Spain - Portugal

June 2017

Part 5: Lisboa - Cabo da Roca - Oporto

Time to leave Lisboa behind being surprisingly impressed about this city. The steep hills, the glory of the past, the poverty, all wrapped up in a cute package. I ride my bike heading West, aiming as a first stop to reach the most Western point in Europe and one of the most Western ones ever for me: Cabo da Roca.

The route on the N247 crossing the local park is fantastic and soon here I am at this great spot early enough before it's flooded by tourism. Here's how it looks:

I am very lucky to experience it on a windless day. And a beautiful day it is indeed:

Doesn't take long for the first convoy of busses with tourists to arrive so I know it's time for me to go and start making my way North to Porto. At the town of Mafra I stop to picture the massive local palace:

A couple of hundreds km later, as I knew this would be the last pine forest before Porto I stop to capture the nature's beauty:

I arrive at Porto where my next Airbnb is owned by a wonderful woman with a pristinely clean and spacious apartment. It's so good that I already struggle to find the right words to do justice on my review when I'll check out. She's also kind enough to order food for me and not only save me precious time but allow me to try a very local soup recipe. Very tasty and ridiculously cheap.

I leave my room and walk the whole way from Vila Nova de Gaia up to the center. I thought that Porto would be something like a mini me of Lisboa but I was so wrong. It is a totally different gem. As soon as I walk down the hill and have the first view to the river Douro, the traditional boats and the Luiz I bridge my jaw drops instantly:

The view from the hill of Jardim do Morro pays back multiple times for the effort:

Definitely so does the Luiz I bridge:

And... when there's not enough beauty artists take over to fill the gap:

Porto's Cathedral:

Dom Pedro IV sculpture:

Such a picturesque city. You can take random pictures like this and still look so nice:

Igreja do Carmo Catholic church:

Outside Porto's university I pictured this cute old tram:

The area around the university is no exception to the beauty of that city:

I manage to find a surprisingly semi abandoned view point and of course I don't pass the chance for a panoramic:

The absence of crowd could be due to the rainy weather which after this picture showed its teeth and I had to find shelter at the entrance of a building with several locals for a few minutes. If you like my pictures imagine what they'd look like on a bright day.

Here's a video from clips I shot around the city:

I return to my room with the widest smile possible. What a sweet city is this! And how nice Portugal is in general! This small country is definitely VFM. Nice rural areas, impressive cities, humble people, what more can you ask for?

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