TRAVELING TO PORTUGAL. PORT
Traveling to Portugal was a dream enticing and as unattainable as a distant star! Well, then did not come across to me the eyes of the proposals, like Aves Travel.
But … there is such a word that is a powerful “motivator” to the action of all categories of the population – DISCOUNT! A huge discount on a sightseeing bus tour to Portugal dramatically translated my dream into a real plane. The budget still went off scale, but it no longer played a decisive role: the concept of “I can” in tandem with an effective “I want !!!” do wonders, not only some kind of money signs!
This is how my trip to Portugal took place. What did I know about this country? Nothing, almost! Well, except that once it was considered the end of the world – there was simply no earth beyond! It is understandable – Columbus just had to conquer the Atlantic Ocean and discover America.
My acquaintance with Portugal began with the city of Porto. Obviously, I heard this name and connected it with the names of the country and wine, but that’s all. And somehow it was more tuned to Lisbon, but as a result, Porto got into his heart! This is the second largest city and the city of the country, and also very old – the most ancient archaeological finds on its territory date back to the 300th year BC! You believe in the ancient age of the city at once: every second of its monuments dates from the 12th century, and the historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Portugal is not a rich country, and there is clearly not enough money to “comb” the city even on tourist routes. Therefore, stunning views and ancient buildings are combined with peeling plaster and ubiquitous graffiti. But I didn’t have a feeling of neglect and untidiness, rather, authenticity, some kind of seclusion and the absence of showing off. I would never recognize the richest church in Portugal by the appearance of the building!
Narrow streets, stairs of houses with flower pots in bright colors, tiny balconies on which dogs rest, and linen that proudly flutters outside the windows of apartments, decorating the city as good as azulezhu – this is also Porto, and I liked it!
By the way, about azulezhu: this earthenware, patterned and glazed tile, which can be seen on the facades of all buildings in Portugal – from churches to restaurants and ordinary residential buildings – is a real visiting card of the country. It appeared during the rule of the Moors, at first was very rare and expensive, but then the Portuguese began to make it themselves, turning it into affordable finishing material. Traditional azulezhu are performed in two colors – white and blue.
We are more accustomed to tile as an element of the interior, maybe that is why Porto at times reminded me of a large living room with a colorful, cozy lining. But the apogee of the impressions of Azulejos – the building of the main railway station Porto San Bento! Rebuilt from a former monastery, in 1930 it was decorated with 20 thousand azulezhu tiles, which depict the whole history of Portugal!
However, the symbol of the city is considered another place – the 75-meter Clerigos Tower with a church inside. 250 steps – and Porto is at your feet! On the highest hill of the city (Penawentoza) there is a viewing platform that is more accessible to tourists, and on the highest point of this hill is the Cathedral. It impresses with a mixture of styles, reflecting the change of eras and conquerors, but most of all – an altar weighing 800 kg of pure silver! The Portuguese are very proud to have been able to protect him from numerous robberies, although for this he once had to even be walled up!
Rights Kozma Prutkov: “You can not hug the immensity.” And see Porto in one day – too! The head is spinning from the ascents and descents (which reminds Kiev), the information ceases to be assimilated, and the emotions are going wild! Therefore, we simply arrive at the Ribeira embankment, admire the river Douro and relax. And then on the bridge, designed by the famous Eiffel, go to the other side to sit in a restaurant, personally check the generosity of the Portuguese portions and wash down delicious food and impressions with the famous port wine! I did not dare to taste the national dish “tripe in Portuguese” with its history (having given all the meat for the next trip, the people ate only tripe), but the fish and wine were wonderful …
I did not have time to see a lot of things in Porto. I did not see all the palaces and churches, I did not visit the famous home stadium of the Porto team, I did not visit a single museum or a single gallery … I just did not have time to do this. But falling in love with Porto is quite possible in a day! And it seems to me that the city answered me in return: people smiled, dogs wagged their tails, and even local flies in Porto honored me with annoying attention 🙂