June 14: Porto

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom 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 theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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.

AftOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAer an Italian dinner, we said goodbye to our German pilgrim friends who are returning home tomorrow.  Dennis and I enjoyed our time with Tomas, Irma, and Andres–we shared a lot of laughs.


About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit janevblanchard.com. I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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