Saturday 25 June … Porto

The sun is shining with a few puffy clouds, the city is busy with some tired people around. The Sao Joao Festival celebrations over the last few days have taken it’s toll as the locals party to all hours of the morning. Several restaurants and shops close for a few days … is that why the trains strike?? Nobody wants to miss out!

It is still quite cool here today around 19C a breeze takes the edge off the temperature. A feast for the amateur photographer, many churches, old building, bridges, the river and people what more can you ask for to get a good photo.

Today has no fixed agenda … I did want to see Liveria Lello labelled the most beautiful bookshop in the world, the line way down the road … I will have to be satisfied with pictures on line. But wait it is 5.30pm and it closes at 7pm, off we go for a last chance, the line is not too bad and with a little help from staff with the free wifi we have purchased tickets on line to escalate our entry and are in the doors at 6.30pm. A lovely tiny shop with 2 levels and a pink floored spiral staircase. There is something for everyone as books are available in many languages, as people browse with the intention to buy to get their €5 entrance fee refunded and the shop sticker on the cover.

The narrow house Casa Escondida (hidden house) built between 2 churches was also on my list. An entrance to one of the churches gave you entrance to the house where a couple and their 13 children lived.

Then it was wander time, lunch at an alfresco Cafe with tapas of traditional food, cod fish cakes and some salted cod … both were simply amazing, The streets look very festive as they are still decorated with garlands from the past festivities. A lovely stroll down to the ferry terminal, shops and markets doing a roaring trade, not to mention the restaurants, every vacant area is taken up with tables and chairs. We climbed 221 stairs, John was counting … we carried the bikes down these last week when we were here. Today the bikes are in the hotel garage having a well earned break.

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