Porto and Lisbon, Portugal - Perfect ending to Europe
Six weeks later and I end my Europe adventure in Portugal. What a stunning place! I don't think I had enough time in Porto, so I will definitely be back to explore more of Portugal - maybe at the same time as exploring Spain.
Porto is a cute little city on the coast of Portugal and is just devine!
Looking at Gaia city from Porto
Ponte De Dom Luis I - Amazing two tier bridge connecting Porto and Gaia
Portugal has a cool decorating feature where tiles are used to decorate and style the outside of buildings. Tiles are a big part of Portugal, in particular the blue and white tiles. They are in souvenir shops everywhere.
New vs Old
Even the main train station in Porto is internally decorated with tiles that tells the story of Porto's first King and the every day life of Portuguese people during old times.
The architecture in Porto is beautiful and ancient just like much of Europe. Filled with churches and cathedrals, if you're into that, your fix will definitely be fulfilled here.
Porto doesn't have a castle, but it has some remains of the old wall that surrounded the inner city of Porto, a wall that makes you think there was a castle, but nope!
The views from on top of the Ponte Luis I are stunning! A beautiful view of Porto and of Gaia. You also get to see the three bridges that now serve to connect Porto with Gaia to ensure continued transportation of people and of Port!
The street art around Porto is also quite cool, especially this huge piece that you see as you enter Porto on Ponte Luis I from Gaia. Some say it is an image of a Portuguese man welcoming arrivals to Porto, but we'll never know.
To finish off my day in Porto and my visit there, I did a Port Wine Tour with Porto Walkers and I have to admit... I don't like Port. I hadn't really tried it before and even with doing a wine tour and learning the history, I still can't say I like it. If you are not a sweet tooth (like me) then this isn't the drink for you. The one that I could stomach more than 3 sips of was a 12 year old vintage Port that was hella expensive (typical).
The one on the end is the vintage, a dark, well aged Port. I didn't even know there was white port or rosé port!! The more you know!
Ramos Pinto port wine cellar
White and red port. The white is golden coloured as it is a 7 year age (and horrendously sweet, my gosh!)
Enjoying the vintage with a view on the rooftop of Porto Cruz
Porto is a cute little city, filled with coloured buildings that reminded me of the towns of the Cinque Terre in Italy. Porto, I will return to you and spend more time exploring your vineyards and your coastlines. (P.S. there is incredible red wine here that is just devine! Thanks Tattva hostel for the ample supply of red wine at dinner).
You were a wonderful finish to a great six and a half weeks. A city that through its centre is filled with greenery, monuments and statues is remarkable and so relaxing and inviting.
These run through Avenida da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue)
Right down the centre of the city
More coloured buildings (insert: heart eyes emoji here)
Fantastic band in the centre strip
You walk and walk up Liberty Avenue and then you come across an incredible monument right in the middle of the roundabout with one of the most amazing parks I have seen in a city (I haven't been to Central Park yet).
Marquess of Pombal Square
Eduardo VII Park
Eduardo VII Park
Walkway up the side of Eduardo Park
Fountain at the top of Eduardo Park
For two days, I just walked around Lisbon. With the Inside Lisbon walking tour that I stumbled upon, but you get a wine tasting and Portuguese dessert ;) Everything I saw was stunning. The beautiful redy/orangey tiled roofs and small cobbled streets
Top of the free elevator taking you to the Castle
Above the Alfama district, the oldest district in Lisbon
And no, that's not Morocco in the distance, it's the south of Portugal
Had to put myself into the post
Alfama is super cute! You can tell it's the oldest district as the streets are tiny alley ways that twist and turn. The newer part of the city is designed in straight lines with wider streets (so boring).
Walking down to the heart of Alfama
Alfama is filled with citrus trees that were brought with the early settlers. It emanates a wonderful scent as you walk through
Reminds me of Wellington streets!
A tile story teller, telling the story of Fado - the traditional Portuguese song. A sad, painful, grieving song for when men would leave on overseas expeditions with many not returning
Tiles and colours - so beautiful!
As with every European city, there is the main cathedral and Lisbon is no exception. The cathedral of Lisbon is a sight to see.
However, there is a church in Rissio that caught fire and was almost completely destroyed. The inside was not completely refurbished, but still stands with visible reminders of the fires. This church sees more worship and mass attendance per year, than the cathedral. This church was also in the square where hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered for not fleeing Lisbon or leaving the Jewish faith during the massacre.
Igreja de São Domingos
One of three monuments in Largo de São Domingos dedicated to the Jews
The rest of my time in Lisbon was seeing a few monumental treasures. Commerce Square, which is breathtakingly large and open, with a view over the south bank of the river and Lisbon's very own Golden Gate Bridge.
Arco da Rua Augusta
King José I
The São Jorge Castle was quite a cool thing to see, with spectacular views of the city. The castle is filled with original architecture around the grounds with an archeological museum onsite showcasing ancient bits and pieces. There are also a number of peacocks roaming around freely attracting the attention of all passersby. (Sorry I didn't get a photo!)
View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Castle
View of Church of São Vicente of Fora
Archeological site of the housing of royalty
Lisbon city view from one of the watch towers
I hoped for a stunning sunset, but the clouds made their way over and ruined it for me :(
A beautiful end to a day in Lisbon
To finish showcasing Lisbon, there is some cool street art in small walkways around the city and I found two that I thought were pretty neat!
Fado players, the black and white player using a traditional Portuguese guitar, which has 12 strings!
A little bit of seduction never hurt anyone ;)
And last but not least, the building which houses the train station and my hostel, Lisbon Destination Hostel, is beautiful and worth its own mention!
Goodbye Europe. You were wonderful. You were beautiful. You were exquisite.
You gave me so much and taught me even more. I can't thank you enough for being everything I dreamed of and more.
Thank you for showing me everything wonderful and giving me none of the bad things that everyone keeps warning woman about. You have so much to offer and I hope that thousands continue to enjoy you - without stripping away everything that is authentic about your countries and cities.
I will be back, but for my next few journeys, I have a few other countries and continents I wish to explore.
Keep being you. Keep being beautiful and you will always be loved.