Monday, August 22, 2016

Europe 2016 Trip Notes # 2

Our first full day in Porto started with a full European breakfast: various egg dishes, meats, cheeses, fruits and pastries. Once fortified, it was off to investigate the town of Porto.

Model Of Ancient Porto

The first place to see was Casa do Infantes - a  newly opened and wonderful museum emphasizing Roman occupation and the well-known Portuguese explorers of Henry The Navigator, Cabral, Vasco du Gama and Magellan. 

Slight Morning Drizzle Did Not Dampen Our Spirits
Blue Design Represents Ancient, Triangular Sails Of Portuguese Ships

The actual museum building was a customs house during the 13th -16th centuries. 

Model Of Custom House

Looking Down At Old Support Wall

Looking Up At An Upper Floor

Roman Floor Found During Excavation And Renovation

Pretty Tiles and Pottery Found 


Clay Pipes

These "New" Items Were Found In Building

The customs house was responsible for establishing commercial units of measure and standards as was the minting of coins for the local government.

Typical Coins Of This Era

Low-Tech "Calculator"
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Like many European towns, Porto has many churches -- most worth a quick visit to see the architecture, the ornate interior and, if large enough, the crypts. The San Francisco Church was "baroque" in its finest.

Church Entrance Is On Right Side

Church Interior

Many Crypts Underneath Church

Buried In Wall: Gomes Must Have Made Large Donations

Small Donations: These Guys (Only) Get A Number

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It was fun checking out some of the tourist shops. Every country has something to offer. Porto stores sell copies of different ceramic tile designs made famous over the years. 

Typical Patterns: Beautiful!

Many stores sell a variety of items made from cork as well as miniature toy trams (street car) typical of the town.

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Although originally founded on the Douro River, Porto has grown over the centuries expanding onto the hills behind the river bank. 

Our Backs Are To Town - Looking Out At River

Walking the streets and alleyways of Porto called for a "siesta" and why not since a good part of he town (other than the tourist areas) shuts down between Noon and 3:00 PM.

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Refreshed and ready to go following a short rest, we wandered the narrow walkways ultimately ending up at the restaurant where we ate last night. The staff was happy to see us - the manager insisted that we have a special window table followed by him presenting to us a complementary glass of port.

Typical Porto Meal: Meat And Potatoes. Bread Baked With Sausage
This "sweet wine" along with beer and red wine more than went well with our meal - two different types of steak along with potatoes and a small salad. After dinner, we wandered along the riverbank, watching people, people-watch and inhaling a truly special ambiance.

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