over the world. So even if you skip the cable car, make sure you get across to the area in Porto called Vila Nova de Gaia to cellar-hop your way around and sample all the different ruby and tawny port wines!
This sweet wine which normally accompanies desserts all over the world is named for this very city and now some abstract European governing body has decreed that only port wine produced in Portugal may be labelled as port. Much like only champagne originating from Champagne in France can be labelled as champagne.
Porto is yet another beautiful piece of Portugal for all the reasons listed above and more. The people are just amazing in this country and they always had time to share obscure facts about Portuguese culture or history with us. I don’t feel like I ever had an unpleasant or uncomfortable exchange with a Portuguese person in all my time here and I honestly wish I could stay longer. Until next time, Portugal, and hopefully it won’t be too long!
Tip #1: Bring adequate walking shoes. Porto sticks to the Portuguese mantra of, “If its not hilly, its not our city.”
Tip #2: Pastel de nata is a delightful treat but try what else is on offer at the pastelaria. If you’re like me and a sel-confessed sweet tooth….basically any product will make your mouth melt!
Tip #3: Uber is alive and well in Portugal and very cheap. We lived about 3.5km from the centre and decided to walk in on our first day. Our host later told us the Uber costs around €4 for this trip. Doh.