Day 2 in Porto has reaffirmed that this is truly an exceptional place.  We climbed to the top of a nearby bell tower this morning and my breath was taken away by the sight of all of these red-tiles rooftops and narrow, every-which-way streets.


We climbed down from the tower and headed toward the river, hoping to catch a bus to a contemporary art museum on the outskirts of Porto.  As we snaked our way down crumbling staircases and cobblestone passageways, I remarked to Shane how it feels like time has stood still here for the past hundred years (or more).


We spent the afternoon at the art museum, which was surrounded by a beautiful garden, and then headed over to the beach just outside of Porto.  It was the first time I’d seen the Atlantic in years, and the smell of saltwater was wonderful.


I would have loved to spend a couple of hours sitting in the sand, watching the waves crash, but we needed to get back to Porto because we had tickets for a concert at the Casa da Musica.  I was more excited about the building the concert was being held in than the actual concert itself, because it was designed by the ever-impressive Rem Koolhaas (of Seattle Public Library fame).  The building did not disappoint – the folded planes of the exterior were simple and clean, surrounded by a plaza of stone-clad mounds.  The interior was full of surprises – corrugated glass windows, mint green foam walls, colored lights behind perforated metal…  Around each corner was a new experience to be had.




Our friends Jack and La Verne arrived tonight and the four of us headed down the street to a small authentically Portuguese restaurant to get some grub.  We let Jack do the ordering, and soon our table was laden with rice with octopus, fried cod, squid with potatoes, and Portuguese stew (which is actually a plate full of miscellaneous pig parts, feet included).  We stuffed ourselves until we could eat no more, polished off a bottle of vino verde (a slightly fizzy white wine), and are now ready to crash for the night.  Tomorrow we venture to the other side of the river to hit up Porto’s port houses – yesssss!

One Comment

  1. Kacie says:

    I love, love, love your travel series. I have been following it and your photos and descriptions are fantastic and have only increased my itch to travel Europe.