Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Porto!

Some of you guessed it! Answer to the previous post: Porto, Portugal!

beautiful porto river Douro


Oh god Portugal is amazingly beautiful, and Porto even more so.

It was the last thing I was expecting when I stepped foot on the land.

to porto


But Portugal took my heart on the first day till the very last. It's the perfect country to run away for a year's of relaxation and rejuvenation, learn a language and sip wine.

If you're wondering if Porto sounds somewhat familiar, that's because it's where Ports were born.

Tawny sweet peasant-wine port. Yummilicious port.

porto river city


But we'll get to that soon.

First I had to get my mouth on one of Portugal's most famously known for.

porto bakery


In Asian countries, we refer them to portugese egg tart, in Portugal, they're just egg custard.

custard egg tart


Jumbo version.

egg tart and i
This was my dinner on my first night there.


I took a stroll around town on my first day in Porto and was pleasantly lost in some very-wonderland part of the city.

I started at one of the national monument in the centre and climbed up to see the city from the top.

national monument


stairs


porto city


porto and monument


sun and porto
I have seen so many city and town views from atop a tall building so many times and I've lost thoughts and opinions to most of those views I've seen. So I'll leave you with the comments here.


porto national monument


As I left the monument building, I found myself walking through some neighbourhood, the type that you find laundry hanging on the third floor and eatery nearby on the ground floor by the street, where on the front hung a nostalgic medieval-style sign.

street houses


laundry


eatery sign


narrow flats


And then I found myself in a museum, of Porto!

wooden ornament


handcraft porto map
the map of portugal?


transport in porto
olden days transportation in Porto; where they used to carry barrels of Ports on these boats down the river Douro.


short man
You probably can't see it in this photo but the figure of that outfit was TINY!

Men in those days were really short! They couldn't be taller 5 feet.


reading glasses
antique reading glass


art
odd art


this is how you drink sweet port
"Yes, please, just a tiny glass. This port had just the right kick. *hick*"


As I moved up and down the hill, gliding through the historical sites, residential neighbourhood, some commercial area, I found myself finally coming down to the river level and face to face to the blazing noon sun.

porto river city


sun and river


bridge
I love how the road was built just by/on the river side


And then I started climbing some stone stairs, passing some houses beneath me I went up, and up, and up.

Until I found myself surrounded by odd roads, with odd tunnels, odd uphills and downhills, and odd houses.

entrance
'twas was the entrance to a house, such a tiny entrance to a front garden?


I didn't know where I was, or what the place was. An abandoned area? No, some of the houses were resided, but then again, some were not; and I did not spot a single soul during my journey there.

Was I in some kind of realm?

stone lane


stone walls


I moved along wherever my instinct was telling me to.

On some parts, I saw the outer world of Porto that was hustling and bustling, and that felt like it was in another world, seperated by a space of vacuum, it was not related to me. Porto and its river were just a pretty picture from where I was standing.

beautiful exit


I could see the evidence of human presence, drawn graffiti on stone wall, an abandon doll on an empty cliff; but still I heard and saw no sights of human.

graffiti wall


There was this red door, locked, but it has a broken wood panel where the lock should be. I peered inside, and saw a story waiting to be told.

the red wall


abandone house


abandone cliff land


Who was here before? Was there a house? What happened to the house? What happend to the kids whose those toys belonged to? Where did the family move, or if something has happened to them? Garbage and beer bottles that indicated it was newly abandoned, but bricks and grown grass shown long-term ignorance.

What's more important, it has such a beautiful location, on a cliff to a view many would pay premium for.

bridge and porto


I wondered to myself how much this place would cost, and then allowed my imagination to wander to the possibility of moving here, to this beautiful country.

I moved along.

graffiti wall porto


On and on I went. Till I finally decided to whip out my guide book to locate myself.

15 minutes of walking, I was out of the wonderland and came to a closed restaurant with a untrimmed garden.

garden of a restaurant


Sighing to myself at the regret of missing an opportunity to dine at a place like this, I directed myself out and away from the far end of the town and back into the neighbourhood I came by earlier that day, fueled by hunger.

I picked the first restaurant that took my liking and entered, without acknowledging the genre of their food.

porto restaurant menu


No one spoke English, I could speak no Portugese.

So I sat, smiled at the waiter, who gestured the supervisor over to help but failed. So I strummed my finger along the menu, and made a sign language, with mild amusement, that I would take anything delicious.

They laughed, among themselves, scratching their heads if they understood what I meant. They did.

They brought food.

olives


fried buns
some odd fried bun appertiser, which I didn't like but ate a few anyway


butter
three packs of butter and one odd looking one to go with my bread


beef

my main course, steak. Yummy.

I was a happy woman.

porto restaurant

5 comments:

  1. LOL! Nice Nicole. This post esp makes me wanna dump all my friends and go on a trip on my own. I miss traveling solo like this.

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  2. Hi Nicole, just wondering which airline did u take from sevilla to lisbon? is it easyjet? cos i'm planning this next year

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  3. I took a train. They're pretty close to each other.

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  4. So what was that 'wonderland' that you stumbled into? I'm really curious! Would love to be 'lost' in a city like that.

    ReplyDelete