An afternoon in Porto

Our last afternoon in Porto.  We decided to just let our feet take us around Porto.

Dark rain clouds  were looming so we wore our rain jackets.  It was also very cold.

We came across a market selling local wares and this is where the rain started falling.

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The market in Porto

Porto is very hilly with most streets with cobblestones.  With all the rain these stones can be extremely slippery.  We walked carefully as we saw many slip and fall.  Hint: don’t run on the cobblestones, especially going downhill.

For a reprieve from the rain we walked along the pathway under the bridge.  It stank but for a short time it was nice to get out of the rain.

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Our refuge from the rain

We were going to head over to Vila Nova de Gaia across the bridge however it was packed with hundreds of umbrella’s.  We were wet through so decided we would make our way back to the ship.

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Ponte Luis Bridge

The Ponte Luis Bridge was inaugurated on the 31st October 1886. The bridge is built of two metal trays supported by a great iron arch and five piers with a maximum span of around 391.25m

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Markets and cafe’s along the Douro River in Porto

 

In 1809 a terrible tragedy happened when the Ponte das Barcas bridge collapsed under the weight of people fleeing the French troops of Soult. Over 4,000 (some pages say 6,000) people drowned in this disaster.

This was the invasion of Napoleonic troops in Portugal under Marshal Soult is still vividly remembered in Porto.  This happened a day after the French Victory of Porto.

 The French army was rooted out of Porto by Anglo-Portuguese forces commanded by Arthur Wellesley in the Second Battle of Porto, when his troops crossed the Douro river from the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (a former convent) in a brilliant daylight coup de main.

 

Ponte das Barcas means Bridge of Boats. The bridge was made of 20 boats standing side by side and attached with steal cables. Although other Bridges of Boats were made in the past, this one was built to be more durable and was able to open in two parts, to let the boats navigate on the Douro river. 

This year was the 210th anniversary of this tragedy.  Even to this day some people come and light candles or flowers in memory of the loss of life.

 

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Alminhas da Ponte was made by Texeira Lopes and is installed in Cais da Ribeira since 1897 as a tribute to all the lost lives on March 29th, 1809.

 

 

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Porto stunning even in the rain

We made our way back to the ship via narrow  lane ways.  These were less crowded so that meant less umbrellas to look out for.

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One of the many narrow laneways we walked along.

 

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Someone was loving the rain!

 

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Saint Francis Church – where a couple of days before we had the classical music concert.

After a hot shower and change of clothes (we left our wet clothes on the balcony to hopefully dry ) we headed back up to the lounge.  A few drinks before our last dinner on board our floating 5-6 star hotel.

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Welcome drink after our long walk through the rain

 

 

 

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Tomorrow we would begin the 11 day coach tour of Portugal and Spain.

34 Replies to “An afternoon in Porto”

  1. I still have very fond memories of Portugal. The rain always makes a difference on a vacation. Especially when you are walking on cobblestones. Very sad story about the tragedy when the bridge collapsed. Interesting photos! Thank you for sharing #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the weather didn’t keep you from getting out altogether. My husband and I got caught in a downpour in Paris and had to run back to our hotel. We were soaked through, but able to laugh about how it was like in the movies–only we were in our 50s, and those movie characters are usually young lovers. 🙂 I enjoyed your photos so much. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness, the bridge collapse sounds nightmarish. So many lives lost… and yet I’d never heard of it before. That’s terrible.

    Shame about the grey cold weather. Sounds rather like the UK in that respect! Ditto for the slippery cobblestones. Aside from that, it sounds like quite an emotive and interesting time around Porto. Love the photos!

    Caz xx

    Like

  4. Shame about the rain – it looks like a lovely place. I also really like that little statue off to the side of your first picture (funny how things catch our eye!) Glad you had the chance to dry off and enjoy a drink before embarking on the next stage of the journey.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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