We’ve arrived in Porto!
After a delayed flight to Porto, we were warmly greeted by Carla, the hotel manager, who welcomed us with a delightful tiny glass of Porto wine, a taste of the region’s renowned beverage. Tired from a long day of journey, we set out in search of food, and stumbled upon a Japanese establishment at the nearby Mercado.
The Camino guide books suggested skipping walking thru the industrial portion of Porto and take it a taxi or the metro outside of the city to begin the journey. So, that left the entire day to explore Porto. We started with a visit to the inspiring Livraria Lello bookstore, said to have influenced the design of the Harry Potter library. But, once we got there we discovered we had to buy tickets. we had to buy tickets, which lead to a two hour wait until our time slot. Adjacent to the bookstore stands the Torre dos Clérigos, an iconic landmark in Porto, is a Baroque bell tower that stands tall at approximately 75 meters (245 feet) high. It is a part of the Clerigos Church complex and is situated in the heart of Porto’s historic center offering a breathtaking view of Porto from its pinnacle. The climb, a whooping 225 us gave us a glimpse of the city’s beautiful surroundings, including the majestic Porto Cathedral and the Douro River.
The Porto Cathedral was next on the list. The winding streets leading to it were adorned with captivating musicians and trinket stores. The chapel was the most ornate I’ve ever seen. Next door was the Bishop’s Palace, Paço Episcopal do Porto, which featured impressive architecture and intriguing artifacts. One of the notable features of the palace is its grand staircase, a striking architectural element that captivates visitors with its elaborate design and craftsmanship.
Crossing the river, we indulged in a port wine tasting, a quintessential experience in Porto. We learned about the rich history and production of this famous drink, which has put Porto on the global map for wine enthusiasts. The day concluded with a ride on the gondola back to the metro station, heading towards our next destination.
As we prepare for our real Camino adventure, we’re eager to step out into the countryside, leaving behind the industrial parts of Porto and breathing in the scent of nature, subtly reminding us we’re on the brink of a transformative journey.