We left Coimbra around 10 and arrived in Porto around 12:30. Porto is the largest city I have seen in Portugal, with large buildings and plazas that remind me of Madrid, Spain. The train station, Sao Bento is adorned with blue and white tiles. Leaving the station, I was dwarfed by tall stone buildings that prevented the sun from reaching the streets.
We found a reasonably priced hotel, Residencia Solar, on Rua Santa Catarina. The room is cramped but the bed is comfy and the WIFI is the strongest we’ve seen in Portugal.
After getting settled in we went for lunch and then to the cathedral to get our pilgrim’s passport stamped. The building looks more like a fort than a place to worship. Surprisingly, the inside is very narrow, and dark.
From the plaza in front of the cathedral is a vista point overlooking the city. I counted eight churches in the area. Each has a different look, possibly reflecting the various epochal styles. It was windy on the hill near the cathedral and I could smell the salty Atlantic.
The Rio Douro divides the city. From Ponte Luis, you can look down to the boats and gondolas on the river. Porto, to me, is one of the nicest European metropolis, very clean, and easy to get around in. Tomorrow we leave it to continue on towards Santiago; the Way promises to be scenic, with more pilgrims and pilgrim’s accommodations.