Sunday May 13 Porto

We arrived in Porto on the 12th at about 1.40pm via bus/coach. The freeways were paved very well, so it was a smoother and quieter ride. Timing worked perfectly as check in was from 2pm.

Porto is a lovely city. The cobblestoned roads and paths lulls the mind into the past. The old storefront and building facades are aesticallly pleasing to the eyes. There is an energy to it, conveyed by the youthful residents.

These two young men, Sorin & Sergio, were out all Saturday night, celebrating the Porto soccer team’s national championship victory! Taken at about 6.20am, Sunday.

Maria and her friends were also out all night celebrating the championship victory.

Both Sorin & Maria asked me to take their pictures. Lovely youths!

I took advantage of the early morning sun to capture some softer images of the cityscape from the 3rd floor of our lodging.

The twin towers on left are the Porto Cathedral.

The river front, famous for its port houses. A bit of morning mist.

We caught the 11am Mass service at the Porto Cathedral. It was in Portuguese. We were able to check for the May 13 mass readings on my smartphone, and thus, at least were able to reflect with the rest of the congregation. And we collected our 4th stamp from this Cathedral.

Porto Cathedrals altar.

We won’t bore you with the details of our sight seeing, suffice to say that Porto is like San Francisco and Seattle, with hilly streets as we work our way to the water front. The river cruise and the limited hop on, hop off bus circuit was a special treat to our feet before the Camino start tomorrow. Below are some pictures of our day in Porto.

Portuguese love the sun. And they will lounge in deck chairs in squares too!

Overlooking the Riberia Square, Douro’s Edge water front.

Another view of waterfront.

Joon spotted this street artwork in a side alley, off the port houses waterfront.

Turning the clock back one day……..

We took in some sight seeing on the 12th. And we committed a cardinal sin of a Camino walker during one of these sight seeing stops.

Livraria Lello, the bookstore that inspired JK Rowling to write the library moving stairscases in the Harry Potter books, was just 5 minutes away from our lodging. So, with ‘arms twisted around our backs’, we lined up for the Euro 5 entry coupon per person.

This is the only bookstore where probably 90% of visitors are taking pictures. Smartphones clicking away abound, with a smattering of DSLRs with their zoom lenses. It was crowded, and most gravitated to the spiral staircases. We did our own share of picture taking.

Facade of Livraria Lello, in the early morning. Crowds abound on weekends.

I am holding up the book I purchased at Livraria Lello, and will carry with me to Santiago! The book is ‘The Devil & Miss Prym’. Interesting premise – a stranger promises a village enough gold bars to change every single person’s life for the better. But to get the gold, they have to commit an unthinkable crime. Should be an interesting read on the Camino.

The staircase.

Intricate woodwork on the ceilings.

Characters from the Harry Potter movies.

In 11-12 hours time, our Camino walk begins. We now rest our bodies, we quiet our inner spirits and we await the morning sun. Bom Camino.

Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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