On Friday in Porto, I got an early start and went first to the city’s oldest Cathedral. The Cathedral is situated on a hill overlooking the town and the river and has impressive blue and white tile murals all on the outside. The Cathedral was pretty but not time-consuming and soon I was on my way to the Casa Museo Junquierro. The Casa Museo is an old Portuguese home close to the cathedral which was elaborately decorated. Each room had some interesting pieces, but there were only two floors so I also got finished there fairly quickly. Next, I took the steps down into the Ribiera district from the hill. This was actually one of my favorite things I did while in Porto. The view from the steps is absolutely gorgeous and so colorful. I was taking the steps down because I wanted to find the Romanticism Museum, but I got lost and couldn’t find it.
After a while, I decided to try for the Romanticism museum the next day. Instead, I went to the Torre de los Clergios which was very close to my hostel and finally got to climb to the top. It was super windy up there but it is one of the most tall buildings in the city. I also got to see the inside of the Clergios church. I stopped by my hostel to use the restroom and I ended up talking to the guy at the front desk and got a great recommendation of where to go enjoy the local sandwich, the franchesina. A franchesina has a variety of meat (ham, sausage, beef) in the center of the sandwich which is baked and then covered in cheese and a special sauce. It was yummy but so filling! After lunch, I walked back over the bridge and took the gondola down into Gaia.
When I got there, I went to tour Sandeman’s wine cellar. They had an interesting display of the evolution of Sandeman’s advertising, which I thought was very interesting. The wine tasting was also good but I hurried in order to get back on a river cruise. Unfortunately, it started raining a little after I got onboard, but it was still pretty. I also met a super nice guy from the Netherlands to hang out with during the cruise. After the cruise, I went to tour Ferreira, which was nice, but crowded. Then I walked up the hill to see Taylor’s wine cellar, since it’s my name! It was closed though, so I couldn’t go inside.
On the way down the hill from Taylor’s I stopped for a final porto wine and chocolate tasting before heading over the river to O Muro for some more traditional Portuguese food. O Muro gives you a ton of food for a good price. I got a traditional Portuguese seafood stew and some traditional ginja liquor. Saturday morning was my last morning, and I finally figured out how to get to the Romanticism museum. I got a personal tour by a super nice guide of the museum and all of the treasures. I taught him how to say some things in English, and the whole museum was very pretty. Before heading to the airport, I went to the Museo Nacional de Soares dos Reis, which houses a lot of Portuguese art. Then I was on the metro back to the airport. I really enjoyed visiting Porto, and it definitely affirmed that Portugal is a great place for a vacation that is full of cultural activities, great food and drink, beautiful beaches, and really nice people!