All posts tagged: Porto

A Pictorial Tour, part one!

On our recent trip to Spain, Portugal and France we took an obscene number of photo’s which took forever to edit once we got home. After natural selection got rid of about 700 of them, we were left with about 1400 images of varying degrees of quality and/or interest. Here, in no particular order are a few of our favourites. La Boqueria market, Barcelona. The best thing about La Ramblas, a wonderful, diverse marketplace. Chateau Chenonceau, Loire Valley. The valley is full of Chateau’s and this is as stunning as they come. Amboise Chateau. Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial. A moving tribute to the brutality of war. Paris. Still the best city we have visited, could spend months here and not get bored. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. Truly the best museum experience ever! L’Abbey Fontevraud, Loire Valley. Atmospheric, moody, haunting…and the best meal of our trip. Livrarian Lello & Irmao, Porto. How good is this bookshop? More tourist attraction than viable business…they should charge admission, just don’t tell them! Juno Beach, Normandy. B&W suits the somber …

Porto to Santiago de Compestela 

We decided to start our final day in Porto early and walk around town taking some photos as the sun was hitting this wonderful city. It’s a shame more people don’t choose to visit Portugal, it has so much to offer and we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in both Lisbon and Porto.   With a final breakfast of coffee and Hugh’s new favourite pastry, Nata, we packed our bags, which now included a mandolin case, headed towards the car via the popular ice cream shop, which we thought opened at 10am, but disappointingly opened at 11am!! Oh well, who needs ice cream for breakfast anyway??? Our trip to Santiago De Compestela was estimated to take 3 hours so we were keen to leave Porto by 10am. The drive was uneventful yet relaxing for me, whilst Hugh battled the cars on the freeways cruising at over 120kms Once checked in we hit the pavement and headed towards the famous Cathedral of Santiago De Compestela, the main reason for our stay in this town. As is …

Porto

Today is for just wandering around without any real plans, soak up a bit of the city vibe and go with the flow. That is after Rachael went for a run along the river. I was sacrificing my exercise routine and doing the prep work for the day, i.e. Sleeping!!    Breakfast next door with the old Nonna serving up croissants, coffee & Portuguese pastry called ‘Pastel de Nata’, an egg tart custard pastry. Dee-licious!     To work off the calories we headed up the road to look at books, in the fanciest book shop in Portugal, called Livrarian Lello & Irmao. Lonely Planet classified it as the third best bookstore in the world, and it would be hard put to find any better.    The place was packed, so much so we didn’t bother going in at first, but walked around for 30 minutes hoping the tours would have eased. Yep, this place is an institution and tours roll through it like a flood. Not sure how any books get sold…they should charge admission. …

Lisbon to Porto via Sintra

Today we actually go to Sintra, as we have to leave beautiful Lisbon, and head north 300km to the second largest city in Portugal, Porto…home of Port. Before heading off we have breakfast next door at a smashing little cafe, full of brick-a-brack on the walls, and the best croissants in town. I wish we had something similar back home, it would kill it. Lisbon has been wonderful, and deserves a longer stay, but time is afoot, and we need to push on. It’s going to be a busy day! Sintra is another heritage site, Unesco have been busy handing these awards out, and has numerous sites worthy of our attention, but time constraints mean we can only visit two, and in an abridged version at that. Without too much trouble we find a carpark in town, and head off by foot to our first pit stop, Quinta da Regaleira, which is just down the road. It is home to a smallish palace, and the most amazing gardens, filled with wonder and surprise. Everywhere you …