Porto: easy romance

8 Jun 2015, 2:47 p.m. | +Living

Our first oPORTOnity to visit this lovely city!

We are not good at travelling. So we chose Portugal to practice for two weeks.

Our first stop was Porto, and I didn't do any homework before. I just heard that this is an old town that produces a lot of Port Wine (which I don't like).

Now, as I write this travel diary, I remember that we spent three days climbing up and down hills. I googled together a must-see, must-do, must-eat list, which we ticked off one by one. It was a bit hit and miss.

The most beautiful thing I saw in the city was not on the must-do list, however. I found it when I turned off my GPS and got lost on purpose.

If you plan to visit Porto, mark my words: before you leave don't forget to use your own eyes to watch the sun set over Porto from the bridge. The sun will shine bright in your memory.


The days before we left the Netherlands were rainy and cloudy. Just when we were holding our boarding passes, the bright southern sun was calling out to me: Portugal, here we go! 這幾天的荷蘭天氣真的是糟糕透了,陰雨綿綿,又濕又冷,但手握著機票的這一刻,我彷彿能感覺到那南方豔陽的聲聲呼喚,holliday!波多!葡萄牙!我們來惹噢!

#Aliados hotel It was almost midnight when we landed at Porto airport. We caught the last train to the city centre. It was Saturday, and the train was crowded with young people, obviously ready to go clubbing. It occurred to me that being young is a great thing. You never get tired. Our hotel is located close to the city hall. The building, over 100 years old, looks like an embassy of a big, important country. I have to compliment the hotel: Fabulous location, decent price, and our room (on the 6th floor) had a balcony with a great view over the square and the city. By the way, the bright dots on the picture aren’t stars: they are seagulls! 近午夜十分,我們抵達了波多機場,趕著最後一班捷運到市中心,剛好這天是星期六,車上還是擠滿著人,一群看似等著要去夜店大展身手的年輕小朋友,忽然覺得年輕真好,都不會累!我們訂的飯店位在市政府旁,看像似什麼大使館的百年建築,這裡不得不稱讚一下這間叫做Aliados的旅館,位置好,價錢不貴,又古色古香的,真是讓我這台灣來的鄉下人,超級開心!我們住在第六樓(共七樓),打開陽台窗戶那風景更是美的不像話(拍桌),照片裡飛在空中的居然不是星星,是成群夜未眠的海鷗,這美景真的是太超值了! 旅館網站:www.hotelaliados.com

#Granny sits by the window Here’s a sight that Google won’t tell you about, which attracted my attention. As you walk the streets and look up, you see a granny sitting by the window. You may wonder, what is she looking at? Is she looking at me? Our generation connects to the world by mobile phone. But this generation doesn’t use smartphones: they just grab a chair, sit by the window, look out and observe what’s happening in the world directly around them. That’s so fascinating and old school! 可能是太興奮,在飯店還沒提供早餐的時間我就睜開眼等不及要去看看這個城市!穿梭在這錯綜複雜的古城,除了一一拜訪網路上推薦的景點之外,最吸引我的風景就是這個!隨意抬頭一看,你絕對可以發現會有阿嬤級的人物,探出窗外,你會好奇她們究竟在看些什麼?在觀察什麼?他們不是低頭族,要用手機了解天下大事;他們拉張椅子坐在窗邊,用最直接的方式看世界--這個離他們最近的世界。

#Francesinha According to the Internet, this is what you have to eat. I have to say, I’m a person who eats everything, and I eat a lot, but not this. Too salty, too oily, too fat. It’s toast with cheese, ham, lots of French fries, and to top it off, they pour a lot of sauce over it. If you insist on experiencing this, I would suggest not to eat it by yourself. Share! 拜讀網路說的必吃美食“Francesinha",這裡絕對要來說一下,我自認不挑食而且很能吃,但這個當地美食有點不合我的胃口.太鹹太油太肥,若以台灣食物來舉例的話,就是厚切棺材板外面包裹超厚起司,內嵌多層火腿肉,底下放超多炸薯挑,最後淋上甜辣醬,若想體驗一下,建議絕對不要一個人吃,分食個2~3口就差不多了(認真!)

#Ice cream birthday cake To celebrate my baby’s birthday, I looked for a gimmick at “Flying Tiger”, who are great for this stuff. I told my boyfriend I wanted ice cream, and when we sat on the square, I pulled out the candles from my bag and stuck it on top of his ice cream, which was almost half gone by that point already. I sang “Happy Birthday”, and threw confetti. I was standing downwind, however, so the confetti all came back at me. It’s a little bit stupid, but his smile made it all worth it! 為了慶祝寶貝的生日,出發前特別去flying tiger買蠟燭和花灑(他們家真的賣很多有的沒的),這時候終於派上用場,騙他說我想吃冰淇淋,然後走到市府廣場前,咻的把蠟燭插上去,大唱生日快樂歌給他聽(沒在害羞啦~握拳),唱完再來把花灑丟向他,雖然是站錯了風向結果是往我自己吹,看他笑得開心,雖然自己很蠢,但也值得了。

# Lello & Irmão Bookstore It’s been called the most beautiful bookstore in the world. But as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you like old, it’s beautiful. Such a small bookstore, crowded by tourists snapping pictures, you’ll always in someone’s way when you try to look at a book. This beauty is sweaty. Eslite is still the best. Lello & Irmão Bookstore 這間號稱世界上最美的書店,但個人覺得美的定義很廣,而且很不一樣;因為夠老所以很有味道沒錯,但當整間小小間的書店因觀光客擠爆,連翻本書都要被推擠的時候.這美就有點讓人有些汗流浹背了些,有去看到就好,台灣誠品書店還是最棒滴。

# Port wine tasting To go port wine tasting, you cross the famous Ponte Luis I bridge to the other side of the river. Then I recommend to take the cable car down, which saves you a bit of walking, and you get a free coupon to go port wine tasting. Fabulous! Even more fabulous: the wine houses may have live Fado performances. The singer even came to our table to toast with us. 從市政府為起點,過了ponte louis橋,搭個電纜到山下後便是最著名的波特酒莊,電纜票還會附贈品酒卷,可以少走很多步路,又可以喝免錢的酒,why not?更棒的是酒商公司正值旅遊旺季,不時的有live fado演唱,酒酣之際還可以聽傳統葡式音樂,歌手不時會來一一敬酒.讓我想到台灣傳統”辦桌“時,主持人也會這樣做,只是唱的是雙人枕頭,噢~~我是思鄉病發作了嗎?

# Serralves museum This museum is famous for its modern art as well as for its big park. I think we got unlucky: when we visited, they were just changing the main exhibition, and the villa (which you can see in the background of the picture) was also closed for maintenance. What little we could see of the art was interesting, but you may want to check the website before going. 這照片是在serralves當代藝術館兼大型的植物園拍的,我們運氣比較不好,來得時候館內正在進行大規模的換展,所以能看到的不多,又加上另一個館正在維修進不去,不過展內的作品都算是有趣,值得一逛。(前提是行前務必要看一下展覽資訊,否則會像我們撲個空)。 網站:http://www.serralves.pt/en/

# Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis Once again, following googled advice, we visited this museum. You can safely skip this one. The paintings aren’t terribly inspiring, the building is old and the presentation of the art is a bit random. 再一次相信了網路上所推薦的必去景點,你真的可以安心地跳過這個地方。沒有特別的名畫,建築本身又非常的老舊帶有一股霉味,展覽內容則是五花八門的雜亂。

# Casa de Ló I put my phone in my bag, deciding to get lost, and then found this coffee shop. When you first walk through the door, it looks a bit empty, but keep going and the room opens up to a bar and tables. In the backyard, plants climb the walls. Some people read, others draw — the atmosphere reminded me of Taiwanese coffee shop culture. Not too commercial, very relaxed. Casa de Lo also hosts events: club nights with DJs, movie screenings, and so forth. A must see in Porto. 就在我把手機收進包包,故意迷路時發現的咖啡館;起初路過覺得門口怎麼這麼空曠,往裡頭再看,卻有個戶外的天井,爬滿藤蔓的圍牆旁,有意沒意的放了幾張椅子,有人在看書,有人在畫畫,這樣的氛圍讓我想起了台灣的文青咖啡館,完全沒有商業氣息,卻有好濃的咖啡香。再稍作研究之後,這裡果真是當地文青們的聚集地,不定期舉辦各種活動,若你機會來到波多,一定要來這裡坐坐。 address: Travessa de Cedofeita nº20A facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Casa-de-L%C3%B3/113942273792?sk=timeline

# Coração alecrim A local store selling “green, indie, vintage” goods. Compared with the cork products you can being offered everywhere as souvenirs, this store amazed me. They sell handmade notebooks, vintage furniture and household items, all made in Portugal. I bought a vintage children’s school notebook. The owner wrapped the notebook in a brown paper bag, stamped the logo on it, and then cut off a dried flower and taped it on the paper bag. So beautiful — and all that wonderful service for a 1-euro notebook. She handed me the bag and said: “Detail is important.” After being treated so nicely, it would be a crime not to promote this store. 這是一間當地的純手作獨立雜貨店,比起大街上玲琅滿目的橡木製紀念品,這間店真是讓我像撿到寶的歡喜,裡面有賣生活雜物,手作筆記本,復古傢俱,大部份都是百分百葡萄牙製作的商品,還有很多可愛的熱帶植物。我在這裡買了一本像是小學生練習寫字的習字本,老闆將它小心地放在印有店章的牛皮紙袋後,還剪下店裡的乾燥花把它貼在袋子上,看起來真的好美,心想不過就是台幣30塊的筆記本,還可以有這樣子的服務!隨後老闆將它遞給我的時候,說一句“細節很重要”,光是這樣,不宣傳這間店就太不夠意思了! address:Tv. de Cedofeita 28, Porto facebook:https://www.facebook.com/coracaoalecrim

# Local steak According to the locals, the Portuguese eat a lot of fish or beef, usually with both rice and French fries. Vegetables, if you get any at all, are just decoration. The price is very cheap, though. PS: If you want to eat a lot of vegetables, do your own cooking. 據當地人說,葡萄牙主食以魚,牛肉為主,配米飯或炸薯條,所以也不意外所有的簡餐店都會賣有類似牛排這樣的料理;看起來跟台灣夜市的牛排很像,但味道真的不能比啊!不像台式牛排會先腌過,或是斷筋讓肉質鬆軟,這裡的牛排普遍都太硬,太乾,另外是薯條加米飯是哪招?而且蔬菜也太裝飾性得少了吧! 雖然價錢真的很便宜是沒錯,可惜不是我的菜。ps,若是想補充膳食纖維,除非自己上超市買菜自己煮,不然要做好便秘的準備(笑)

#Raiz restaurant Just when we were getting desperate about places to eat, my boyfriend used Foursquare to find this new restaurant. The rating wasn’t high because it was new, but the reviews sounded good. So, on our last night in Porto, we just took a gamble that it would be good. It wasn’t good: it was amazing. The place was beautifully decorated, and the plates, cutlery and glasses all matched. Chatting with the waiter, we mentioned that we didn’t get enough vegetables in the previous days. He suggested petiscos, the Portuguese version of tapas. We dined on tomato rice, codfish cakes, sautéed vegetables, salmon on brown bread, and baked mushrooms with cheese. The desert was another highlight: Sweet potato pudding with caramel sauce and mandarin ice cream. At the end, the waiter asked if we liked everything. I screamed out loud: “We loved it!” 就在我們兩個對當地美食心灰意冷得時候,米卡用tripadvisor找到了這間新開不久的餐館,也因為是新開的所以網路評鑑分數也不高,但好像試過的人都回覆說很好吃,於是我們抱持著就再試看看的心態去了這間餐廳。餐廳的整體佈置很用心,餐盤有搭配裝潢的調性,服務又很熱情,在我們說明想要補充膳食纖維的目的後,服務生馬上建議是看看他們的tapas,是很傳統葡式的餐點組合,有很多小盤子盛著各種不同料理,可以一次嘗到多種美味,另外主廚好像是留法回來的,所以料理有別傳統的葡式食材,又添有些法式的風味。最讓我驚喜的是焦糖地瓜布丁冰淇淋,當服務生詢問還滿意這個甜點嗎?我立刻大聲回愛死了! facebook:https://www.facebook.com/raiz.loios

# Improvisation You can see this kind of bar everywhere in Porto, but listening to a band jamming isn’t something you see everyday. We saw and heard them play while we were having dinner at Raiz, and as we were waiting for the check, I just could not wait any longer, abandoned my boyfriend and went to listen. It seemed that the players knew the owner. They were sitting, sipping a beer, playing traditional music. The owner even came out of the bar to sing with them. The street became a concert hall. No need to wear a tuxedo or have hi-fi audio equipment. The music was spreading out and touching the whole neighbourhood. 遠離觀光大街,隨意可見這樣的街邊酒吧,但即興的音樂會,這就讓我感到非常的新鮮。晚飯後,餐廳對面的巷弄傳來一陣拉丁音樂,等不及米卡付錢,我就拋下他一個人,自己跑去湊熱鬧;感覺這幾個樂手和店家老闆是老交情,坐在戶外點了啤酒,一邊話家常,一邊演奏葡式傳統音樂,老闆還不時跑出來唱個幾句,整個街道瞬間變成了音樂廳,不用華服西裝,不用高級音響,音樂的感染力僅透過這幾個大男生用手上的樂器,深情撼動著街坊鄰居。 [check out video](https://youtu.be/cS0lyXM9v4Q)

# Sunset from Ponte Luis I The last evening before leaving Porto, my boy suggested to go for a walk. We walked across the Ponte Luis I bridge, and the timing was exactly right to see the sunset. He probably picked the exact time to try out his new camera. I think everyone on the bridge were holding a camera to capture the moment. Just as we thought the sun had set behind the hill, we walked just a little bit, and that was enough to see the sun again. So we chased the sun across the bridge and saw at least five sunsets. Finally, on the other side, we put down our electronic gadgets and just used our eyes to take in the moment. 離開波多的最後一個傍晚,米卡提議說去散個步,我們走到了路易橋上,時間抓得剛剛好,太陽剛好倚著整個山城準備要打卡下班了,整座橋上幾乎人手一台相機,要捕捉這美麗的時刻,就當我們以為太陽已經隱沒在城市的另一端,沒料到的山城是斜的,所以稍微再往前走幾步,太陽也會再出現一些些,就這我們在橋上看了五次的”太陽下山“;最後我們走到橋的盡頭,放下手邊的相機,離開前,只想用眼睛帶走那抹山城後的夕陽.讓回憶永遠發光發亮。

Something a bit old, but the ideas are still new