The Wine and the River
Porto's most famous attractions are its wine and its river (the bridges that cross it, the boats that sail it...). You can experience both of them by taking a river cruise that goes all the way to the Douro Valley, where the grapes that make the wine are grown. These are truly unique vineyards (that's why UNESCO declared them a World Heritage Site), and the views are magnificent.
You can hop on a boat on either side of the river, either by the old Ribeira district, or by the wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Highly recommended. You don't have to be a wine lover to appreciate the magnificent views of the city and the valleys in a cruise down the Douro.
A memorable experience.
Such a strange sign defacing a rather beautiful (yet dilapidated) building...
"Vestir bem e barato, só aqui"
"Dress well and cheap, only here"
It's obviously advertising for a clothing shop.
Learn a bit of Portugese, even...
Learn a bit of Portugese, even if its only a small bit,
Yes = Sim, No = Não,
Thank you = Obrigado, Thank you very much = Muito obrigado(a),
You're welcome = De nada, Please = Se faz favor,
Excuse me = Com licença, Hello = Olá,
Goodbye = Adeus, Tchau, So long = Até já, Até logo
Good morning = Bom dia, Good afternoon = Boa tarde,
Good evening = Boa noite, Good night = Boa noite,
I do not understand = Não percebo. These three were Porto fans and shouted they wanted us to beat FC Boavista, well i think thats what they said!
Each people that have passed through the territory, that comprehends theactual Portugal have left their mark in terms of culture. From Roman times, and even from before then, as a result of the long Arab presence and their own maritime voyages to Africa, the Far East and the Southern Atlantic, the Portuguese have built up a unique culture and a different art.
Especially in the south, Portuguese architecture is a knowledgeable blend of Arab features and European styles such as the Renaissance. Of them all, the Manueline style (16th-century), an exaltation of the Portuguese overseas expansion, is perhaps the most original. Some of these masterpieces are considered World Heritage, and Portugal, a small country, is proud of having no less than 12 classified sites!
The art of the 'azulejos', the glazed decorative tile, inherited from the Moors, was used in Portugal in a very different way from all the other European countries. The most distinctive tiles are the blue and white azulejos of the baroque period. They are used to line the walls of churches, cloisters and palaces, forming a kind of graffiti that tells us the stories of saints or recounts profane themes, such as... the fables of La Fontaine.
Kept at Portuguese Museums are magical pieces that teach people about our art and history and show us the works of art that were born from the artistic inspiration of the Portuguese in their encounters with other peoples. More.
But culture is also the reflection of a lifestyle. Calm and tranquil (except when behind a steering-wheel) and endowed with an innate sense of politeness, the Portuguese have a melancholic side to them, that they refer to as “saudade” and which finds its most moving expression in Fado.
Stadium of Boavista FC
The Estadio do Bessa was under construction when we were there, they are preparing it for the European Soccer Championships in 2004, which will take place in ... yes, you guessed right! : Portugal. Both stands behind the goals were completely gone, but the high main stands at both sides provided for a nice soccer atmosphere. Somewhat disappointingly, only about 6,000 spectators showed up for this UEFA Cup match, among them about 300 Hertha fans from Berlin.