Exploring the many views of Porto, Portugal
We arrived to Porto around 2 pm so we had a relaxing morning in the Apartment, still trying to shake the jetlag.
Porto is a beautiful city and we headed out shortly after docking to do some touring on our own. A shuttle bus delivered us to the center of the city to the Placa de Lisboa (Plaza). It was a beautiful warm Sunday afternoon and the locals were out enjoying the day.
Normally the city would be very quiet but this week is the Porto Queima Das Fitas (Burning of the Ribbons) which was originally an academic event where final-year university students celebrated the end of their courses. Over the years, however, it has evolved into a weeklong festival for all students and for the community as a whole. The “celebrants” all wear black/white clothing and parade through the streets of Porto. Today there was a parade which we did not see but we could hear. The city was very lively!
We toured the Torre dos Clerigos (Clerigos Church and Bell Tower). This Baroque tower and church was erected in 1754 and is an iconic structure that is seen from everywhere in Porto.
We climbed the tower’s (250 feet) steep and narrow spiral staircase and thoroughly enjoyed the majestic views of the city. The staircase is so narrow that we often had to stop on a landing to let other visitors “squeeze” by us. But the climb was worth the views from the top. Spectacular!
We also toured the church and had viewing from not only the ground level but also each of two levels up which gave an interesting view of the choir area, the organ and altar.
Afterwards we walked around the City and some of the lovely old neighborhoods of the area.
Back at the Ship and a visit to the Lobby Bar for a refreshing libation before heading to our Apartment for another in-residence dining evening. Watching the final season of Downton Abbey is one objective of this journey and we were able to get through two episodes while enjoying sushi and wine. We were happy campers.