Not used to the bed, the time one hour behind my normal time – the night was over at 6:45 am. Yeah… always on holidays. 🙂 Just lying on the bed enjoying not having to go to work. But first I have to check the water from the smoke detector (it sounds wrong). The pot is 2/3 full. And I don’t think anybody is coming on a weekend. So another pot under it for the rest of the day.
I had another time in my mind, but my Free City Walk starts first at 10:45. Later than I thought. Breakfast with bread (I will say it – not every nation is known for its bread… Portugal isn’t :)). But for a small breakfast it will hold.
Packing all my stuff to go for a little walk. I saw a geocache not too far away and that will be my first in Portugal. After going in the wrong direction – thanks google maps for reminding me – I set cours towars the cache. The area I live in is not the most high income area as it seems. A lot of houses need some love and colour. But after a few hundred meters I get to ground zero. And after some searching I find a cache which had great camouflage. Country no. 34 is in the box and mor will follow this week.
Further towards the city center. Doing some Pokemon Go on the way to pass the time as there is not much to see here. But Finally I arrive at the Fontes dos Leõnes, where my tour should start in a little bit over an hour. I am early as always. Walking around and finding people standing in line for the Harry Potter bookshop… why? A loooong line of people waiting to get into the shop – which is said to be very beautiful, but they want 6 Euro to enter. Maybe for hardcore fans.
I decided to take a small second breakfast at the ice cafe beside the bookshop. I have to say that the prices are not that bad here. Cappuccino, croissant and orange juice for 4,70 Euro. Back to the Igreja do Carmo – a church from the barokk area. There is the solution for a cache inside, so I pay the 5 Euro entrance fee (cash only) – don’t do it. Not worth it. Small church and terrible decorations. And they tell you they want to keep the heritage alive – they are not part of the world heritage in Porto. But I got my cache (find positive stuff to say^^).
Another cache at the university and then meetup with the guide that will take us through the city. Raquel from Porto. Joining me are only a couple from Germany and to women from England. Perfect size for the trip. Just to mention some of the stations we went to:
- Praca de Lisboa (and the Livraria Lello) – with some Harry Potter facts
- Torre dos Clergios
- Centro Portuguẽs de Fotografia
- Miradouro da Vitoria (viewpoint)
- Rua das Flores (shopping street and stop to buy water)
- São Bento railway station (with beautiful tiles)
- Se do Porto (Porto cathedran and final stop)
Great tour that I found on GuruWalks. Easy to book and you only pay a tip at the end. But with a small group like we had I gave a little bit more than planned. Not the richest country and not the best payed people here. Raquel sent us a list of tips what to do and where to go i Porto. Very nice to have.
But the day is not over and there is much to see. Since I am at the cathedral and already have taken pictures of the view, it is time to visit the church. The cue looks long, but it is only a 5 minute wait. Entry fee is 3 Euro and compared to the first church THIS is worth it. It includes climbing the tower (or not^^), the church, the monastery and for double the price the bishops palace. I only do the cathedral. Great to sit down after walking for three hours. The cathedral is not very big, There is a christening going on so some music and sermon one has to endure. Also here are very nice walls with the typical blue and white tiles.
After looking at most of the interesting stuff, time to find another cache (slide of hand needed) at a very popular spot to take pictures. But everybody is so entangled with posing that I don’t have a problem picking it up and putting it back.
I want to try one of the restaurants that are on the recommended list and start walking up to another shopping area. Interesting church (from the outside) of Saint Ildefonso. The restaurant is not a secret spot as there is a cue outside. I decided to go to another place, but this time calling a Bolt for 3,20 Euro. Easy ride with the app. Highly recommended.
Problem at the other restaurant – they start serving food at 19:00. It is 15:10. I take a coffee and a pastry in a cafe at the corner of the square. Again good prices. But I cannot wait for the restaurant to open, so I want to get home and get back later. Taking a Bolt e-scooter towards my home, but stop at the Jardim do Marques de Pombal. A cache of course that stops me here. There i live music in the park. Great stuff. But since I am here and there is a metro station I want to explore a little bit more with the train. Sitting in an environment with an AC for some time. After some trying to find out which ticket I need I am the proud owner of a 24 hour ticket for three zones (just in case).
The ride ends at the terminus of line D – Santo Ovido. Just because I could go there. The cache that should be there is gone, but there is another one close to Câmara Gaia. Easy find and then a Lidl shop close by to get bread and water (like a prisoner). Nice shop. Back to the metro and then down to Jardim do Morro. A place where you can se onto Porto from above, with the Duro river below. A lot o people (tourists of course). People selling stuff nobody needs but the vie is amzing.
Then A trip over the Ponte Luis I. Beautiful view and as my guide said earlier – the spot to see the sunset in Porto. Maybe later and not tonight. Walking over the bridge, taking more photos. Trying to avoid getting killed by the metro that shares the space with pedestrians. The bridge ends close to the cathedral and trusting my Google maps app I should be back at the restaurant in time for dinner to start.
From São Bento with line D to Combatgentes and a short scooter ride to Your Palace. Perfect timing. I order the Porto speciality “Francesinha”. To slices of toast, with ham, sausage and pork in the middle, topped of with a fried egg and cheese on top, served in a home made spicy gravy and a side of fries.
Tested and only ate 2/3 of it. The gravy was OK, but the rest was nothing I would order again. White cheese that tasted nothing, the fires not the best. But it was a cheap dinner compared to other options. You have to try. A last coffee and then an e-scooter ride home. Remember to park in the designated areas, otherwise you might get a fine!
Back at the flat the water has filled up and spilled over. Have to move the kitchen table and exchange the pot with a bucket from the bathroom. And a towel inside to reduce the dropping noise at night. I hope someone comes on Monday.
Time to recharge all electronics, transfer pictures onto my harddrive and write the blog. I don’t have any fixed plans for tomorrow. I think I will do the river trip and walk along the river on both sides and take the gondola up – just for fun. The rest will be spontaneous.