We spent the last week of September in Porto, on the atlantic coast of Portugal. My better half was there for a conference and I tagged along for the ride, although I didn’t see too much as I was thesis-writing for most of the time. Nevertheless, I made it out for a successful early morning photography jaunt, with some awesome light coming onto the city over Dom Luís Bridge.
I was out well before sunrise, which helped, but I think that photographically speaking it was a pretty successful trip generally. Mind you, the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so how could it fail to be amazing? That’s another one added to the list. :)
The next day we did the touristy thing of a bus tour, boat trip and visit to the Port cellars. That was followed by a nice conference dinner in one of the university buildings (think big chandeliers, endless canapes, and silver service). After that we swapped hotels and ended up within walking distance of the sea, so that killed a day when combined with the big city park and the Sea Life Centre. Despite one of the staff members having a small hiccup with the Portugese > English translation of “Sea Urchin”, it was pretty interesting. Her English was better than my Portugese, anyway!
That was pretty much it really, given that it was always supposed to be a whistle-stop tour. The old town’s pretty nice, but as a city it’s definitely not geared up for tourism at all. There’s loads of derelict buildings right in the city centre, although there is now a lot of building and modernisation work going on. I seem to enjoy getting out early and watching big cities wake up; Porto was great for that, and I think there’s probably still just enough left to do for it to warrant a return trip.