Posted on November 13, 2016
Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit Lisbon for the first time in my life and I completely fell in love with the city. A few months after that I had the fortune to visit Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, and I experienced the same infatuation. There is something magical about Portugal. People are warm and friendly. The mediterranean climate makes it a very hospitable place. The Portuguese mediterranean cuisine is superb: a combination of simple and healthy food, with very high-quality ingredients, with a super rich wine culture, and delicious bread always fresh from the oven. Architecture is another strong feature in the country, as I had already described in my post about Lisbon.
My visit to Porto was brief, as I was there for work and only had the weekend to visit around. However, the things that I enjoyed the most from my visit were:
- The bridges: The city of Porto expands along the Douro river in the northern part of Portugal. There are six main bridges that connect Porto with the neighbor city of Vila Nova de Gaia, better known as Gaia. Most of the bridges are impressive both, at day and night. However, the (Dom) Luís I bridge is probably the most representative bridge in the city. The (Dom) Luís I bridge was designed by Théophile Seyrig, a German architect and former business partner of Gustave Eiffel. The bridge, whose iron structure resembles the structure of the Eiffel tower in Paris, is an architectural and engineering gem that carries pedestrians, cars and even the Porto metro trains.
- Ribeira: Ribeira is the core of the historic centre of Porto, designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Sitting along the side of the Douro river, Ribeira encompasses a seemingly endless number of colorful alleys, steep medieval streets that connect to the upper part of town, and a tunnel. Ribeira is full of street cafés, artists and restaurants and getting lost in its small streets is a must when visiting the city.
- Molhe e Farolim de Felgueiras: The Felgueiras lighthouse and quay, situated in the Foz do Douro district, is another architectural gem in the city of Porto. Situated at the delta of the Douro river, the quay breaks the waves coming from the atlantic and mark the beginning of the Douro river. While the architectural style of the quay is very simple, it is an enormous concrete structure that made me think about the magnificent things that humans have built for centuries, and yet, how they remain small when we compare them to the vastness of the ocean and nature.
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. With this, I hope that some of the pictures below will inspire more than one to consider visiting Portugal.