Quirky and Beautiful = Personality!

That’s Porto!

This post will mostly be photos of this amazing city. Like Lisbon, it is both hilly and next to a large river and the Atlantic Ocean but unlike Lisbon, it is grittier, less glitzy and more quirky in a fun and energizing way. Perhaps because the weather was less relentlessly hot and sunny than in either Lisbon or the Algarve (we get enough sun and heat at home, thank you very much!), and perhaps also because we enjoyed much of the atmosphere with our family, Dan, Julie and Fiona, this city appeals to us in a special way. Any city that has Dan’s Seal of Approval is on the top of the list!

Classic view of Porto from its “Oakland”, Vila Nova de Gaia, across the Douro
Watching the skateboarders on the terrace of the National Theater where we later saw Othello (Castilian with Portuguese subtitles) is a great café pastime
Wall murals are a thing here
This one decorates a corner….
And the side (note ubiquitous cafes).
Most churches in Portugal have some degree of porcelain tiles but this one, the Chapel of Souls, is outside and over the top!

And speaking of azulejos (tiles), here in the Sao Bernto train station, reputedly the most beautiful in Europe, they are used to depict the country’s history in gorgeous murals on all the walls.

I’m still on gorgeous but will return to quirky in a moment. Just watch this video, taken from the city across the river, Vila Nova de Gaia, and viewing the panorama of Porto and the Douro… oh, you’ll hear the music and the fun as well. The tiny cart at the end sells snacks from a “tricycle motorcycle” outfitted to serve food.

We saw people just having fun in Porto. Turn your volume up for some Portuguese rapping while hanging out in the park.

We think these guys were having a Bachelors’ Party— but who knows?

Last photo, taken from a park above the river and looking back on all of the beautiful and quirky sights we’ve enjoyed here. Ciao!

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