Friday 7th and Saturday 8th.

Friday 7th:

This was a quiet day of just a morning walk and trading but I did go downstairs for dinner which proved to be most enjoyable. The venue, Dalva, was right beside the apartment block and I’d highly recommend them.

Saturday 8th: walking tour day.

I had to wait again until 8.30 am for the fog to lift but the sun came through then making for a pleasant walk along the river.

My outing for the day was an 11.30 am walking tour. It was ideal weather for a walk through the Old Town but the Saturday timing meant fairly large numbers for the tour. Luckily some dropped off throughout the morning making for an easier journey. It was fairly comprehensive as we covered the area settled by the Romans in the 3rd Century, parts of the new Town and the Medieval district.

I won’t bore you with all of the history but a few things stood out that I want to keep on record:

  • there isn’t the Moorish influence in Porto that you’ll find in Lisbon. None of the mosque turned Cathedrals here!
  • Porto was surrounded by a Roman wall from the 3rd Century but this was knocked down in the 14th Century as the city expanded and a new wall was constructed.
  • its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1996.
  • Porto named from Latin ‘Portus’ as this means harbour.
  • The English introduced the wine industry in the 16th Century to the Douro Valley, upstream from Porto, but the wine was brought downstream by boat and stored at the harbour and was hence called ‘Port’ wine for its port location.
  • The train station used to be a Monastery as did the Intercontinental hotel. There were MANY other large Monasteries throughout the city too!
  • There are 36 Churches and 51 Chapels in Porto.

I headed home for lunch at the end of the tour and didn’t venture out again until after dinner. That white port is addictive and so I went downstairs to sample another 3 euro glass.

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