We have now settled in and we’ve been discovering this city more and more each day. Today is a rainy day so we will most likely go visit some of its art galleries. We’ve also been taking notice of some of the street art that is located here & there throughout the city.
Let us rewind back to our post on “Porto or Oporto?”. We now have a better understanding of why we have seen “Oporto” around the city. The Portuguese themselves call it Porto, but we’ve learned that when the British came to tend to their wine many years ago, they were hearing the pronunciation of Porto as “Oporto”. Basically when the Portuguese would say the name Porto, the British would hear the letter “O” at the beginning of the word Porto. Some businesses around the city still use this name as part of their marketing.
Secondly, remember the question we had about seeing older women putting plastic on their laundry when hanging it out to dry, Well I guess this is to protect it against the rain. This might explain why we’ve only seen the older women doing this. Would the younger generation have such patience? Not even me! 😊
Do you sell Harry Porter books?
Our visit to the Livraria Lello (bookstore) was lots of fun. J.K.Rowling lived and taught English here from 1991 to 1993 and frequently attended this bookstore.
Many have suggested that the bookstore’s architecture bears a striking resemblance to the setting described in some of her books. Now that we have visited this bookstore it would be easy to understand how she would have been inspired by this setting. It’s 5 euros to get in but we didn’t regret it one bit. It is an awesome spot. And once again being here off-season it was a plus as we were able to roam around the library and really get spooked by its history. The majestic red staircase in the centre and the stained glass on top is just spectacular! There are those who consider this bookstore to be the most beautiful in the world.
The morning after…
So a city always has to party from time to time! On this occasion, they might have been celebrating a FC Porto win the night before! I must say this city certainly can get things cleaned up in a hurry. For two weekends now we have seen the party leftovers in the mornings but within no time it’s all cleaned up! On nice evenings the people seem to bring their parties outdoors. Hey nothing wrong with that as long as it gets cleaned up.
A city with a view.
This city is beautiful both daytime and evening. We can’t seem to get enough of these beautiful views. When you climb to the various viewpoints in the city you get a different perspective of the city’s landscape each time. We are in total AWE by this city’s architectural beauty and landscape. It is such a romantic place.❤️
Just before sundown, the city views are stunning as the light reflects off the buildings.
Below a nice evening at Wine Quay Bar at the Ribeira.
Expat living in Porto.
We have made a connection with Gail. She has been living in Porto for a number of years and has been able to give us some great tips. For instance, the most accurate weather forecast for Portugal is IPMA.pt (the Portuguese Institute for the sea and atmosphere). We’ve been using this to check the weather ever since.
Since we shared with her our love for coffee she told us about this family bakery/cafe which has their roots in Santo Tirso (this is a town 25 minutes north of Porto) and they are famous for there Jesuitas. It is a flaky pastry. The owners have now opened a location in Porto. It is called Pastelaria Moura. They bake fresh Jesuitas and limonetas every day. The pastry Jesuitas got its name after the Jesuits. The triangle shape of it looks like a priest in a robe. One morning we went on the hunt to find these special treats and VOILA we found them! We actually had one of each pastry! Actually, our favourite one was the one you see on the left. It had a nice crême de pâtisserie inside. The coffee was perfect as well😊
Gail has now left the city for a couple of months but she sent me a few of her favourite spots. I’ve included her recommendations on the blog for future reference. Other travellers might benefit from this list as well. She actually told us as well about this awesome tea room that we have already visited and that we will post info and photos of later.
Quite close to Carolina Michaelis metro (2 stops from Trindade metro)
is one of my favourite traditional family restaurants, called
Restaurante Universal (they only close on Sunday):
Restaurante Universal Porto
R. de Aníbal Cunha 252, 4050-047 Porto
For a higher-budget traditional restaurant but very established
(warning: many dishes are huge and you can easily share) and across
town but beside Heroísmo metro (also open Mondays):
A Cozinha do Manel
Rua do Heroísmo 215, 4300-259 Porto
For more casual eating, I adore the “sandes de pernil com queijo”
(pork loin sandwich with Serra cheese) you can get at Casa Guedes
(between São Bento and Campo 24 de Agosto).
Praça dos Poveiros 130, 4000-507 Porto
I’m on the Gaia side, I *always* go to this place for “dourada” (sea
bream) along the river road:
Bar Restaurante Micha
Av. de Diogo Leite 158, 4430-175 Vila Nova de Gaia
But if you’d like a food selection, there are some good spots in the
Mercado Beira-Rio (riverside):
This is a decent start!
It’s been fun searching out Cafés. But I must admit we had to educate ourselves on the different coffee choices. This cheatsheet has been very helpful. We like strong coffee and these traditional Cafés have been doing it just the way we like it. We have now tried a few of the more traditional and well-established cafés in the city. These are not fancy places. They are big traditional cafés where most of its staff behind the counter have been men, so far. We’ve been ordering coffee with toast & butter or pastry. It seems to be the breakfast of choice. For those of you who know us back home, guess who’s been having the pastries! 🥮
Here below is one of those traditional Cafés (the café in the background) that has an interesting history. It is right next to the university. It’s called Café Douro or Piolho as it is called. “Piolho means louse. Calm down. Hold your horses”. Read the article on the link I’ve included. It’s an interesting article and states that it “has been the meeting point for students, teachers, locals, foreigners, friends, lovers and businessmen” for a long time.
Palacio de Cristal.
Thanks to friends Della & Jean’s Porto cheat sheet we were able to discover this beautiful garden. Palácio de Cristal is in Porto’s city centre and was designed in the 19th century by a German landscape architect by the name of Émille David. This garden gives you another beautiful panoramic view of the river Douro and of the city. We can imagine what these gardens must look like in the summer when it’s all full of beautiful flowers. We hope to bring la p’tite nappe champêtre here before we leave to have a picnic.😊
A store that is a Market.
The Mercado na Invicta is on Rua da Fábrica . Inside you find a number of local Portuguese artisans that display their artwork within a beautiful space. Here’s is a description of it below.
The floors have beautiful patterned tiling. It’s impossible not to notice it when you enter this space.
Bernard, I just have to have these beautiful handmade earrings. Or maybe even two pairs. 😊
Bacalhau à Brás.
This week we went on a mission to track down the popular fish dish, Bacalhau à Brás which is made from salted cod, onions and thinly chopped fried potatoes and then cooked with scrambled eggs. It is usually garnished with black olives and sprinkled with fresh parsley. We found this cute little place, Taberna d’Avó on R. de São Bento da Vitória 48.( I guess Taberna refers to a little tavern.)
I must say this had a very similar taste to our well-known fishcakes back home. The olives and parsley was a nice addition.
We had an awesome red wine with our meal which came from the Alentejo region of Portugal ( 2017 Monte Velho) It had that same awesome grape in it Touriga Nacional that we’ve been enjoying since our arrival in Porto).
BAD UMBRELLA DAY! ☔️
te vejo em breve 😊