The sheer delight not to have to get up early, put a backpack on and walk any distance today is more than I can express.
I am staying above a bar and when I come down I can have coffee and a pastry for breakfast. There is plenty to see and I also have to get a spare pair of laces for my boots as mine are fraying and I want a back up pair just in case. Let's go.
I have to get a stamp for my pilgrim passport at the cathedral, so that is my first stop today. My guidebook says how beautiful the cathedral is, but it is under repair, but I take the tour as there is a statue of Saint James as a pilgrim, one of the only ones known. Plus the interior of the cathedral is beautiful.
This is a large figure and it is beautiful, it is on the third floor so many people miss it. I am glad to have seen it.
I find all the people overwhleming. It seems so odd to be a nobody among the vast crowds of people. I keep feeling like sitting down and just crying. I am adrift, no where to be, no agenda for the day, just me on my feet connected to the ground on which I stand.
I have mentioned before the wonderful Portuguese tile work, in Porto we will see many fine examples in all sorts of settings.
There were wonderful views from the walkway around the roof of the cathedral. More tile pictures decorated the walls.
I loved this cross in the center of the cloisters. Walking the camino you see many crosses with Saint James on one side and Mary on the other beneath Jesus on the cross.
I wind my way down to the riverside and decide to take the Seven Bridges boat tour. When we return this area is extrmely crowded and bars are open all along here with food, drinks and plenty of jugglers and entertainers.
It is an odd feeling being on the boat and moving so quickly after so many days of just walking. We go upstream and then turn around and go downstream. I take many photos, all very repetitive of boats, views, but so enjoyable.
I ask someone to take my photo with the cathedral in the background. I waked across that bridge yesterday evening. It is a wonderful relaxing trip.
As we return to the quay I notice all these fish roiling in the water. I have another photo, which is clearer but it is quite off putting as you realize most likely this is a sewer outlet.
I walk up from the riverside and find a bar/cafe specializing in roasted pork. I select the Bufina, a roaster pork roll, it was very good, a little spicy kick to it as well.
Just what I need for my afternoon tour.
Porto is filled with churches and cathedrals, it seems all of them are on my tour. This one was pretty impressive.
The interior was as impressive as the exterior. It also gaveme amoment to sit and contemplate and ponder my place in the world.
This was across the road from where I was staying, I realized my dive was actually perfectly placed for my departure tomorrow as I would walk along the side of this church to leave Porto in the morning. This is actually two churches, one for the nuns and one for the monks. Note the tile work on the side of the church.
Because the nuns and the monks could never be together, the church built a very narrow building between the two churches, you can see the two windows and the narrow door opening with the sign in the middle there. It is literally only as wide as the door. But it kept the sexes apart.
As I walk around town, I come across this shop selling all things to do with Tin Tin. When I was growing up Asterix and Tin Tin were some of my favourite cartoons. I couldn't pass by without taking a photo. Not sure if they were ever popular here. Asterix was a Gaul from France fighting the Romans, Tin tin was an explorer with a faithful dog.
As I said you find these tile decorations throughout the streets of Porto. I was on my way to find the hiking store and central market when I came across this one, again a church building.
The market is being repaired so is in a temporary location. It was fun walking around, looking at all the fruits and vegetables, fish and meat. Of course they also had pastries, so I stopped for a coffee and a pastry.
This is the interior of a station booking hall, with all tile pictures of battles won and lost. As I said it is amazing where you come across all these tile pictures and decorations.
I have also booked my flight home today, giving my self 20 days to walk to Santiago and then on to Finisterra, the end of the earth, ad then back to Lisbon. Barring any problems should be fine. The end is now in site.
I mentioned my pilgrim passport, here it is with the cathedral stamp on the upper right, I also needed to get my dive to stamp it as well.
This is also a way for the hostels to see where you have stayed and if they know of bed bug problems they make you leave everything outside till you have cleaned.
Most state alberges will not let you stay with out your pilgrim passport. Preference is given to those walking, then biking, then horse riding. I had seen many people riding bikes, but no horse riders till I got to Santiago de Compostella.
It has been a long day, and the Portuguese do not eat early, but I found a lovely looking restaurant and decide the wait is worth it. The kitchen is all women, there is no shouting and they work very well together. I order fish soup and a stew, both are delicious. The place fills up quickly, their tables outside were already full so I ate inside.
Here are the ladies in the kitchen, the lady in black was the owner/head chef.
I took my time enjoying every bite and thinking back on the day. It would be a short walk back to my room and an early start in the morning. There are two routes out of Porto, one follows the coast and one goes up the centre of the country, that was my route and I already knew I had a long day ahead of me tomorrow.
But my day was not over yet. As I got back to my room these young students were entertaining people outside my pensione. I took a video and posted on Instagram with some other photos at the time, they were fun as was the young girl in the front watching them. Go to this link for the video https://www.instagram.com/p/BoeiTl9l4Yq/
Till tomorrow, enjoy
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