Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012 Portugal - Day 4 - Porto

 waiting in front of the Pousada for our taxi to the Vodafone store
 waiting with 20 cents in hand to use the public WC
 waiting in front of Capela des Almas for some kind of inspiration
 view of a massive scuplture from the lower level of ourYellow Bus
 grin & bear it inside tthe Yellow Bus while O Solo Mia was being sung by fellow passengers
 inside the meeting room of the Third Order of St Francis as Soa Francisca church
 where Penny bought her scarf - it looks really spiffy
 on our way home we saw the Red Bus crossing the lower level of the bridge
 those are the stairs to the upper part of town
 is that pick-up truck small, or are we losing our perspective
 and that is the road that little truck drives up!
 finally our reward - scrumtous dinner - fish wrapped in puffed pastry on top of creamed peas & carrots

After buffet breakfast at the Pousada, we decided to seek help adding time to out 3g sim card on the computer. The man at reception was very helpful but ultimately we had to go downtown - to the upper part - to a Vodaphone store. We actually took a taxi and were soon fixed up with another 30 euros - which should certianly do us for the rest of the trip. We walked around the upper part of downtown - passing the train station where we had stopped yesterday to watch the dancers who were demonstrating, tangoes etc to the appreciation of a large crowd.
After lunch at a small cafe, we went to  stop #1 for the Yellow Bus Lavender Line - which goes to north past some castles. We should have known we were going to have trouble by the side of the crowd waiting at the stop. Everyone pushed themselves aboard - but by the time we got on there were no seats on the top deck and only 2 backward facing handicapped seats on the main deck. Too bad - but we could see some of the sights as we went along - hoping some of the other passengers would get off. Unforutnately - no-one got off. Instead, a crowd of about 10 Italians boarded the bus half way round. They had obviously been enjoying a lot of wine with their lunch and were in high spirits. Because there were no seats they climbed up on the luggage section at the back of the bus. Because there was nowhere for them to plug their earphones in to listen to the tour guide and sweet background music, they turned on their own radio and sang along. Mainly to Abba! It was pretty rowdy as other passengers joined in. Not the best tour of Porto - but another adventure. After the bus tour, we visited the Church of St Francis of Assisi. It was interesting to see the catacombs and the church itself was incredibly ornate with many many altars with wood carvings gilded with gold. It and the cathedrals are 2 of the top sights in Porto - but I think the thing we will mainly remember are the many wonderful bridges crossing the Duoro River and buildings built on the steep sides of the river. After a cup of tea at the lunch area, we walked home to the pousada. But not before buying me a neat scarf with a piece of jewelry to tie it together - hard to describe but very nice for 10 euros. Now we have had our last gourmet dinner at the pousada and it is time for bed. People eat quite late here in Portugal - a normal start time is about 8:30 - which means there is not much time between dinner and bedtime. Amazingly there are always small children at dinner - as late as it is. So goodnight. 

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