Grateful for …
- Being able to climb the hill after stretching the leg muscles in Coimbra
- Sharing the driving
- The view of Porto from across the river
- A shorter trip back
We were using Coimbra as a base and had decided that today we would visit to Porto. Although the drive was not that far there were two reasons why we took a few hours to reach the city. Firstly, no matter what we did with our two GPS units, neither would give us a straight drive to Porto without a detour through Lisbon! Over 1,000 kms drive for a 140 kms distance was ridiculous!
On the way we detoured through tiny roads and villages and took around 3 hours. Thankfully we fund the National road the IC2 highway for the trip back home which shaved off an hour!
In the meantime we arrived in Porto and parked in the first available spot we saw. Unbelievably, it was just where we intended starting our walk through old Porto. The first sight was the Clérigos Church, a Baroque church with an immense bell tower that provides both tourists and locals alike with a marker for their bearings in the maze of small roads in the old town. For further information : Wikipedia
As you walk down the steep hills into old Porto, the maze of streets become more and more populated and confusing. There is no such thing as a square block in old Porto!
We loved the decorated apartments along the narrow streets. The riot of variety and colour created a strange unity and wonderful subject matter for photographers!
Once we reached the river it was time to climb back up to the top again! On the way back up the steep hill I spotted a tram parked just in front of another of the many cathedrals on this same hillside.
As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain!”, when I turned around there was a lovely view over the rooftops to yet another cathedral!
We took the car and drove across the river to visit the port cellars of the famous port wine. We visited Caleb and tasted their produce.
We then wandered along the waterfront and took some photographs of Porto from the opposite side of the river.
Strangely despite the GPSs’ trying to route us through Lisbon again we found the IC2 national toad ran from Porto to Coimbra. The trip back was an hour shorter.