Yesterday, I left the rental apartment at 10 am and returned, happy hot and tired, at 6 pm. In every way, it was a perfect day in Porto. First, the weather: hot, sunshine galore and a constant cool wind blowing in from the ocean. Yes, Porto is a coastal city, and those same screeching seagulls that I encountered in Rome last year are here too.
I walked for 7 hours yesterday, up and down hilly streets and all over. It turned out that the Serralves Foundation is not smack in the center of town, but on the west side, so I went by taxi and strolled in the beautiful gardens. They were just as gorgeous as the images I had seen on the internet. I’ve taken lots of photos of my Porto wanderings, but I’m writing this on my tablet and cannot upload photos.
Porto is not a glamorous city, but rather a real down to earth working city. The denizens are frank, no nonsense folk which I appreciate. Unassuming, no one hassles you in the street. Helpful and friendly if you approach them. The language? Really hard to speak or understand, it in no way resembles French, Italian or even Spanish. Lucky for me, many speak English or French because all I can say is obrigada (thank you), por favor (please) and bom dia (good day). Porto is a lot cleaner than Paris (the streets). I’m revelling in the fresh unpolluted air here.
The flight from Paris was perfect. Only one hour and 45 minutes. The plane was half full which made distancing easier. I still swear by the comfort and efficiency of EASYJET. We flew west to Nantes then all the way down the Atlantic Coast of France to Bilbao then onwards to Porto airport where I had pre-ordered a car service through booking.com for only 16 euros. Food is cheap. It’s not haute cuisine, but tasty, especially the desserts and pastries. The beer is good. Self serve cafeterias dot the city, clean and convivial, where you load up your tray with a hot meal, dessert and drink for as little as 6 or 7 euros. No wonder many people choose to retire here.
Friday is my last full day in the apartment (super nice with a garden patio hemmed in by high stone walls upon which resident cats sit and stare down at me), then the week-end at the beach resort south of the city, then back to Porto on Monday to stay in a hotel for 3 nights.
No stress here, Paris and my job seem far away …
I’m wondering if I could live here.
What a lovely report. We meant to go to Porto (and Coimbra) this year or next. Not sure now… I found the food in Portugal straight-forward and inexpensive and occasionally really wonderful. (A memorable meal or two in Evora.) Will look forward to your photographs!
Oh, don’t put it off, Theresa. Go as soon as you can. Yes, the fish especially is delicious – so fresh, and there are some lovely wines. I’ve heard about Evora. Tomar is also a town of interest. Won’t be able to post my photos until end of next week. Take care.
Down to earth city with yum food and a lot to see… OK you’ve sold me virus begone 2021 and Porto I come 😂
I definitely recommend this city, however I have learned that this sunny hot weather is exceptional and that most of the time it’s gray, cold and humid. Which explains why most people retire to the southern region (the Algarve.) It’s true that good weather makes a big difference. Today is beautiful: cool, sunny and breezy. I’ve been out walking all day, love the clean fresh air!
Ah, thanks for that tip. I had no idea. I just assumed the whole of Portugal would be a hot dazzling delight in all of summer. Loving the sound of your days!