Fai Tira Blog
still in Leixoes near Porto 41:11.14N 8:42.29W
Amazing, Magnificent, Spectacular, constantly breathtaking and exciting. A place
it would be difficult not to become attached to.
sure that I speak for Pete and Dee when I say that none of us were prepared for
this feast of nourishment to the senses, I certainly wasn’t even though I
felt a certain sense of excited anticipation as we approached. I’m also
certain that there’s no way, in the course of these few words, that I
could possibly do this place justice. In fact don’t think I ever
could!!.So not sure that I’m even going to try!.
The day was
very long for all of us. The alarm, that I thought I’d set for 7.30,
didn’t go off (me and IT).
problem. I was up in plenty of time, disturbed Pete a bit, and the taxi,
organised the day before, was waiting as arranged. Arrived at the airport just
as Dee’s flight was landing. It wasn’t long before she emerged
dragging a large suitcase, a few clothes for her, and loads of stuff for me and
the boat. We relaxed over coffee and croissants, before grabbing a taxi back.
It was still
early, so plenty of time to get settled in before the trip into Porto.
Pete had been
busily getting the travel low down from David and Susan, they’d been
there previously, and with maps at the ready we headed for the metro.
The walk took
us along the side of the busy container port, where rows of, unused and
identical, huge cranes all seemed to be standing to attention in a pre-arranged
pattern. There were so many, that I found myself wondering if the harbour
authorities had just responded to a knock on the door or a phone call, and bought
them as a job lot.
We arrived at
the metro terminal and joined a waiting crowd. Every approach that was made, by
us or any un-knowing passengers to the ticket machine, was met with waving
hands by one of the locals. Not sure of the meaning, we managed to locate a
friendly young guy called Daniel who was just dying to practise his English. He
told us that there was something going on like a national public transport day,
and it was all free. What a fantastic idea. (that is, unless you happen to be a
taxi driver with a day of no customers). So there we were travelling the 18 or
so stops to Porto in a carriage that was gradually taking on the appearance of
a sardine tin, with all the others that were also taking advantage of this,
what for us was an unexpected, bonus.
the occasional time when his phone rang, I had this great and continuous
conversation with Daniel, about everything from football and London to English
beer. His determination was, to be there one day and try it. All this from
languages learnt at school and English television programmes, clever
resourcefulness, Brilliant! We exchanged information and he departed two stops
Straight away this place had a special feeling. We knew that it tumbled down to
the river. Where a harbour packed with restaurants nestled under a spectacular
bridge that carried trains, cars, and foot passengers to the old port cellars
that lined up on the other banks. What we didn’t know was, what was in
between, how each change of direction, every turn of a corner would revealed a
jaw dropping scene that was full of beauty, scale and excitement, as jumbles of
buildings, seemed to fall into each other and expose masses of shapes and
colours to a background of majestic church spires and domes, that seemed to
climb into the sky,. My gasps were audible!!
already parted company with Pete. The arrangement, was to meet at the top of
the vanicular railway and walk, at high level, over this piece of art posing as
believe that this was just something Eifel just knocked up when he wasn’t
building his tower!!( not really sure the accuracy of the knocked up bit??)
In spite of a
walk, interspersed, with me continually drooling, taking photos’
and even having a futile go at trying to capture this beauty in my Moleskyne,
not to mention a long chat with a lady street artist. Our meeting was almost on
We walked in
the rough direction of the bridge. Then a chance change of direction, saw us
facing a small courtyard. Down a few stone steps and a few yards further on,
was an innocuous looking entrance to a small church. We were here so why not
take a look inside. We’d seen a number of elaborate interiors, the most
striking being the one at the cathedral at Santiago. However it was difficult
to be prepared for this. The inside was dark and compact and every square inch
of wall and ceiling, including the window shutters, were covered, in mostly
gold painted, indescribably complex timber carvings, an incredible sight!!. As
was the view as we took the high level pass over the bridge.
Sandimans as the cellar to visit (it was the first one we came across)
A Great tour.
Fascinating building, history, as well as great tasting wine. A bit of an
explore, of the area, after we’d finished. Then a beer, more sketching,
and a twilight walk back, with everything changing as the sun dropped and the
mellow lights came on
We sat and
ate at a restaurant, almost in the shadow of the bridge, basking the warmth and
ever changing scene, now fairly bushed.
thing to do, Pete had spotted Chris’s boat against the harbour wall, so
went to say hello. He’d been there for three days, idyllic!! and free. We
were a bit envious and sort of regretful, that we hadn’t taken the advice
given back in Camariinos. Anyhow it was good to see him again.
place and brilliant day.
All I can say
is that If their football team manages to play with only half as much poise and
grace, as that displayed by their city, then undoubtedly they’d be club
champions of the world
Bye for now.