Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Porto - To the Atlantic and Beyond!

Porto is the Atlantic Ocean. Both are the same. The winds from the Atlantic make Porto a blustery city, with changeable weather and surprisingly cool nights. Well, at least when I was there.

The best way to get to the sea is via the historic number 1 tram. It runs all the way to Foz which is crowned by a lovely little cafe in a green square and a historic fort by the mouth of the Duoro.

But I wanted to see the Atlantico! Te great ocean itself, and despite the fact that I live in Britain, I have never seen the Atlantic in this country. And so, Porto, with its prime location was the place where I would first see the Atlantic in Europe. Shocking to think that my travels have taken me to the Pacific and to the Indian Oceans, but to my own 'local ocean', I have never seen it until my visit to Porto...

The beach in Porto is actually dominated by the now modern container port that Porto has become. As always, ocean going trade is still as important to the economy of the city as it has historically been. Added to the fact that the sea is absolutely freezing, this is not exactly a wonderful beach by the sea. Still, it is nice to go and dip your toes in the Atlantic, and to take a view of the structures on the beach.

There is a lot of renewal happening in Porto. A lot has probably stuttered due to the recent financial crisis, but the buildings that do line the beach have a certain old world charm. Some say the structures are like Goa, others claim Havana. But the decay is ringed by a feeling of dignity. And basically, they do look really cinematic!

So if you find yourself in Porto, do not forget to head towards the ocean. it may be windy, the waters may be cold, but it is a really stunning part of the city!

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