A Not So Perfect Porto Day Trip
After a quick train ride (a snappy three hours), we have arrived to the land of huge sandwiches, towering bridges and the ever present gigantic azulejos. Also, barrels upon barrels of world famous wine (pity I’m not keen on the taste of wine…). We were in Porto.
Marvelling at those elaborate tile facades and walking up an appetite (it is totally doable to discover Porto entirely on foot btw), we reached Cafe Santiago in no time and sat down to order the illustrious Francesinha. It was a juicy and tasty “comfort food“, but not so insanely great that I’d do all that work to recreate it (just looking at these steps makes me dizzy). If I’m making anything Portugal, it’s gotta be a batch of Pastéis de nata (my sweet tooth always wins).The colorful tiles are masterpieces (no question there… I am just, confession time I guess, not that huge fan of the color blue… and the azulejos are mostly blue…so yeah), but that’s not all that adorns the buildings of Porto.
Wander down a few side streets and you might find some other interesting things…. I did and the graffiti nerd in me had a blast.The one thing (apart from Francesinha) I was most looking forward to experience in Porto was the “oldest bookstore of the world”, Livraria Lello. You need to buy an entrance ticket (probably thanks to its Harry Potter fame) from the store next door to enter its sacred shelves, but the line moved faster than I thought. It only took about half an hour and we, as well as, what it felt like all the tourists of Porto, were in.
It’s a gorgeous little store (emphasis on little), the staircase is a dream carved out of wood, but the crowd kind of ruined it for me. While you can redeem your admission fee, the selection itself isn’t that wide at all (unless you are a fan of a certain wizard or don’t mind forking over the price of quite a few cups of coffee for a coffee-table book).Third time’s the charm, because the third main attraction of the day, the Dom Luís I Bridge, did not disappoint, not even the slightest. In fact, this double decked bridge (loved walking on its upper deck), the Douro river and the two banks of Porto were even more breathtaking than I had imagined.
A perfect finish to a something dissatisfying day.