Porto

Originally we had planned on stopping off at the marina in Porto but, when they emailed us to say it was €44 a night, we went to Póvoa de Varzim just up the coast. Here it costs less than half the price and the train to Porto is €2.80. Additionally the staff are extremely efficient and very friendly and there is a Honda dealer to service our outboard after we dropped it in the sea.

Yesterday we caught the train to Porto for a day of “big town” tourism. The journey was through miles and miles of corn fields and past the huge aquaduct we had cycled past the day before. The aquaduct is 4km long and was built to carry water from a spring to a priory. Any one caught stealing water from it was excommunicated. There was no messing with the church back then.

In Porto we visited churches, the town hall, a monstrous bridge, the old town and a station. It was a bit of a shock to suddenly be surrounded by busloads of tourists feom all over the world and people trying to extract money from the tourists. The station we visited had tiled frescoes showing the history of the city and waves of tourists. In the cathedral a baby was being baptised amongst a river of tourists. Do the locals get annoyed or do the just stop noticing us?

60 meter high bridge in Poeto

The bridge was sixty meters high and offered stunning views of the surrounding city. It is a tram bridge and regularly trams would pass ringing their bells and hoping every one got out of their way in time.

We ate in a cafe on a street one back from the riverside but still paid a lot for a little. Living in small harbours and fishing villages, we had forgotten what happens to prices when tourism occurs.

By mid afternoon we had all had enough of city life and took the train back to the “real world”, peace and quiet. We al three agreed that citys are not for us.

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