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3 Weeks in Portugal: A photographic report of a trip in progress

3 Weeks in Portugal: A photographic report of a trip in progress

Old Jun 7th, 2021, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by russ_in_LA View Post
I’d be curious to know how people who live or have lived there would answer that question.
Whell, I don't live in Porto, I live in Matosinhos, a neighbour city. 30 yr ago, I didn't had the money to buy a flat in Porto. But anyway, to me is like living in Porto, it's 2 km (more or less one mile) away. However, my parent's live in Porto, I was born in Porto, and lived there till I was 21 yr old. I was born in the city center, at Ordem do Carmo, that's the hospital on the right side of Carmo church, whose photos Russ published. All my family lived there. My father was arrested as a child for bathing at the fountain at Rua Mousinho da Silveira, my great grandmother and my great... whatever (the syster of my great grandfather) used to sell chickens at the old market where now is a comercial center between Clérigos tower and Lello bookshop, my grandmother lived at Rua São Bento da Vitória, my father at Rua de Belomonte, etc. All these are inside the classified by Unesco Heritage area.

So, I believe I can answer the question, is Porto charming?

No, I can't. I don't lnow. It is magical, that's for sure. Everybody says that JKRowlling wrote Harry Potter inspired by Lello bookstore, but I think those years she lived here inspered her with magic thoughts.

Poeple from Porto are hard workers. We use to say (Braga reza, Porto trabalha, Coimbra estuda and Lisboa goza", translations is more or less Braga prays, Porto works, Coimbra studies, and Lisbon it's all about partying. So... work and charm are not quite compatible, right?

Anyway, to me thing are different. A very nice chapel, qhere the Santiago journey starts at Porto, for tourists is just that, a small nice chapel. To me, is the chapel of "going for the voices". And what does that means? You go there in absolute silence, ask a question to Our Lady Mary, and then you go through the streets earing other people conversations. You will have your answer. This is just an example about what might be considered charm by me, but not by others unaware of this myth.

Then, you have romantic places that can also be considered charming. Like all the oceanside, than you can reach by tram, really beautiful, with small beaches very nice, and a path that reminds a litle the French Riviera. The Romantic Museum (where the last Kind of Italy lived for a while) and the Cristal Palace gardens (there is no palace, just the gardens) are really nice and romantic, so perhaps charming.

So, what can I say about my city: charming, yes, probably. Astonishing in some views - definitely. Unique - well, that's the only city in Europe where the city park ends at the ocean. Romantic? Very much! As an example, the gardens of "Aguas do Porto", where 15 or 16 old fountains remain. Hilly, yes, but there are tricks for that. Magical - very, very much. Gritty - yes, on a Sunday morning, when everything is closed, you can see a lot of grafitty and old buildings crying to be recovered.

Sorry for this long statement. If any of you, Fodorites, nedd to know whatever about my city or my country, I'm at your disposal.

Thanks again, Russ, for your magnificent descriptions and photos!

Helena
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 10:22 PM
  #102  
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What a beautiful reply, Helena. Thank you!
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:34 AM
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Thanks for the photos. Porto is definitely on my list and Lisboa, even though I just live in North Spain but it seems it is easier to go now and travelling.

I do find Porto intersting, but it reminds of the landscape in North Spain and the towns so pretty similar in some way in the photos.

Thanks for the trip report
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 07:06 AM
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Still enjoying your report and gorgeous photos! You have a good eye for detail and composition!
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by russ_in_LA View Post
What a beautiful reply, Helena. Thank you!
Yes Helena, what an evocative testament to your home town, thank you! Makes me want to visit even more, would love to meet you for a chat over a glass of wine or port...😊
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika View Post
would love to meet you for a chat over a glass of wine or port...😊
Hi!

My pleasure! Not Port, I don't like! Red wine, from wherever in Portugal, is just fine!


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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 11:53 AM
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Fantastic report. Thanks Russ. We're still hoping to make it to Portugal in September.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 09:17 PM
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Helena, thank you very much for your detailed thoughts about Porto. I am looking forward to experiencing it firsthand someday.

And Russ, thanks again for your beautiful trip report. I greatly appreciate the information and virtual journey!
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by HelenaFatima View Post
Hi!

My pleasure! Not Port, I don't like! Red wine, from wherever in Portugal, is just fine!
Helena, that’s a deal, I too am a red wine aficionado, will definitely message you when my trip finally comes through. Right now am thinking end September or early October...
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Old Jun 17th, 2021, 03:58 AM
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Russ, I have just spent my morning reading your trip report and loving the photos. It was a wonderful way to start my day. Thanks!
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Old Jun 18th, 2021, 12:56 PM
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Thank you, Russ! I will be traveling solo from USA to Lisbon and Porto mid-July, and you've given me some wonderful ideas on what to see. And thank you for the info on the Covid test at the airport. I've been nervous about how to arrange that, as I will leave Porto on a Monday to go back to Lisbon for a 10:30 am flight out Tuesday morning, and I wasn't sure if I should try to find a place in Porto to get the test or do it at the Lisbon airport on the morning of my departure flight. May I ask you a couple questions? I will be going to Sintra as a day trip only from Lisbon. Can you recommend your two top sites to see there? And it's unclear to me how to get to these sites from the train station. Are any of the sites within walking distance from the train, meaning within a mile or two? And I will only be in Porto for about 1 3/4 day, so could you also recommend your must-dos while there, too, in that short of time? I have guide books, but your posting is wonderful and I would value your advice. Thanks a million. Chris, NYC

Last edited by chrism2806; Jun 18th, 2021 at 12:58 PM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2021, 03:50 AM
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Russ……..Today was the second time I went through your report and photos. Fodors Forums is the best place for “being there when you can’t be” and your report is one of the best. Thanks for taking the time for all the details. We spent only 4 days in Lisbon and always wanted to go back and see more of Portugal.

Chris…..don’t know if this will help but we did an all day tour from Lisbon with “Inside Lisbon” to Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca. We liked that the tour vans are small, maximum 8 people, the guide was excellent, and we had plenty of time to explore at each stop. Loved Pena Palace at Sintra, the views at Cabo da Roca, and lovely town of Cascais.
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Old Jun 21st, 2021, 05:09 AM
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Put my thoughts among the numerous accolades.
we cancelled our Portugal trip April 2020. We already have travel plans this year to other places so we cannot return to Portugal now but your report makes me long for a return, our 5th trip
Thanks.



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Old Jun 21st, 2021, 01:07 PM
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Thank you Russ, for your reply to my questions. I will check out Inside Lisbon. Tours can be great, and I didn't think of that option. Gracias!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2021, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chrism2806 View Post
Thank you Russ, for your reply to my questions. I will check out Inside Lisbon. Tours can be great, and I didn't think of that option. Gracias!
I hope you have a very good health insurance. Try to say "Gracias" in Portugal, and you will find out why. Just saying...
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Old Jun 26th, 2021, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by HelenaFatima View Post
I hope you have a very good health insurance. Try to say "Gracias" in Portugal, and you will find out why. Just saying...
Obrigada, Helena. Can you tell me why using Gracias is so bad? I hear it used in non-Spanish speaking Europe and the USA, as well as Merci, suggesting all forms of thank yous are typically appreciated, regardless of the nationality. So please educate this dumb foreigner.

Last edited by chrism2806; Jun 26th, 2021 at 06:57 AM.
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Old Jun 26th, 2021, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by chrism2806 View Post
Obrigada, Helena. Can you tell me why using Gracias is so bad? I hear it used in non-Spanish speaking Europe and the USA, as well as Merci, suggesting all forms of thank yous are typically appreciated, regardless of the nationality. So please educate this dumb foreigner.
Well - I'm not HelenaFatima -- but one clue would be Gracias is Spanish and not Portuguese . . .
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Old Jun 26th, 2021, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Well - I'm not HelenaFatima -- but one clue would be Gracias is Spanish and not Portuguese . . .
Yes, everyone knows that. So because it's Spanish, that makes it so bad? That would surprise me, as "thanks yous" are typically accepted in any language, which is why I'm asking. I'm aware of the historical relations and mistrust, but there's been a thawing, but perhaps not to a large extent yet.

Last edited by chrism2806; Jun 26th, 2021 at 07:50 AM.
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Old Jun 26th, 2021, 07:41 AM
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I'm aware of the historical relations, but there's been a thawing.
If you're actually aware of the history, why are you asking? Maybe you need to do some more research. What "thawing" have you seen?
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Old Jun 26th, 2021, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chrism2806 View Post
So please educate this dumb foreigner.
You're not dumb at all, and I was making a sort of a joke. You are right about that thawing thing, but not much.

The problem of speaking spanish in Portugal is not exactly because of our issues with Spain, but because we imediately assume that other foreigners speaking spanish with us it's because they think we are a province of Spain, which we are not since 1143. So if someone aproaches and say something in Spanish, we imediately ask "Oh, usted es español?" (are you spanish), and if the person says "yes", or "no I'm mexican" or "bolivian", or any other country whose language is Castellano, than it's ok, we all speack spanish (mainly due to the tv series and movies, and of course because the two languages are similar, and they are our only neighbours). But if the person replies "no, I'm from Norway, or Sweden, or England", then we say politely sorry I don't speack spanish, and ask "do you speack english?"

Perhaps we are the dumb ones. Maybe we lack a litle of self-esteem.
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