I have a list of places that I want to see before I die. To be honest, Porto was never on my list but I’m SO thankful that we got to experience it today. I definitely want to come back.
We spent the day wandering the twisty cobblestone streets. We poked into little shops, admiring the creative ways that businesses set themselves up out onto the cobblestone. I especially like the nearly deserted back streets with buildings extending up into the sky with the coloured paint, potted plants and the fresh laundry hanging from the balconies.
The roads are steep in many areas but I’m sure we will see worse in the coming few weeks.
We were slow to get moving this morning after a couple of long travel days. Once we were up and moving we headed for a walk to collect our Camino passports. They are purchased from the Sé Cathedral. We took some time to enjoy the architecture and then started down the cobblestone streets to the Douro river. (On our way spotting our first arrow!!)
We crossed the Douro walking across the Don Luís bridge and watched with amusement while some young men entertained the crowd jumping from the tall bridge into the water below. We followed this with lunch at a riverside cafe where the waitress had no qualms about serving Karis a beer 😂 (she thought it was gross so Mom and I drank it!)
Karis has an amazing sense of direction and after lunch lead us up a very long bank of steep stairs to find the Livraria Lello bookstore. We had to buy tickets and stand in line in the hot sun for about 20 minutes to get inside. It was beautiful. A grand, hand carved staircase was in the centre which lead upstairs to an impressive second floor of even more books. I’m not a Harry Potter fan at all but, they had a section focused just on these books as JK Rowling found some inspiration there while writing the series.
After a break back at our room to cool down and have a glass of wine from the reception area on the second floor of our hostel, we headed out again for more walking and dinner at the same AMAZING restaurant that we ate at last night. We followed that with another walk and ice cream before returning to our room. 😊
We see that the fourth bed in our room is newly occupied. Caralina the frisky, drunk has moved on to another Portugues city to impress them with her multitasking mouth. We have yet to meet our new friend. We shall see if she returns before 7am tomorrow morning. (Caralina’s staggering in hour)
I’m signing off now after writing this entire blog post sitting in the little alcove of our bedroom window. I’m overlooking the street below with a cathedral to my left. It’s absolutely a perfect start to our Camino.
Tomorrow we walk. ☀️
… our new friend just arrived! I think she said her name is Tui. She is very friendly and knows how to say, “Oh!” and “Thank you!” in English. We are expecting that she isn’t quite as ‘colourful’ as Caralina and maybe not as talented with her mouth. Tonight will tell.