I have had a busy start to the year.... I have been on three trips and to two weddings and it is only April. Next trip is booked and there's at least 2 more weddings this year.
In February I went to Porto with work. I was on a study visit organised by an EU programme called Culture for Cities and Regions. We had hosted a visit in Dundee in November, with 20 people from all over Europe and this time it was our turn to go on a trip and to learn about what Porto is doing to support its creative industries sector.
Cais da Ribeira - the waterfront in the city centre....surrounded by the medieval district of Ribeira, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is a mixture of waterfront warehouses and small alleys with houses on either side, sometimes so narrow that you could imagine leaning out the window and shaking hands with the person on the other side.
An beautiful tiled facade of a church.
The Douro River and Ponte Luis I - it is a double-decked arched iron bridge - with pedestrians and cars using the lower level and pedestrians and trams using the upper level. I will admit that I tried to walk across the upper level but didn't make it very far before I had to turn back - too scary!!
Sunrise over the Douro - the arched bridge you can see in the distance is Ponte Maria Pia which was designed by Gustave Eiffel
The Douro by night
The old covered market - the Mercado Bolhao...it is not nearly as busy as it must have been in the past, the upper levels just have a few vegetable stalls (but what amazing vegetables). There are plans to regenerate the market which would be remarkable.
Beautiful old shop front
Most of the photos were taken between the hours of 730 and 830 in the morning as that was really the only free time we had in the 3 days....lots of meetings and lots of eating! It is certainly a city I would like to spend more time in....and of course go and visit the port warehouses....
We also visited Guimaraes to the north of Porto, which had been European Capital of Culture in 2012....a small city with lots of interesting history (having been the centre of the leather industry in the country.)
These are some of the old tanning pits from the leather industry and the barrels for spinning the tanned leather.