Wednesday, July 10, 2013


After leaving Lisbon (and stopping in Fátima), Porto was our next stop and home for about a week.

The São Bento train station is a beautiful station. 
The atrium’s tile work is something to see and shows the history of transportation in Portugal.   Stuff 418  
The earthquake that virtually destroyed Lisbon in the 1700s did hit Porto so, architecturally, it is a much older city.  Most of it being built with granite, Porto is also a darker city than Lisbon where Limestone was the main building material.  In the pouring down rain, it’s even darker.
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Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral) – built in the 12th Century.
Capela Das Almas – a small chapel at the end of a block full of shops.

The church I most liked the look of is Igreja de Santo Ildefonso.  The tile work is just amazing.

Porto not only sits on the Atlantic Ocean but also the mouth of the Douro River.  This photo shows where the ocean and river meet. 

Just about every time we left the room to check out Porto, it poured down rain.  While visiting Gaia (across the river from Porto) we had about 5 minutes of sun. 

Gaia is also home to blocks and blocks of Port wine houses.  We tried a few glasses. 


  1. Now that looks much more the medieval Mediterranean city. Which is odd given where it is. And then no, when you realize the echo you are seeing is the remnants of Roman Imperial design. Except for the lack of Baroque it is more Sicilian or Sardinian.
    I'd say the tradition in the tile on the church is a mix of Chinese and Muslim.

    I remember reading barrels for the Port had been used by Bourbon whisky and once emptied were sent to Scotland to age Scotch.

    1. In case it hasn't been clear :) I was so taken with the facade tiles throughout Portugal. It's not something I've seen before. The blue and white reminded me a lot of delft tile, but given that it's location is so close to Northern Africa, that influence, as you mention, is definitely apparent too.
      It made me want to buy some tiles at Home Depot and slap them up onto the front of my house.

    2. Unless you could put them on/in a frame that you could bring with you to a new place.
      Be hard to strike the mean though. Or maybe not. The reality is were is a scorcher of a day in Oporto you wouldn't have noticed the blue as much. And certainly not as you did. Note the church, the powder/delft blue is receding from the frame. On a hot day your eye would be drawn to the restfulness of that colour.
      Designwise, I'd say you could go big, very big. Given where you are. If you had a veranda.
      Is it so bright with you that blue works inside ?.

    3. Oh, it's only a pipe dream. My HOA would never allow such things on the outside. My patio has Mexican saltillo tile which I love, but it hasn't gone any further than that.
      They did say the tile keeps the buildings cooler, so that WOULD be nice. :) Met with the solar company today though. Considering it.

    4. Looking at the web sites. It's as impossible to find hard numbers, in fact any numbers, as it is here. And jeepers but you have a lot of municipal power corps, each with their own system of doing calculations. It's blessed wonder anything actually meshes at all.

    5. Oh, tell me about it. The electric co is a mess and their infrastructure is even worse. It's being predicted that the energy rates are going to go up in the next few years for a number or reasons - repair infrastructure, get San Onofre up and running again, losing customers to solar, etc. I can lock in a rate lower than I'm paying now and they will put the panels up with nothing down. I think it's a no-brainer.

    6. Yes, that's nice. Be better if you weren't paying at all.
      When do you own the installation and you stop paying and they begin to pay you. Seems in an average energy house your needs are filled at 11:00AM. So you sell for the rest of the day.
      There seems to be phone no. you can call for advice from people that haven't an iron in the fire.
      Remember you have three or perhaps four values to them, billing, site, surplus and so forth.

    7. Well yes that would be nice. Because they are installing the panels for nothing, I pay the solar company for that monthly and then a tiny bit to the electric co. Most months though because of the surplus I will have a negative balance from the electric co due to the locked in rate and the surplus. My average monthly cost (even with the monthly fee to the solar co) is at least $30 less than current monthly average and that's before the surplus credits.
      I'll have to check in on that phone number though. Because, sure, both the electric co and the solar co are going to tell me why I shouldn't go with the other.

  2. The tile work is beautiful. Very toile like.

    1. It did remind me a bit of toile too. The tile came in all colors. My pictures of it just happened to look best on the churches.

  3. WoW! I love the transit history...I can't wait to go there with my friend who was born there...on my bucket list!

    1. That would be wonderful. I went to Italy with some friends a few years back, and we met up with some people we know who live there. It was truly our best part of the trip. They threw us in the back of their car and toured us all around to non-touristy things and we didn't even have to think. We just enjoyed it.

  4. I'm coming over and we are tiling something in your house this summer. We could totally recreate that look! ;)