Monday, May 27, 2024

From Lisbon to Porto: A tale of adventure in Portugal

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Crossing the bridge on foot was an experience thanks to the views it offered. Orange-topped homes, street cafes on the shores below and the tram lines on the bridge made it a most joyful ten-minute walk. As soon as I got off the bridge, I saw the cable cars that would take me across Villa De Gaia and into a delightful street market. Making a mental note to come back, I walked to a nearby café where I ordered a huge turkey sandwich and cod cakes for lunch, finishing off with plump strawberries that I found at a discount.

The cable car ride was all of three minutes but what lay ahead made me wish I had a whole day to spare. Quaint little souvenir shops, selling everything under the sun, lined the streets as far as the eye could see. I found deliciously warm churros that I savoured along the coast of the Douro River, blessed to be experiencing such serenity.

Photo: Munira Fidai

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Photo: Munira Fidai

My evening in Porto was an expensive, but extremely relaxing and luxurious cruise on the Douro. Complete with pillows and blankets on the deck and a salty, cold breeze on my face, the sunset on the water was a sight to behold and I was glad I had decided to treat myself, albeit impulsively, to this cruise.

Back in Lisbon the next day, I took a day pass at a nearby metro and made my way to Eduardo VII Park. A tranquil walk along the greenery refreshed me and I took a short bus ride along the Ponte 25 de Abril, the iconic bridge, identical to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the LX Factory Street Market. My destination was the Livraria Ler Devagar, a huge library that was also home to some priceless, classic vinyl records.

An impulsive book buy, a short walk and a tram ride later, I was exactly where I wanted to be, to catch my very last sunset in Lisbon — the city gate by the Tagus. An expansive area full of imposing structures, beautiful views and expensive diners, the place was the perfect way to end the day. As night fell, the Lisbon sky turned pink, orange, and then a brilliant, regal blue. As the sun set on my holiday too, I knew this was the memory that I would remember this trip by forever — the flowing river, an open sky, and a kaleidoscope of colours.

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