Sunday 23rd October
The rain had arrived on Saturday night but cleared enough on Sunday morning to allow us out for a walk. The sun even made an appearance but that was the last one for the day however. We finished our walk with a stop for coffee along from our apartment.
I had noted this cafe was always rather busy with locals of a morning and so we thought we’d give it a go. We were the only ones who did not speak Portuguese and the only ones who were not drinking Port! It was only 9 am but everyone was there with their Pateis de Nata, coffee and Port. One guy deviated a bit though, he had a jug of white wine…yes….a JUG! Mark thought the place was heaven and said he’d also have a Port when we next stopped by there.
Our plan for the day had been to catch the historic tram and then a ferry to a well-know fishing area for lunch followed, possibly, by a walk out towards the coast and beach district but the weather forecast meant we had to make a change of plans though. We opted for the open-top bus, but hoping to find some covered seats, and to visit a different fishing area for our lunch but one that was also well known for its seafood restaurants, Matosinhos.
The first leg of the bus tour was ok but we had to sit downstairs as the bus was rather full with all the other tourists in Porto seeming to think a bus outing was the best way to spend the wet day too. Most of the shops are closed on a Sunday and so a day of ‘shopping’ is not an option. That left ‘bus tours’ and or ‘eating’ and we had both activities down for the day!
‘Matosinhos’ was not quite what I had expected. I think I had envisioned a touristy fishing village area, something of a cross between Sydney’s King Street Wharf and Walsh Bay but on an obviously much smaller scale. I could not have been more wrong. The main restaurant strip is along a rather grotty road with no water views in sight and just shop after shop with all being fronted by frazzled chefs cooking on make-shift BBQs set up on the street! There was nothing wrong with this at all; it’s just that it was nothing like I had thought based on suggestions by local Porto people to go out there and by my analysis of a map of the area.
Anyway, we had checked on-line for a restaurant suggestion and went with Tito 11 as it had a high number of reviews and all seemed ok. Not Tito 1 but Tito 11. Don’t ask me how they differ but they do. The place was packed when we arrived around 2pm and so we had to wait a while but eventually were seated to an ok meal of sardines, cuttlefish, and of course beer and wine.
We eventually left the restaurant around 2 hours later and checked out the beach and coast line whilst waiting for the next bus to take us home on our turn journey. The Atlantic was in a savage mood this wet and wild day though and it was hard to imagine this beach ever appealing for sun-baking or swimming.
The later hour of the day meant that this particular bus wasn’t as full and we even managed to secure seats on the upper deck and under cover. We were so excited with this achievement that we decided to do another full loop at the end of this tour, just so we could the scenery again but from this better vantage point.
Our tour eventually ended back in the main square of the Old Town after 6 pm and so we walked towards home in search of somewhere to have a light snack for dinner. Most places were closed due to being a Sunday or wet or both and so we didn’t have a lot to choose from. We finally decided on this contemporary restaurant across the road from our apartment, Ar de Rio. Imagine a shipping container with glass sides and there you have it. Mark was starting to flag by this time and his 1 litre beer didn’t help this situation. The rather ordinary soup that we were both served didn’t help him here either but, hopefully, a good night sleep will. PS: I have just looked at some reviews of Ar de Rio and one stuck out that said….’food’s ok…view is gorgeous’, and, I’d have to agree!