After Ben’s conference was over it was all play and no work. 🙂 From Coimbra we headed north to Porto – the second largest city in Portugal. It was our favourite stop and hopefully I can show you why in the photos below (or at least a glimpse of this great city). But let’s start with some interesting and fun facts we learned while there.
– JK Rowling was teaching English in Porto for about 3 years and it is believed that Harry Potter was inspired in this city for 2 main reasons:
1. The Portuguese university students wear these black uniforms with a cape upon graduation and can be seen around the city celebrating. We have spotted these “Harry Potters” on numerous occasions and here’s proof.
Excuse the quality of the photo, I quickly snapped it with my phone. But does he not look like HARRY POTTER?! 😀
(Disclaimer: photo actually taken in Coimbra)
2. Guess where the 3rd most beautiful bookstore is located? In Porto! (I’m sure you got it right) It’s called Livraria Lello & Irmão and it’s got the most amazing staircase inside you’ll ever see in a bookstore (my opinion, but apparently JK Rowling liked it too). I don’t have a great picture of the interior as it’s only permitted to take photos between 9 and 10am (they’re very strict about this), but you can see the staircase here. Check it out, it’s worth it! Needless to say, this bookstore is very similar to the one in Hogwarts.
– Port wine is actually not from Porto. The wineries are outside of the cities, but the wine is then stored and aged on the other side of the river across from Porto, which technically is another city called Villa Nova de Gaia (or just Gaia for short). You can get a picturesque view of Porto from this side.
– You can start a pilgrimage from Porto to Santiago by following yellow arrows or to Fatima by following blue arrows on the streets. These arrows should also guide you to low-priced accommodations throughout the journey.
– Every Sunday there’s a bird market in the city centre. Here you can purchase all kinds of birds, but also fish, chickens and bunnies.
– Porto is famous for having 6 bridges and it would be the only city with 6 bridges in Europe if it didn’t have to share them with Gaia on the other side.
– One of the bridges was designed by Mr. Eiffel (the same one who’s responsible for the Eiffel Tower), so it kind of looks like the Eiffel Tower in a bridge form.
Well, that’s about all I remember, so onto the pictures now. Enjoy! 🙂