PORTO (Portugal) … continue

If you have read our previous post (Portuguese Camino – Big Cities 4a), you will remember that we arrived in a rainy Porto. Before we started walking the Portuguese Camino, we decided that we would like to spend a rest day in Porto to explore this beautiful city.

Of course, we didn’t know then that we would have to explore Porto in very cold and rainy weather conditions. But we were here now and nothing would stop us!

We booked a city tour on the popular Hop On Hop Off bus, but first made a quick visit to Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) to get our pilgrim passports stamped. This church is located in the historic center of Porto and is one of the city’s oldest monuments. It has been altered and decorated many times since its inauguration in the 12th century.

If you start your Portuguese Camino in Porto, you will most likely start walking from the Porto Cathedral

We first sat on the deck of the Hop On Hop Off bus, but then it started to rain and we had to move to the more sheltered part of the bus. Which meant we didn’t get to take really nice photos on the trip, but here are a few we managed along the way.

We are once again dressed in our rain jackets

Our bus tour started at the Liberty Square (Praca da Liberdade). It is the main square and connects the old town with the modern part of Porto.

Statue of King Dom Pedro IV

After walking in Portugal for two weeks already, we were still enthralled by their architectural style. It was a mix between Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance (as well as a whole bunch of other styles). The fact remains, the buildings are unique and one gains a renewed appreciation for the old city fathers who designed and built these buildings.

Buildings in the old town of Porto

Lovely church and building

Clergios Church in Baroque style (built between 1735 and 1748)

Modern part of Porto

Fountain of the Lions

As we got closer to the sea, the rain and clouds disappeared for a wonderful moment and we were able to enjoy glorious sunshine.

The ocean, blue sky and sunshine

Castelo do Queijo (Cheese Castle), a 17th century fortification

The blue sky was a welcome sight

But as we slowly drove back to end our bus tour, the clouds gathered again – it looked like rain was on the cards for the rest of the day. It was the perfect time for lunch and we found a café on the banks of the Douro River to enjoy the delicious bread of Portugal.

Lunch along the Douro River

Activities on the bank of the Douro River

However, that was not the end of our sightseeing tour for the day. Our bus fare included a trip on the Douro River. And although it started to drizzle lightly, we found our way to the boat for a cruise on the river.

In line to board the river cruise

On the boat

We were brave and sat outside (but only for a while)

Old building and church on the bank of the Douro River

The highlight of this cruise was seeing all the bridges that spanned over the Douro River.

Dom Luis Bridge

More bridges

Another bridge

The colourful traditional buildings on the bank of the Douro River

Reaching the ocean and time to turn around

It was certainly not ideal to see Porto in such rainy weather, but even despite this we could see why Porto is described as one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal.

After our river cruise we had enough of cold and rainy weather and went back to our hostel where we prepared dinner.

Ingredients for our meal and wine (against the cold)

A simple but tasty meal

We still had 11 days on foot before we would reach Santiago de Compostela. In our next post we will tell you more about the beautiful coastline from Porto to Tui in Spain. The ultimate question was: Will it still rain or will we be lucky to walk in sunny weather?


44 thoughts on “PORTUGUESE CAMINO – Big Cities (4b)

    1. You’re right Jo – at the end of the day we were only too happy that we did get to see Porto! I wanted to say you’re quite early up and about … have a safe trip and enjoy Roma!!


  1. Ten spyte van die reën het julle pragtige fotos geneem, Corna. Ek besef net weereens hoeveel pragtige ou geboue in Portugal is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mentioning of “our pilgrim passports stamped” made me curious. I found interesting information on “https://caminhoportosantiago.com/en/what-is-the-pilgrim-passport-and-how-does-it-work/”.

    I like your spirit. We are not always lucky with weather but nothing stops us from exploring the places we visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I neglected to explain about the pilgrim passport in this post – I’m glad you were able to track it down on the internet. This passport is a treasured item for any Camino pilgrim 🌸. That’s right Rupali, if you always wait for a sunny day to explore, you might miss out on a lot of beautiful places, right?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marion, it was a wonderful experience to sail under all the beautiful bridges … even in spite of the weather. As you also usually mention in your blog posts, from the water one experiences a city in a different way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bummer about the rain, but glad to hear that the clouds cleared and that you even got to enjoy some sunshine, even if it was temporary. A boat trip on the river sounds like a great way to get a different view of the city and its bridges. Hopefully the weather improved as you continued your trek. But I guess I’ll just have to wait for your next post to find out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As South Africans, we are so used to sunshine … we (almost) clapped our hands when the sun came out 🌞. You’re right Linda, the boat trip was a wonderful experience – suddenly Porto looked ‘different’ than we had experienced it in the last two days! Yes, all will be revealed in our next post – some good and some bad news (and it doesn’t necessarily involve the weather) …

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One would think that by this time we would be used to the rain 😉. But it’s no fun doing sightseeing and being wet all the time, so yes you’re right, the bus was definitely the right option on this day!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Kellye. Portugal is a beautiful country – especially to explore on foot 😉. We pay so much for flight tickets just to get there, that we push through (come rain or shine) … and we like to think we’re a little adventurous!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is the sort of city I could actually like, – no skyscrapers! Such character in the old buildings and the general layout. So many cities here are all straight roads and avenues that run north-south and east-west. No doubt very sensible but soul-less. I’m sorry you didn’t have better weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We also noticed that there are no skyscrapers in Porto – well, certainly not in the older part of the city. It is true that the character of a city is in its beautiful buildings. The weather … ugh!! Nothing we could do about that, but I think by then we were (almost) used to walking in the rain 🙂.


    1. Yes, we immediately spotted that old building on the river bank (and wished we could have seen it more closely, but the rain won). Thanks, we now have one more post left on Portugal soil (the coastal area from Porto to the border of Spain) – it was incredibly beautiful. But more about this in our next post 🙂.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, the rain followed us all the way to Porto! But you’re right – rain or shine, Porto is a beautiful city and we’re so glad we had the opportunity to take a rest day here and explore more of the lovely sights.


      1. I was supposed to visit years’ ago and even had a visa in my passport, but never made it as ran out of time.
        I’m currently in Sweden with a long travel day to Finland today, so should be in Europe for another couple of months. Maybe next year. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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