Portugal at last!

Old Jun 19th, 2022, 06:40 AM
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Thank you !
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:17 AM
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I so enjoyed reading this report and all of the memories it brought up of my fantastic trip to Portugal in 2018!

I traveled to Egypt in 2010, when I was recently out of grad school, on more of a shoestring budget, and less experienced with travel planning, but these are the highlights I remember:

Cairo/Giza
  • Seeing the pyramids via camel
  • Sultan Hassan mosque
  • Bab Zuweila gate/tower
Luxor
  • Medinat Habu temple
  • Any of the temples in the peace and coolness of the early morning
  • Felucca ride
  • Looking back, I wish I'd done a hot air balloon ride here
  • We did a lot of the major sites in the heat of a July day, which I don't recommend, so that's why they don't stand out as highlights
You are smarter than me and not going in the dead of summer, but even still, I highly, highly recommend spending some time in a beach town on the Sinai Peninsula. At the recommendation of a friend who had gone to grad school in Cairo, we stayed in Dahab rather than the pricier resort town of Sharm el Sheikh. I'm not sure which of the two I'd choose now, since my budget for travel has grown a bit, but Dahab was a perfectly relaxed town with a bit of a backpackers vibe and so many Australians! It's a big scuba diving center, and although I don't dive, I did the best snorkeling of my life here. My best memories of the days in Dahab were walking away from shore to a local market for the most delicious falafel sandwiches that cost less than $2 and then heading to one of the shore-front restaurants to lounge and drink milkshakes - repeat at least twice every day! This was the perfect antidote from the heat, the busyness of Cairo, and the constant attention you attract as an American tourist in Egypt.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 08:52 AM
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Great pictures! Especially the tile. We saw a lot of exquisite blue tiles in Porto, Aveiro, and Faro. The first two especially.
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Old Jun 27th, 2022, 08:41 AM
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I'm still following! If I ever return to Europe, a second visit to Portugal is at the top of the list.
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Old Jun 27th, 2022, 12:34 PM
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Sorry it’s taken so long to get back! I’ve been busy trying to organize our upcoming trip while also recuperating
from our post-trip COVID episode and having a visit from family!

memejs, thank you for all your recommendations on Egypt! I appreciate them. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to get to a beach town in Egypt but we will be staying at the Dead Sea in Jordan 😁

asterisktom, the blue tiles were amazing, weren’t they? I loved them.

mlgb, so glad you’re enjoying this! Thank you for following!

We have just a few more days and I will post them soon - promise!
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Old Jun 28th, 2022, 10:16 AM
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Progol, Barredo (what you call the medieval area of the city) is not touristic, but I must say I'm not surprised that you went there. What I am surprised is that you didn't take a pic of the litle girl beyond a very much yellow umbrella, holded by a nice man.

Another thing concerning Barredo (Escadas do Barredo) that might be of interest to others: at the pic where Progol says they had sweets, you can see, after the sweet things shop, on the right side, 3 windows and two doors. The windows and the 1st door are the location of the most difficult place to find: Escondidinho do Barredo. It's kind of a restaurant. Not fancy, quite the opposite. They don't have dishes, neither soups, they serve "petiscos" (snacks? The spanish concept of "tapas", or what the french call "grignoter"). In many other things, they have the best bifanas in town!

(this litlle girl)

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Old Jun 28th, 2022, 11:12 AM
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Oh, Helena, What a wonderful image! We were on a walking tour when we went through the Barredo, but the guide didn't point this out, sadly. Of course, I would've taken a photo here! Of course, if I knew the little girl was here, you can bet I would've taken a photo!!
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Old Jun 28th, 2022, 11:52 AM
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Well, guides are having a hard time in Barredo, locals don't allow them to seat on the stairs and talk. They say they cannot disturb people! And at the end of the stairs, that go in different ways, perhaps your guide didn't pass by this litlle girl. Anyway, I'm still smiling that you have been there, I think it's the first time in these kind of foruns (Rick's Steve's, Trypadvisor and this one... or even Atlas Obscura) reporting a visit to Barredo. Even people that know about it's existence, usually get lost with the other stairs (escadas do Codeçal), because they seem the logical way.

This is where I meet Duque (Duque da Ribeira, his bust is at the end of the tunnel). He was born and lived in Barredo. In those days (a long time ago, during the 80thies) it was not safe to go down the stairs, so we (me and my friends) used to enjoy his presence at the end of the stairs, at Ribeira (and not Barredo). He was a very kind man, and enjoyed our company, we were much younger than him, and he told us a lot of interesting stories. But he is known for saving people from the river, and mainly for rescuing the corps of people that died in the river (by accident, some of them, but mainly suicidals).

Guindais, Codeçal, Barredo and even Ribeira are much more than the touristic things one finds there. Like the touristic trap that are the "6 bridges cruises".

I am glad, Progol, that you visited unkown places.

And I love your pics!
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Old Jul 19th, 2022, 12:59 PM
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May I ask what type of camera you used to take these beautiful pictures?
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Old Jul 19th, 2022, 05:19 PM
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Helena, a very belated thank you for all your wonderful comments! We truly did enjoy Porto - and I will eventually post just a few more photos - but I’ve really enjoyed your comments and learning about the different areas of Porto. And I really love the story about the Duque. He sounds like he was a remarkable man.

susanedwards, For the last 2 trips, our photos have been strictly iPhone! My husband and I were both photographers, but gradually we gave in to ease and convenience. In truth, there are times I really miss our cameras, even the better point and shoots, but my husband points out that we always have the phone accessible.
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Old Jul 31st, 2022, 12:40 PM
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Beautiful photos! I hope to go next year.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 09:36 AM
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Hi, all,
I know it's been a while, but life has gotten in the way, between recuperating from COVID (not bad, but still no fun), planning our NEXT trip to Jordan & Egypt, and dealing with too many family issues... and finishing a trip is always bittersweet, no?

Thank you, Fishnlines29! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos! Enjoy planning your trip!

Now, for the final installments....
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 10:48 AM
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On May 31, our penultimate full day in Porto, we woke up to unsettled weather and so we slowly got going until the rain seemed to stop, more or less. We enjoyed our basket of breakfast goodies, which was delivered each morning to our apartment, containing pastries/fruit/cheese/bread/fruit and coffee! It was always a surprise to discover what was in the basket.

Eventually, we got out, strolling down the pedestrian street Rua das Flores, where our apartment was located, to confirm our appointment for our COVID test at the Farmacia Moreno, an attractive, old-fashioned style pharmacy with a welcoming staff. I had made the reservation over a month before we left for the trip, but there really was no need to make reservations in advance. As of now, of course, there's no urgency for covid testing for travel, but if you need to go to a pharmacy, I do recommend it.



Rua das Flores



And on to the next stop...


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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 11:00 AM
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Off to Sé do Porto, the Porto Cathedral, build in the 12th century. It was a bit of a hike uphill, but not too bad. After a chat with a local and looking at the views over the city, we made our way inside. Of course, I LOVED the tiles in the cloister (so beautiful!) though M is getting a little jaded over more beautiful tiles! Still, we really enjoyed our visit here, listening to an organist for for a while and going up to the tower for some great views.





































Last edited by progol; Aug 9th, 2022 at 11:11 AM.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 11:43 AM
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After leaving the Cathedral, we walked over to Dom Luis I Bridge, when the skies just opened up. We were standing by the Casa de Guitarra, where fado is played daily. Although we were stopping in out of the rain, the people at the shop were very welcoming and M enjoyed sampling a few of the wares. My big regret is that we didn't get to one of the shows.






After the rain subsided (again) and we left the Casa da Guitarra, we strolled over the bridge a bit.

Whistles on the bridge

We bumped into Sergio, our guide from the tour 2 days earlier, and he gave us directions to the Cafe Santiago, a place known for the ultimate in Portuguese cuisine, the Franceshina (or "little French girl"). This was styled after the croque-monsieur (hence the name), but it is truly of Porto. It's not for the faint of heart -- or anyone having any cardiac issues - as it is filled with layers of beef, ham, sausage, melted cheese and an egg on a sliced bread sandwich surrounded by fries! We shared one sandwich and it was more than enough for both of us!

This is the placemat with a photo of the Franceshina; I didn't take a photo of the sandwich itself, to my regret!!


Franceshina at Cafe Santiago, borrowed from the internet



Last edited by progol; Aug 9th, 2022 at 12:27 PM.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 12:33 PM
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Ah, another heart attack on a plate. (The original is a British breakfast.)

Cloisters seldom disappoint.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 12:51 PM
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Oh my! That place is only a 9-minute walk from my lodging. I will have to try one when we go. Hopefully someone will help me finish it.
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 12:57 PM
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We took a long walk along the Ribeira, first to check out the location for the starting point of tram #1 toward the Foz do Douro, where we planned to go the following day. We then walked over the lower portion of the Dom Luis I bridge to Via Nova de Gaia, where we wandered along the waterfront. We were amazed at how pleasant it was, just soaking up the ambience. There are plenty of places to eat and drink here, with many port lodges to choose from. There's also the Teleférico de Gaia, a cable car that goes between the water's edge and the Serra do Pilar monastery. Our guide did not recommend taking the cable car, however.

Tram #1


Old houses along the waterfront


Old houses along the waterfront


















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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Ah, another heart attack on a plate. (The original is a British breakfast.)

Cloisters seldom disappoint.
So true, thursdaysd, the British breakfast is a killer, though the Franceshina takes the prize!

The cloister at the cathedral in Porto is a standout, though I do love the feeling of most cloisters. Growing up and still living in NYC, I'm very partial to The Cloisters, too!
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Old Aug 9th, 2022, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by maitaitom View Post
Oh my! That place is only a 9-minute walk from my lodging. I will have to try one when we go. Hopefully someone will help me finish it.
I was thinking of you, maitatom. Be careful - be verrry careful!! Though I imagine Tracy will help you finish it -- I'm sure she wouldn't want you to eat the whole thing!
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