A TON of photos from Porto! Will blog about the trip later, have a serious case of the can't be bothereds. In other news, I took a half an hour bus ride today to get some photos developed (a selection from the past couple of years), realised that the stupid Carrefour didn't have stupid instant photo facilities (grrr), and since I was pissed off about the one-hour-for-nothing-round-trip, bought an ipod dock/clock radio. It is insanely difficult to operate as an alarm clock (and everything else really), but am excited to have something other than the crappy netbook speakers to listen to music on, and to be able to tune into French music again (if I can get out of my ipod ghetto habits). And it looks quite cute. Anyway, that's literally the only thing I've done since getting back to Tours yesterday afternoon! I could afford it because I budgeted 200 euros spending money for Porto and only spent 105 - awesome! Porto is cheap!
Me & Carolyn out on the town
Once again, I prove I have no shame when it comes to posing for and sharing ridiculous photos. Put a chaise longue in a classy bar (several cocktails into the evening)? I'm all over it! The strange expression on my face is me struggling not to burst out laughing - it was tough. I really should have just laughed, the other 4 photos in this series are all of me attempting to look sexy. The results are probably the reason I don't have a boyfriend :)
On The Waterfront
Various images taken of or from the Dom Luis bridge. I was muchos impressed by how beautiful the waterfront and the river was. Zero expectations coming to Porto (very little research done), so it was great to be very pleasantly surprised. I don't know that the photos really capture it, but it looked less like a river and more like the sea just continued on inland - gorgeous sparkling blue. The bridge itself was pretty cool too, the top layer had a 'metro' (it's mostly above ground) line going over it and no cars, so you could pretty much wander freely over the bridge taking photos. Cars go over on the bottom part.
In Portugal, chorizo comes to you raw and gets flame-grilled at your table. If you try to eat it in its raw state, the waiter thinks you're a bit of a dick (I'm guessing here, I certainly would have thought we were dicks)
The (apparently) famous rooster symbol of Portugal. I always think roosters = France
Houses in Porto
Inside one of the train stations in Porto
Barrels in the Sandeman port warehouse. Legend has it that if you say Sandeman three times in the mirror, the man in the cape will come and give you port...
Porto is absolutely packed full of churches - a *small* selection of photos from them below:
This is a bit hard to see, but there was an awesome detailed nativity from I think the 18th century in the church of St Lawrence
Detail of the nativity scene - young naked kid in a window for some reason...
The church of St Nicholas
A ray of light shines from a cross in Porto Cathedral
Tiled wall of the church of St Catherine - evidently these tiles are a real Portuguese thing
Another pretty tiled church
Altar, in the Cathedral I think
The Church of Sao Francisco (St Francis), now a state-owned museum, was absolutely amazing. Photos weren't allowed so... um, I took some secretly. Thus they are pretty poor! Way better photos here
A lot of the carvings of saints in Portugal just had these pathetic expressions, seriously, you just wanted to punch them in the face. Looks an awful lot like this dude:
Bone pit in the catacombs under the Sao Francisco monastery museum
The Sessions Room in the Sao Francisco monastery museum
Carving of the 'Moroccan martyrs' - Portuguese (I think) Franciscan friars who were martyred in Morocco in (I think) the 12th century. You can't really see, but the bottom ones are being scimitared and the top ones crucified
Carving of a Jesse tree (traditional representation of Jesus' genealogy)
Photos of the interior - secret flash-free photos really do not do it justice at all. EVERYTHING is carved to within an inch of its life and guilded - ceiling, walls, everything, it's magnificent.