Today we were completely on our own, so we slept in a bit later and headed out into the city just after breakfast. Our first destination was the city of Calem (across the river from Porto), so we wound our way thru the streets and to the river. We crossed the river on the Ponte Luizi bridge which was built by Gustave Eiffel, the same person who built the Tower in Paris. If you look at the metal work, you can actually see many of the same influences.
When we arrived in Calem, we first tried to take a Port Cellar tour, but found out that the English tour wasn’t for 2-1/2 hours and we didn’t want to wait that long. Instead we just walked along the river and looked at shops and enjoyed the scenery.
We crossed back over into Porto and stopped for coffee, tea and a light cake. We slowly wound our way back to the hotel, intending to rest for a bit. Unfortunately, they were just getting ready to clean our room, so instead we left again and went back to the Lello Bookstore. Michael found a book in English about Portugese cooking and I found one (in Portugese) about Portugese textiles and rugs. The photos and diagrams are wonderful and I hope that they will inspire me to greater things with my quilts.
We returned to the hotel, stopping at our local café for a sandwich and chips, and then split up to go to two different places. Michael was looking for a Tobacoria where he could buy a cigar and I was looking for a shop that I had seen on Monday….there was a tee-shirt that I wanted to buy for Brian. I hiked up and down four different streets before I found the shop, but unfortunately they were out of the shirt that I wanted……sorry B!! Michael had equally bad luck as the shop that he went to had closed at 1:00, as had most of the small shops in the area.
As I was returning to the hotel, I passed a tobacco store that was open and called Michael to join me there. He bought a few Cuban cigars and then proceeded to enjoy one with a glass of port while we sat at one of the area cafes. We had a very attentive host who came running out to put up an umbrella when it started to rain (which it did quite a few times today)
Our hotel has a wonderful oval staircase that goes from Floor -2 up to the 6th floor. I took these photos from the bottom and then from the top…..wonderful designs!!!
We arrived back at the hotel and rested until dinner time (7:00). We had made reservations at the same restaurant again (Guarney) and were rewarded with a wonderful meal. The Fado singer from Thursday night was singing again and she came in wearing blue jeans and a tee shirt for her sound check. We know that she looks VERY different when she performs.
When we left the restaurant several of the waiters shook our hands and wished us a great trip.
Afterwards we returned to the hotel to pack and have showers and get ready for our VERY early start tomorrow morning (3:00am), and our long journey back to Athens!!!!