Porto is a visual feast. Like Lisbon it climbs a steep hill with views from every narrow, cobblestoned street, each of which is decorated with bright flags and colorful laundry in drooping strings across painted balconies. You can wear yourself out trying to capture even a thimbleful of the kaleidoscopic images that greet you with every turn.
So it really helped to just sit down and compose whatever sketch time allowed.
And then there’s the Douro River at the base and not so wide across that you can’t enjoy the other side as well. And six glorious bridges, each an architectural marvel.
We took a river cruise to get oriented. The Ponte de D. Luis I bridge here with a lower and upper span dominated our view for the duration of our stay.
Here’s the view from the river of the “boardwalk” area, which was a favorite of the urban sketchers.
Even the river boats had a unique style.
We settled into the Yellow House on the hill, a three story house we rented through AirBnb and it became home for a week. . .a home we shared with the raucous gulls whose wingspan was that of an Albatross I think, because they seemed to span the width of the narrow street down which they soared in noisy drafts. Then they perched on the roofs and commenced heated discourse which ended in brawls (or that’s what it sounded like).
The view from my bedroom window balcony on the third floor in the morning. . .That’s the river down there and the monastery across the river. .
And the view lit up at night. . .and yes, that’s a cathedral next door.
Stay tuned for Porto: Part II