Thursday, May 15, 2014

A dream that came true

 Hello folks!

There where no posts recently as I was travelling - to Porto, Portugal and Malta.
Today's post is about Porto - the city I wanted to visit for a long time and finally spent few days there.
And I can say only few words - I am in Love!!!!

I stayed at MyStay Hotel - a very good hotel in the city centre with a kitchen in a room. The room itself is very clean and nice. The hotel is pretty small and doesn't have an elevator but for me that's not very important. My room had a small balcony and here you can see few photos I made from my balkony :) MyStay besides the good rooms has also very helpfull staff and the price is also very reasonable! If you decide to visit Porto I highly recommend you to choose this hotel. They also provide transfer service from and to the airport.

Before I came to Porto I saw some pics in internet and in reality Porto is the same as on the pics. All these red tile roofs... river Douro...the ocean... A friend of mine Ana Pina has a lovely blog and there I found a lot of amazing photos of Porto. And these pics made me to think that it's possible to find and show the beauty of the town you live in to everyone. I mean when you live somewhere sometimes you don't see the beauty coz you take your city for granted. And it made think that I should try to do the same - find something I've never noticed before about the city I live in.
When you plane is landing you see red tile roofs and the ocean. And I have to confess I haven't noticed the ocean as in the beginning decided it was some clouds ))))))

The best way to explore any city for me is to walk. For Porto you need comfortable shoes (even though I noticed that some women wear high heels) and be ready that the streets are always go up and down and some of them are pretty narrow. Almost each and every building is covered by azulejos. It was so nice to walk around the city and enjoy old and modern buildings. I visited Clerigos tower and saw the city from the top of it - just breathtaking!

Of course I couldn't miss an oportunity to visit a wine cellar as I like port wine and it was interesting. All wine cellars are located in Vila Nova de Gaia - just on the other side of the river Douro and all you need is to cross Dom Luis Bridge. You can visit any wine cellar you want to but a girl from a wine shop suggested me to visit Burmester wine cellar as they don't have too many people for a wine cellar tour and as a result you'll get more attention and will be able to ask everything you wanna know about the port wine. Every tour includes a wine sampling - usually two port wines.
I wanted to buy some port wine and was lucky enough as I bumped into a nice wine shop with a very professional girl inside. She let me to try different port wines and now I know that I'm a colheita person )))) But even though I prefer colheita to vintage I bought vintage port wine that was produced in 2011 year as it was a very good year and in few years the bottle will cost more than I payed. BUT! if you open a vintage porto wine you MUST drink it in 2-3 days or you'll get a very expensive vinegar :)

In my opinion people in Porto are friendly and it's easier to find someone who speaks English in Porto than in Moscow. People communicate pretty easily and I even met some people that was giving free hugs :) I hope you remember the story about free hugs :)

Beside shopping for port wine in Porto you'll also find variety of shoes, local cheeses, olives and olive oil. I also bought very funny socks - just couldn't pass the shop with such colorfull socks inside :) I was also lucky to buy leather shoeses but port wine won anyway with the score 3-2 (3 bottles porto wine and only 2 pairs of shoes) :) :) :) Even though I told myself that I'm not going  buy an olive oil I couldn't resist and brought home a bottle :)

I also have to say few words about food. Guys it's really tasty!!!!! I doubt that I tried all national dishes but I tried few of them and they are delicious! I got my Francesinha  in Santiago cafe and it was just perfect! I also tried a very delicious and not tooo sweet dessert Pastel de Nata. Another meal that just knocked me down just coz of its taste is Prego em pão - just some grilled meat that they put into a brown bread and also add some cheese inside. Guys it's pretty simple but sooooo tasty!!!!! I wanna try to cook this meal at home and hope I'll be succesfull :) Another thing I noticed  - you always can get a very strong and good coffee, no matter if you order it in a simple small cafe or such cafe as Majestic. I also recommend you to visit a small family restaurant Taberna St Antonio. The restaurant is pretty small so if you don't wanna wait in a line you'd better to come earlier than other people. I noticed that there wheren't a lot of tourists but a lot of local people. The food is really good and the price is more than reasonable!

I think almost everyone heard about  Fado music or about Cesaria Evora. Unfortunatelly I didn't visit any cafe with live music but on the last day I heard some live music from a cafe near my hotel. The windows where open and you could hear everything like you are inside the cafe. It was just amazing.....

I'm happy that I visited Porto not only coz of all its sightseeings but also coz of people I met there.  And it was a real pleasure to talk to them.
I hope I'll be back one day again.

This view I had everyday and enjoyed it!
Lovely shop with handmade stuff

The ocean in Matosinhos

Dom Luis Bridge and a view to Vila Nova de Gaia

Dom Luis Bridge and a view to Porto

This scheme helps to understand port wine

Pretty ordinary view in Porto

I am ready for my Francesinha

New building near Clerigos tower
View from Clerigos Tower
Old tram near Clerigos tower
Clerigos tower

Free hugs for everyone!

Night in Porto


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I love Porto and your beautiful pictures!!!

  3. So happy you enjoyed your stay in my city!
    You tasted our yummy francesinha in one of the best spots in town and Casa Santo António is actually one of my favorite places to grab a bite :)
    Really lovely post, love the photos too - I can see you had a great time!

  4. So funny to hear you talk about Portugal!
    The food is great, ins't it? It's one of the things we really miss when we have to travel abroad..
    Prego is great, but you should have tried bifana as well! ;)

  5. Love your pictures, they makes me want to go to European vacation right now! Gorgeous old architecture and food looks delicious also. I am very happy for you, looks like you had such a great time in Porto!


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