Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 193: Free Walking Tour of Porto

I will tell you about my free walking tour of Porto but first an update on my new location.

Bloody budger bonnets! My world had turned up side down. I don't know which way to look when I cross the street and strangely I can understand (more or less) what everyone is saying. I'm in Liverpool! Land of the Scousers.

The aircraft looked rather unconventional but we arrived safely.

Portugal to Liverpool is the longest distance I've flown since my trip began. To my delight, all the Portuguese whined about the cold as we departed the plane. Indeed the weather here is hardly comparable to the paradise the Portuguese enjoy but I'm happy to wear my leather jacket.
I left Portugal in upmost style. A true feast, traditional Tripeiro Francesinha complimented with a glass of Port wine.

I'm upset that Francesinha was my last meal because I wish I ate it every day. If you go to Porto, eat this every day, no matter how big your 
butt grows.

Regardless of four plastic chairs in the airport were my bed last night or what side of the street cars drive on, I'm excited to be in Liverpool. Toss my traveling route out the window – here we go. Next I think I will move up to Scottland, maybe Ireland, then through Normandy to Paris. Before I get too far ahead of myself let's rewind to the sunshine and red roofs of Porto.

There are only two good things about Gaia, one is its view of Porto.

I was incredibly lucky as I arrived in Porto. While searching for hosts I stumbled upon a free tour that one local was having. His name is Openness on CS and he is one of the most generous and fascinating people I have had the pleasure of befrending this trip. The morning after I arrived he gave a free walking tour of Porto. Fernando and I recommend the following places:

For breakfast we went to Galeria de Paris
Downstairs, above the bathrooms hung a fleet of old bikes.
The world famous staircase of the Livraria Lello.
Two big churches next to the old university of Porto.
The magnificent inside of the church.
Just another Jesus?
Porto's wide streets meeting and splitting in the train station.
We made friends with this newspaper seller statue.
The train station is full of beautiful Azulejos tile work. 
A little off the top.
By the tourist office there's a great overlook of the city.
Hanging out with Porto.
Crossing Luis I bridge to Gaia.
The other side of the river, Gaia, with all the Port wine manufactures. 
With the girls.
A group of old men playing a traditional gard game, Sueca.
Walking to taste some Port wine.
Fernando was excited about this photo opportunity.
Alyn directs movies, can't you tell?
Sandeman one of the Port wine houses, with a badass logo.
I would prefer to be sitting in the wine truck.
The tasting room at Croft with furniture made from barrels.
Alyn was less than enthusiastic about walking uphill.
The parking lot of Taylor, Port house.
Were we going to the circus or drinking wine?
Fancy chairs for fancy wine.
This kid was so cute with his bunny.
The free tour of Taylor's Port house began.
We learned that the grapes were grown about 100 km away.
Draining the wine out of one of the big vats.
Tawny is transferred into smaller barrels to age.
I was pretty thirsty after the tour so I had a drink.
40 year old tawny was nice.
After some wine the girls were into kissing skeletons
I'm not sure what all these boats were for. Possibly transporting wine.
Getting artsy with the bridge.
The main shopping street that I lived near.
I paid the tram operator to let me drive.
Fernando with the countries present.
Great fun! CouchSurfing!

A community dinner was the perfect conclusion to a long day of walking around Porto. Fernando was an excellent tour guide, not only because he knew a good deal about history but he also had a blonde joke for every situation. I loved the tour of the Port wineries and tasting a 40 year old tawny, but the best part was that I had another week of enjoying this beautiful city. Thanks Fernado! Thanks Porto!


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