I've got some time on my hands so I thought I'd better catch on my blog, as the memories are getting hazier... It's nearly been a month since I got back from Europe! Time travels way to fast!
Well once we had our accomodation sorted we go information from the check in chick on where to go in Oporto and what to see.
Oporto is situated at the end of the Douro river, which starts in Spain and heads west through Portugal and ends at the Atlantic. Oporto is actually quite a bit above sea level and has massive bridges which span the river. The Port caves are located on the southern bank of the river, the name is very misleading as there are no actual 'caves', they are warehouses where the Port is stored to mature. You can imagine how crazy we must have appeared to the locals trying to find 'caves'. Along the Northern and city back of the river are located restaurants, cafe's etc.
Armed with this info we jumped into the car and headed out to explore Oporto. What we didn't think about was the time, it was around 5pm and as with any city, it was the beginning of peak hour traffic... We spent the first 45 minutes driving around the city centre trying to get out, but through bad luck or expert navigation we kept getting caught in one way streets which ushered us back to the same spot.
Finally we made it out of the city and after another 45 minutes of being lost in the suburbs we called it quits and decided to return to the hotel, get changed and go out. No sooner had we decided that when we pulled up to the mouth of the Douro river, our intended destination. Fate ha?
We drove around the side of the river looking for somewhere to eat or have a coffee... It was fairly uneventful, except for me accidentally driving 1km the wrong way down a one way street... I was beginning to think there were no road rules so this kind of behaviour was acceptable... It's amazing how I can talk myself into believing some things :) The liesurely drive by the river ended in a horrendus traffic jam. Not wanting to wait we back tracked looking for somewhere to have coffee, drinks etc. Drinks were low on the list as we/I were still suffering from a hang over fromthe previous night.
Wayne spotted this interesting pier looking area, which looked like it has some cafes, so we headed over to check it out.
We got there and tried to find some where that was open, Wayne dissappeared into this one unassuming place, then popped his head out and said 'You are going to love this place, not quite sure it's my cup of tea though...
I was intrigued.
This would have to be one of the coolest, funkyest bar's I've ever been into.
The bar was designed by 3 Architechs and each room/level is themed differently. During the day it also doubles as a bar with a designey clothing and arts shops/boutiques operating out of various rooms.
Check out the link to see photos, my description would go for pages and still not do the place justice!
The place looked like it would draw a beautiful crown.
We met Hugo who was working the bar and the manager on duty. He turned out to be one of the nicest people we met in Portugal. After a couple of drinks we went to this fish and chip like shop just round the corner and had dinner with Hugo and some of the bar staff which were about to start the night shift. On Hugo's reccomendation we tried some of the traditional local food... There was this sausage which was made up of 3 meats! Chicken, beef and maybe fish... We also had chicken gibblets which were tender and tasty (I liked them!) and a fish dish.
After dinner we went back to Bazaar as Hugo had invited us down for a drink. The place started filling up... I was right it draw a beautiful crowd, I'd say 75% well dressed gay boys with 20% beautiful girls and 5% straight males.
I loved it!
When we left, much later than anticipated that night, we found a road that took us from the river straight to where we were staying... all that driving around and we had missed the most direct route... Oh, well we now know another city :)