Porto, Portugal – Panorama With The Ponte De Luis I And The River Douro
Porto is overall a nice city albeit one with a graffiti problem. I guess I find it even more distressing seeing historic buildings defaced in this manner.
Gallery Hostel – Super Place
It was a nightmare getting in and out of that top bunk. Other than that the staff were wonderful, and everything was spotless.
My First Lunch At Bugo Art Burgers – Top Rate Chicken Burger
A Little Sample Of Porto’s Signature Blue Tiles
Praça Do Carlos Alberto
Livraria Lello And Irmao – Harry Potter Fans Take Note
This utterly magnificent bookstore in the middle of Porto helped J.K. Rowling in fleshing out some of the environments of her enormously successful Harry Potter Series. After looking at these pictures I’m sure you’ll see why.
Clearly A Happy Potter Fan Smiling Over The Railing
As you can see the place is absolutely jammed with tourists. Even I couldn’t get shots without including the Mongol hordes. I wonder if there is ever a time when book lovers can just relax and browse in this beautiful space.
The Bookstore At Night – Magical At Any Time
My Second Hostel Across The Street From Where I Ate Lunch
Best Eclairs Ever!
MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY – Formerly A Prison
An Old Bellows Camera And Photo
Nice Street Art On Plain Cinderblock – Yes!
FOLLOW THOSE VAPOR TRAILS!
Great Spot To Have A Drink And Listen To Music
I Love These Old Trams
A Walk Around The Plaza To Cure Breast Cancer
Estação De São Bento – Main Train Station
Unusual Seaside Art Object In The Distance
A stroll along the beach followed by a walk in the park, and my time in Porto is over.
The Cobblestones Upon Which I Beat Feet Out Of Porto
This is Lisbon’s main square with a statue of King Joseph I that presided over the rebuilding of Lisbon after the calamitous earthquake of 1755. The quake struck on the morning of November 1st. on All Saints Day and was suspected to be in the region of a magnitude 8.5 – 9.0 on the Richter Scale. The devastating quake and the tsunamis that followed destroyed 80% of the city, and 30-40 thousand of its 200 thousand inhabitants perished. Fires raged for five days after.
The City’s New Archway
On a happier note, this brand new shop that looks like a very old shop where they make the most delightful interpretations of the famed Portuguese fishcakes. The twist is that there is a delicious quality Portuguese cheese in the middle. In the picture is a joyous young lady making my favorite local comestible with a big smile on her face in her steampunk workshop. The place churns out an inordinate amount of these cheesy treats as she is merely there for photo ops, and to stimulate business. I suspect there a number of people in the back slaving away. I went back many times, and the girls in the workshop never lost their dazzling smiles.
Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery
To be frank, my interest in going way out of the city center had little to do with the historical significance of this particular structure. As you can see the Cathedral in the following pictures is quite fetching even if you find the suffering Christ less to your liking. My pilgrimage, however, was to a more holy site, at least for me. Please see below.
As I had said before, a very pleasant cathedral.
Not Pleasant – Poor Jesus
Pastéis de Belém – House of Pastry Worship – Since 1837
The Hallowed Nata – Delicious Warm Custard Surrounded By A Delicate Pastry Shell Dusted With Cinnamon And Powdered Sugar
These are the original natas which are Portugals most popular dessert. They are the pinnacle of the art form, and the recipe is a highly guarded secret known only to a few and passed down through the generations. It is said that on any given day, they sell 40,000 of the sacred pastries. These wonderful treats are once again proof positive that it is unnecessary to die in order to go to Heaven.
A little touch of Paris in Lisbon
Fernando Pessoa – 1888- 1935 Portugal’s Most Famous Poet
Luís de Camões – Another Great Portuguese Poet
His statue and square are just across the street from the sculpture of Fernando Pessoa. He also had a serious case of multiple personality disorder, and as a result, wrote poetry in a number of different styles.
More of that ubiquitous goddamn graffiti!
Golden Gate Bridge – Lisbon’s take on it used the same architect and materials. In addition, theirs has a train that runs underneath it.
Another Vandalized Tram
Old Town – Side Street
SINTRA DAY TRIP
Quinta Da Regaleira – Unesco World Heritage Site
Aside from this palace, the property contains a vast array of grottos, caves, inverted towers, and labyrinths.
Oliver from Australia who I met in a hostel in Porto is crossing a precarious water hazard from one cave to another. We met again at my hostel in Lisbon.
Descent into an unfinished inverted tower
The archway on the left led to a dark tunnel that brought us out into the bottom of the inverted tunnel below. Thank goodness for the flashlight app on the iPhone. These were called Initiation Tunnels, and were used for initiation rites for various mystical applications.
Climbing up this time
What a fun place this was to explore.
Here is the opening from which we finally emerged.
Meanwhile back at the palace…
There was some sort of laboratory inside that room.
Chapel on the Left
A bunch of us grabbed coffee and pastry afterwards.
Aussie, 2 Americans, Japanese, and Irish. Off camera are me and Wilkie, a guy from Hong Kong.
The Most Easterly Place In Europe
They were setting up a multimedia show on the square for a few days hence and were testing out some of their projections so I took advantage of the moment.
Lisbon’s most prestigious café
Another Walking Tour
Another Touch Of Paris
Elevador St. Justa – The structure in the distance was designed by students of none other than Alexandre Gustave Eiffel Of Eiffel Tower fame.
A somewhat more culturally stimulating piece of graffiti in the Old Town paying homage to the grand dame of Fado music. This lady of the evening is Maria Severa who is said to have attained a near-mythical status after her death, having been the first Fado singer to have risen to fame. Fado is Portugal’s answer to the Blues. Maria is said to have been a tall and gracious prostitute who would sing Fado in taverns, and play the Portuguese guitar. She died of TB in 1846. “Take note of the somewhat phallic fish on the plate next to Maria.”
THE OLDEST URINAL IN LISBON – Not nearly as charming as the one I showed you in Biarritz!
The Famous Vintage #28 Tram – Thankfully this little beauty has managed to avoid being vandalized.
We took a boat to the other side of the river to get a bite to eat, and the hunger was on us like a plague.
It turned out to be quite a hike from the ferry toward the bridge. We were running out of gas with no restaurant in sight. I was starting to feel faint.
Thar she blows!!!
RESTAURANTE PONTO FINAL – With Views Of The Golden Gate Fugazi