48 hours in Porto, Portugal

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Ah, what a life I have to be able to spend 48 hours in Porto, Portugal.  Just a quick hop, skip and jump from Spain, it’s the perfect weekend travel destination.  There were some inexpensive flights available, so we jumped on it and went!

Porto Collage


 

These 48 hours in Porto, Portugal were my second trip to this beautiful city, but it was a TOTALLY different experience.  For one… there was sun.DSC_0102

And second, I was with Luis.DSC_0104

And third, I ate so much fish I think I may have overdosed.DSC_0285

All good things!!

Our trip started early, but not TOO early, which was nice.  Our flight left at 9:20 am, and due to the time difference, we landed ’20 minutes later’.  We headed straight to the airbnb, (super cute couple, with a hipster vibe and I decided I want their apartment) and then turned right back out the door to start exploring! DSC_0004 

With just two short days, we had some goals for each day.  Our fist day, we wanted to walk around to get a feel for the city, see the Bolhao Market– an old time, outdoor market, and then go to the river and take a tour of one of the famous Port Wine Wineries.

So, first- the market.DSC_0024 

Across Europe, these markets are one of my absolute favorite things to see.  They are so authentic and such an integral part of the society.DSC_0020 

It’s where their food comes from, after all.  I can’t say I have ever seen a market like this in the US, unless you want to count Reading Terminal in Philadelphia, or Pike Place in Seattle.  I don’t think so…DSC_0030 DSC_0034 DSC_0041 DSC_0037 DSC_0048 DSC_0046

 

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Someone has a sense of humor!DSC_0051

From there, we headed the a small bakery and cafe across the street to try a Pastel de Nata, which is a Portugese pastry that comes from the 18th century, created by Catholic monks.DSC_0064

When I tell Luis to smile:DSC_0055

and…when he tells me to smile:DSC_0056

But we were happy with our pastel 🙂DSC_0065

From there, we made our way towards the river (the Duoro, to be exact).DSC_0129

Love the colorful buildings!DSC_0102 DSC_0103 DSC_0105 DSC_0114 DSC_0108 DSC_0120

And then we crossed the Dom Luis I Bridgewhich connects Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia (the area that has all of the famous Port Wine wineries).

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We were starting to get hungry (and some of us cranky…won’t mention names), so we snapped a photo and then did our usual dance of running back and forth between restaurants because we (I) are indecisive.DSC_0140

Eventually we settled on a place, right on the water.   Can’t beat these views….DSC_0144

I would say the food was ‘ok’, but the company was great.DSC_0147 DSC_0152 DSC_0155

Once we were full, we headed straight to a port wine tour!  There are lots of options to choose from, but Taylor’s kept getting great recommendations, so we went with that one.DSC_0180 

Last time I was in Porto, we went to Calem, which I really enjoyed, but we wanted to try something else, so Taylor’s it was!

When I went to Calem, we had a live tour, but Taylor’s only offers an audio guide tour.  The tickets were 12 Euro each and included the audio guide and a tasting.  We realized after we paid that it might not be completely necessary to pay for the audio guide.  All of the information is written and maybe they tell you a little bit more with the audioguide.  So…go in free and just pay for the tastings.  Ah, ya can’t win em all.  So we did the wine tour…DSC_0163

And learned a lot! It’s a little difficult for me to pay attention to an audio guide, but I thought it was pretty well done and they had a lot of information.  Once we finished the tour, we headed through this beautiful patio, and bee-lined for the tastings 😉DSC_0184

We were able to try both a white and red port (of course I don’t know the names), but we both liked the red (sweeter) one better.DSC_0205 DSC_0210

I’m not sure port will ever be something I really enjoy, but it was a good experience!

After that, we got a sandwich to share, had a drink, bought supermarket food, and made dinner at home.  


The next day started with a run!  It was Luis’ idea to run and I’m so glad we did!  What a good way to see the city and we covered a lot of ground in a short time.  After the run, showers, and getting ourselves dressed, we headed out to explore.  But FIRST!  Tortilla de mama espanola!!!DSC_0234 DSC_0227DSC_0235

pure bliss.

We stopped along the way for some shots:DSC_0238

And then headed back to the river.  But Luis found his bridge!DSC_0254 

We had fun plans!  We rented bikes and rode them ALLLLLL along the river until it becomes the ocean.  If you keep riding (about an hour at a moderate pace), you will come to a village called Afurada, which is a fisherman village!  It is full of restaurants grilling freshly caught fish.DSC_0267

We checked out a few restaurants and eventually decided on a restaurant called Restaurant Xarroco.  We actually planned to go to another (Restaurant de Peixe Sao Valentim), which was recommended by our airbnb host, but they were closing up!  Sad.  But luckily, the place we chose was great.DSC_0265

We started with olives, bread, and mussels (for L), and then our dish came!  We ordered the “mix” of fish for 2 people.  DSC_0285

2 people?!  It was so much fish, but SO good.  By the time we finished, I had sworn off ever eating fish again, but now I am ready to have more…

These photos say it all.  Before:DSC_0268

After:DSC_0292

Only two survivors on that plate…

We hopped back on the bikes and rode along the ocean and river to the most INCREDIBLE sunset!DSC_0298DSC_0310 DSC_0301

And all was well until Luis took a tumble off the bike!  He was totally ok, but it was scary and he hurt his hand and broke his watch.  

Once we returned the bikes, we walked back to the airbnb where I fell asleep and dreamt (had nightmares) about fish.  DSC_0246

What a weekend!!

48 hours in Porto, Portugal is the perfect amount of time to see everything, do everything, and leaves a lingering sensation that you should probably go back in the future.  The perfect weekend travel!

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