The taxi cab zoomed up Rue da Belmonte, our curvy strada just north of the Rio Douro. A two lane, two way street with parked cars on one side, going either way on the other, we knew we loved Porto. This was just a city cars where going to have to deal with, not catered to. This curvilinear gem was going to make few concessions.
We ate the best sardines I’ve ever had and started drinking port wine. Each were delicious.
It would be two days in the former capital of this country I knew nothing about.
We’d walk around exploring these labyrinthine streets. Everyone recovering from the Camino, Porto was an ideal tonic. Delightful food, sea air, and sea gulls crowing through the days and nights. Laundry hung from the windows where the elders looked down.
And the city seems unfazed by modernity but of it.
So we wandered up and down the waterfront, looking at the kids play in the water, the boats zip by, the teenagers jump off the docks, looking in awe.
The Portuguese language sounded so familiar from the old bossa nova records, everywhere.
The public spaces thrive. I write surrounded by pigeons and beer bottles looking down at the river where we sat the night before as teenagers and adults hung out, ate sandwiches, drank beer, smoked and looked at the sun sparkling on the water.
All day, we’d wandered, stepping into old bookstores, meandering around the bus station, touring, trolling through the old cathedrals, the art deco buildings, and neighborhoods. The city meets the water, where the water crosses into the sea. And it all feels like poetry here.
Leaving Santiago was hard. But Porto made it worth it. The following are photos from our time there.