Of boats and barrels

DSC_0149Porto is renowned for its port wine. Above, barrels of wine age on anchored boats in the Douro River.

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By the banks of the Douro.

8.20.2011. Porto, Portugal. One long walk and lazy lunch later, we were on the banks of the River Duoro. The river cuts through the middle of the city and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Sidewalks lined with colorful cafes skirted the river, and the Dom Luís Bridge connected the two sides.

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Through the streets of Porto

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August 20, 2011. We grappled with Porto’s tricky train system and emerged victorious. We arrived at the proper station and began climbing hills to our hostel. The streets and sidewalks were pieced together with stones, and the part of town our hostel was in was mostly gray and brown. When we arrived at our hostel, saturated with sweat, we hiked up another three flights to a six-person room on the top story. It was spartan, as expected, but had a balcony that looked out over clay roofs and that shared its berth with a small bathroom.

On the weekends, as we learned from the operator of the hostel, the blistering heat flushes the residents of Porto out to the beaches. As a result, our part of Porto was a ghost town. Restaurants and shops alike were closed. At her recommendation, we decided to undertake the long walk to the river, which was the hub of the city. The following pics are from our journey.

Backpacking crew.

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August 20, 2011. Meet the backpacking crew in all its glory. From left to right, we have LJ, Kayes, and Meeks, all waiting for the train.

We flew from Stansted, England to Porto, Portugal on the sturdy wings of Ryanair, arriving in the roasty toasty Portugal sun around noon.

Pro: deliciously cheap flight.

Cons: laughably long boarding lines, shrieking demon child.

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