Sunday, May 28, 2017

Europe 17 Day 7

There is only one hop on hop off bus in Porto and only one route. We bought tickets and the tickets included a river cruise. The bus was busy when we arrived, so we sat downstairs. Each bus we used for the entire holiday had plug in earphones and a commentary, which we all fine. Some commentaries had a bit too much detail. You just plugged the earphone into the socket at your seat and selected the language you wanted. There were a minimum of eight. We travelled west along the grand Avenue de Boavista. Very nice houses.



Oh wow, this is the first time I have seen the Atlantic Ocean. It seemed calm. No longer used tram tracks in the foreground.


But there was a huge swell that rose up on rocks and the breakwater at the entrance to the Duoro River.

The road ran along the banks of the river, and so did the route 1 tram. I would have loved to taken a tram ride along the river bank, but as we had already travelled along the river bank in the bus, and would do so again the next day, there wasn't much point.



Wow! Our bus had come along the river bank on the left from the left, crossed the iron bridge on the lower deck and we left the bus near to where our cruise boat departed. 


We did not have to wait too long for the boat to depart. It went up river, then turned around and headed towards the sea. Again, there were earphones to plug in for a commentary. As we reached the mouth of the river, a heavy rain shower came down and everyone skelted to the inside.






While I love the old iron bridge, this newer bridge is very elegant.



Time for lunch on the river side. We had some delicious fishie tuna like patties in an elongated shape. They were so nice, we ordered some more. Wine was only €2 for a generous glass. The wine in Portugal and Spain was very mild, almost innocuous, and quite cheap. What are these gondolier thingies passing by. Daddy, can I have a ride?  


The price included a free port tasting at one of wineries. We think R left his sunglasses sitting on the barrel at the window. 


While steep, we just loved Porto.


Here we go, up to who knows where.



Great views. Porto has a couple of modern light rail routes and you can see a tram crossing the iron bridge. Ah, I should tell you the name of the bridge. Ponte Luis 1. I will translate that as the Louis the 1st Bridge.




I am not sure if it a 500 metre drop below the wall or a 100 metre drop. Regardless, you will die.


R spied something he wanted to see the next day, but he could not be precise about what it was.








We went back for more fish cakes and more wine to the same place as earlier, after waiting a good time for a seat. There was a dispute over the bill but I am not sure if R sorted in our favour or not. A street vendor sold R a new pair of sunglasses, Raybans for a mere €10! We caught the hop on hop off back to the hotel from the stop where we left the bus in the morning. There was a kind of family restaurant opposite out hotel, so we dined there. In Australia we are used to young temporary waiters in cafes and restaurants.......students and backpackers and the like. Not so in Portugal. They were nearly all male and over 50 and quite professional. They take their job seriously. In Portugal and later in Spain we tipped by a couple of euros. One euro is about AU$1.50.

35 comments:

  1. I think I would have to have gone on that tram regardless. Like the architecture and the fact it is by the sea makes it a must for me to visit.

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    1. Marie, had we have had more time.....It was also very crowded. Please do visit and it is quite reasonable cost wise, even on the beaten tourist track.

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  2. Porto looks very nice and so friendly for tourists I love it The architecture is amazing

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    1. Gosia, and the tourist love Porto, hence it was quite crowded. Many of the tourists are Portuguese.

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  3. Love the views from the river cruise.
    It looks like a truly lovely city. Thank you.

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    1. EC, the cruise was a real bonus.

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  4. Porto looks interesting.

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    1. Victor, we could have easily stayed longer.

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  5. It looks a fun place, I like the sky pods a great way to see all.
    I missed a lot will catch up.
    Merle...............

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    1. Merle, it was quite good fun. A lot of people spend a lot of time sitting outdoors eating and drinking.

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  6. The river, boats, restaurants, music, architecture, weather and wine in Porto were all fabulous, but most of all I loved the vineyards (at the end of the city) and the wineries (right in the city). I have never mixed and drank so much alcohol in my life before :)

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    1. Hels, I think we saw some vineyards and we certainly consumed plenty of the local product.

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  7. What a wonderful array of photos, Andrew. Thank you so much for sharing.

    As far back as in the 80s when I was managing a resort, and then a little later working in a resort at Palm Cove north of Cairns in the role of Functions-Conventions Coordinator, I always argued the point about those who classed Aussie establishments as being "five-star".

    My point was that we didn't have the experienced staff such as those in similar hospitality establishments overseas.

    Everyone looked at me as if I was crazy, but that was okay. I admit freely to being a little crazy...nothing wrong with being a little crazy...but I believe I was correct on that score! :)

    Back then "they" were handing out 'five-stars' as if they were Easter eggs!!

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    1. Lee, I totally agree with you about stars. They then got themselves into a position where they had to six stars, as five had become discredited. Now I notice, many places are rated out of ten. While there was nothing wrong with very professional waiters, I honestly prefer the younger, friendly and bubbly ones that normally serve us here.

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  8. I haven't seen the Alantic Ocean either. Both of my son has.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, yes, you are a fair way from the ocean.

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  9. I've not been to Portugal, but Porto looks a much more interesting town than Lisbon. I can imagine walking the back streets and dining in tiny bistros. It looks more focused.

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    1. Cro, they are quite different places, with Lisbon being a very big city. We liked both, in different ways.

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  10. Lots of nice photos to see of what it's like there.
    Cable car, gosh how nice.
    The bridges look good.

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    1. Margaret, while only a short cable car, it was well worth taking the trip.

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  11. Hey, look at that. The Atlantic ocean put on a little show just for you. Porto looks very pretty and sounds like the place to be for fishcakes and professional waiters. I've ridden in one of those Gondolas once, they had a "bird's eye view" ride up above the Royal Adelaide Show once, or maybe it was the Sydney show, I really can't remember. I like being up high.

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    1. River, they used to have them at the Melbourne show too, but they seemed to have dropped them a few years ago. While we never went on it, it would have been good. There are plenty of places to be up high in Porto, by you have to get there.

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  12. Thanks for sharing EUROPE with me. and the summeryness. jeepers it is bleak today here with hail and pelting rain.

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    1. Ann, it was a bit of a shock to come back to the cold and the short days. We had hail yesterday too, at a family barbeque.

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  13. Put two comments similar on the newer post, but it won't go through!

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    1. Sorry Margaret. Just one of things.

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  14. I knew you'd end up on the aerial tram, whatever you call it. I too love that elegant bridge. You must have really liked those fish cakes! Cheap Raybans!

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    1. Strayer, yeah, Raybans are about AU$200 here, US$150.

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  15. Incroyable sights Andrew. Male waiters age around 50, sounds perfect 😀😀

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    1. Grace, maybe for you. I am nearly 60. Why would I want a 50 year old, or older? All theoretical anyway.

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  16. Your photos in feedly come out slightly blurry, I was very concerned. Glad to see they're sharp when I view them in your blog. Great snaps.

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    1. Cheers Fen. There is the odd photo I am very pleased with. Feedly is an RSS feed, I think.

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    2. It probably is, I don't use it often. I usually come straight to your blog

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  17. Great posts about Porto Andrew. I'll be visiting Porto in September. Haven't been there in a while so looking forward to it.

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    1. It was truly delightful, Sami. I expect midsummer it is overwhelmed with tourists.

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