Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2-2-14 Day 17 Porto

With a 9:00 bus we are obviously scrambling to make it on time, as always. We get to the station and pay our 11 euros each for the two hour bus to Porto, Portugal-country #2! A quick easy trip and passing time zones one hour into the past due to Franco's ridiculous desire to keep Germany and Spain in the same time zone. Shortly before we arrived we got a message from Katie that I left my waterproof pants and my hat at her place...what an...inconvenience! After texting back and forth for a bit we decide either she will ship them to me, or I will pay for them to be brought down in a Bla Bla Car like a passenger. We got off the bus at Rotunda Boavista, a large roundabout with one of the roads leading to our next host, Fernando. He is a 65 year old retired man who was spent the last 6 years of his life in Porto and four of them hosting couch surfers like us! In fact Kevin and I happen to be couch surfer #2,450 & 2,451 to stay with Fernando. He enjoys taking his guests on yours of his city and sharing history and knowledge of the area while pointing out his favorite spots to eat and enjoy life. We arrive at his 2 bedroom apartment just as him and the 5 Portuguese surfers from the night before were about to head out into the city for a walking tour.
Here is the 18th century rococo cathedral. 
And it's the day of the Super Bowl, so maybe this is a sign...
Here is Fernando leading us through the city
Beautiful azulejo tiles in the train station
He talked about the history of all of the churches and buildings and squares, pointing out the cheapest bar in the city .50 euro cents for a 20cl beer. 
This square has been rebuilt with an olive tree green roof over a shopping center in the past few years
We traveled on top of the Ponte Dom Luis double decker bridge it has metro tracks on top and car roads on the bottom crossing the river Douro to Gaia. On our way to the Port caves for a winery tour and port tasting.
 There are 50 or more wine caves on this side of the river. 
The whole day the weather was beautiful, blue skies with a few passing grey clouds. 
Such a beautiful city, the azulejo blue tiles on the sides of the house are From 100 years ago and all of the buildings in the historic center have their own distinct tile pattern and must keep them looking completed and in good shape. 
Some of the really old ones even have beautiful textures
We spent the rest of the evening trying to get lost within the city center and heading back for a good nights rest. 

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