Thursday, 22 February 2018

Porto, Portugal (Rua de Camões 21)

Woke up and it was sunny but still cold in the flat. I keep the heat turned off at night so I need to first turn on the heat in the dining room where I have my laptop, drink coffee and eat breakfast. I keep the bathroom door closed and the heat from the towel warmer keeps that room warm. Otherwise, the rest of the flat is probably around 60 degrees when I wake up.

I’ve been waiting to get my Citi account travel miles transferred to American Airlines. Today is the day when my Citi statement will close, so by tomorrow I should be able to book my flight from a Washington D.C airport to Portland. I’m ready to plan my visit to Oregon. I guess waiting one more day will be okay.

My host has arranged for someone to clean the flat today. It really doesn’t need cleaning, since I’ve only been here since Sunday, but if it is a free service, why not? Of course I’ll pick up everything and have it looking good when the housekeeper arrives at 4:00.

I planned to use one of the books the host left for me to give me an idea of what to see today. The one I found had various walking tours and I selected the first one in the book to try out. The walking route starts not too far from the flat and it takes about two hours. At 3:00 I left the flat and started the guided tour. It proved to be more complicated than I expected. While it showed the route in the book, it didn’t have enough detail to show me the precise route and the street names in the book didn’t always use the exact same name that Google uses, due to how the Portuguese language names streets. As a result I was turned around most of the time. After about an hour of trying to use the book, I put it away and set off on my own. I got a general idea of where it wanted me to walk, so I used that as a basic guide on where to go. For me, this was my lesson learned: Go with your hunch about what you’d like to see and let your eyes lead you. Meaning, go to what you find interesting and enjoy the walk. Which is what I did.

I took some pictures in the large square near my flat.


Clerigos Church that is connected to Torre dos Clerigos

The guide book left me in front of a tall tower on a hill. It was the Torre dos Clerigos, which is the bell tower of the Clerigos Church. It is on one of the highest points in Porto and the tower was used to send messages to ships at sea. The plaza around the tower is an informal gathering places as well. I enjoyed viewing the tower from various directions.

A little further away was an interesting building that was built in 1906. the Neo-Gothic facade is very interesting and looks a little out of place with the other buildings.

Nearby is Praca dos Leoes (Lions Square) and it’s fountain has water comes out of each of the four lion’s mouths.

Across the street I saw a church, actually two churches that are side-by-side. A very long story how this came about.

Walked by this building and thought it was interesting. A sample of the buildings that you walk by in Porto.

From there I walked back to the flat and would expect the housekeepers to be finished, or just about. When I arrived they were just finishing up. It was just like I found the place last Sunday when I arrived, except I didn’t have to do any unpacking.

After my afternoon nap I ate more of the cottage pie and then watched TV. Very nice to be able to use my Apple TV rather than watch on my laptop. The room where the TV is located needed to be warmed up before I went in. There are three heaters in the flat: dinning room, bedroom, and the living room. The living room is bigger so it takes longer to warm up.

Tomorrow I’ll set off in a different direction and will not take the walking tour book. I’ll see what I find on my own and go where my feet take me. I’ve learned my lesson from yesterday.



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