In keeping with our promise to our kids that we’ll make the most of our time here to explore Europe, we’ve logged a few more miles this latest Spring holiday. Joined by Grandma, we had extra motivation to find new-to-all-of-us destinations.
Our destination for Easter was Porto, Portugal. Other than the surprising, nearly non-existence recognition of Easter, it did not disappoint. We had high hopes of catching some grand Easter processions, weaving ceremoniously through the streets. Turned out this took place in all the other towns, not Porto.
Never-mind, we found plenty of sweet spots to enjoy port infused drinks so we celebrated Easter our own way. Water into wine, right?
If you look closely, there’s a bunny hidden somewhere in this picture.
The Easter Bunny found us in Porto.
A Porto Tonico and a Port Fizz. Don’t mind if we do…
Turns out Porto would be our only hot weather along this journey. Too bad we didn’t know that going into it. More on that in part-two of this photo-heavy post.
We found a super hotel, in the heart of it all.
Enjoying some relaxation in the Windsor Bar, surrounded by images of the royalty that preceded us.
A favourite spot for the kids, the hotel sitting room. Better WiFi than in the room…
The breakfast room – a great place to start each day.
What do we do when we have G’ma with us? Climb aboard the hop-on-hop-off bus of course!
Traveling Prosecco bar – a good sign that we’d like this town.
Where we chose to hop-off, over looking the Douro and Cais da Ribeira
We chose a sunny spot for lunch. We weren’t well dressed for a cool morning in an open top bus, foreshadowing of what was to come.
Sardines are famous in the area. G’ma dove in, with 6 surprisingly big fish to eat.
Evidence that it was yummy. A lot of work but worth it.
The pretty spot we chose, before we brought our special mess-making talent.
The view above. Pretty patios aplenty.
Plenty of colourful wares to tempt you.
My happy lunch companions.
Looking down over the city.
We explored the pretty, narrow streets.
We weren’t the only ones with the idea to explore Porto.
Beautiful art amid the old architecture.
Exceptional historic structures and their lovely tile facades.
The colours of Portugal.
Even some of the vespas were bedazzled.
Love the bright coloured facades.
There was a line outside this cafe around the clock and a bouncer to control it all. Turns out this cafe is ranked in the top 10 most beautiful cafes in the world.
One evening we left our hotel in search of a quick bite to eat. We found the cafe’s line had gone so we took our chance to go inside. It was a lovely spot for a Chardonnay and a Caesar salad. Not typical coffee shop fare but suited us perfectly.
A yummy dinner out around the corner from our hotel.
So delicious. Thank goodness we don’t eat like this every day.
When in Porto, a glass of port or two is necessary.
We found a cathedral on Easter Sunday just in time to catch the service.
We chose the cheap seats in the back, also known as the “easy to sneak out” seats. Sitting through a full service in Portuguese was an unrealistic expectation.
Further exploring in the warm sunshine.
My handsome boy in Porto.
There’s not too much of a height difference here anymore…
When they aren’t trying to kill each other, they’re good buddies.
In Porto there is a signature sandwich. This is a 1/2 portion of it. It’s kind of like a meat-lovers, grilled cheese sandwich, swimming in gravy. Pure gluttony. Pretty darn tasty.
A pretty art installation by the beach. A tribute to the importance of fishing in this town.
Photos of Porto would not be complete without an image of the seagulls who pose happily for photos.
Pretty colourful streets.
Before departing, G’ma and I snuck out for a coffee at the hidden gem around the corner. It was closed. But a worker inside said he’d be happy to make us a coffee anyhow. It was heavenly. Such a treat. And so much more worthy of a line-up than the Majestic Cafe, mere meters away.
After our fourth night in Porto, Manolo came to pick us up. He had enjoyed a week of surfing in Northern Spain on his own. We left Porto and made our way North, pausing to see Braga. Little known fact…Braga is the back-up plan for the Pope. If The Vatican is under attack, the Pope is brought here. Who knew!? Now we do!
Knowing The Pope could pop in at any moment means the town needs to be looking its best all the time.
Pretty bikes always improve the look of a town.
Not to mention vast gardens. You could smell it before you saw it. So lovely.
A pretty palace in Braga.
Grandma, the willing adventurer along for the ride. Stay tuned for the next installment of our adventures in Portugal & Spain.