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  • The Baguette
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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June 20 2013 5 20 /06 /June /2013 13:16

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7428/8984035335_88fc0c13c6_o.jpgWednesday, May 1, 2013 -- Porto, Portugal

I went to bed rather early last night and slept very well.  None of the other people in my room bothered me by coming in late nor did they disturb my slumber.  I’m pretty sure that will not be the case in the albergues along the Camino—there will ALWAYS be someone who snores and completely destroys all hopes of a relaxing sleep experience after a long day of walking.  I’m glad I brought earplugs.  I walked to a few places around town this morning looking for a place that served breakfast but I should have known better.  A simple breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon or ham, toast and orange juice DOES NOT EXIST in either Spain or Portugal.  I defy anyone to prove to me that it does.  It is equally as difficult, if not more so, to find anyone selling fruit.  I inquired in three different cafes and no one could provide anything but coffee.  I ended up at a café that Pedro showed us on our walking tour of the city yesterday called Pingo de Cimbalino where I was not only able to have a coffee and croissant but a glass of orange juice with a banana and an apple !  I was pretty impressed by this since I didn’t even have to ask the owner if he provided fruit—he asked me if I wanted any.  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8413/8984006629_e30e4a4a06_o.jpgAfter breakfast I headed back to the hostel to wait for my friends.  They arrived just as I walked in the door.  My coterie of German friends consisted of Frank, Tommy, Andreas and Charlie.  It was so good to see them again.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2836/8985216470_df008d27c8_o.jpgI ended up taking them to the same café for breakfast and then we began exploring the town together before having to meet up with the other six Germans that were going to hike with us.  They showed up at the cathedral around 13h00.  I wasn’t the only one meeting them for the first time as they were complete strangers to Andreas and Frank too.  Throughout our Camino we referred to them understandingly as the “wilde Ostern” or wild easterners as they were from the former DDR.  Their group consisted of three guys, Michael and Phillip and Robert (twins) as well as three women, Claudia, Caroline and Kathleen.  They are all very nice people and I get along well with them.  Nearly all of them are in their mid-30s and four of them are employed with the German Police.  For their security, I promised that I wouldn’t publish photos of them on my blog.  My friends and I continued to walk around town while the wilde Ostern went back to their hostel and slept the day away.  http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5323/8985231642_db6dd443f0_o.jpgThis is the front of the Livraria Lello, one of the oldest and most beautiful bookstores in the world.  Sadly, we were unable to go inside since many businesses were closed because of the holiday.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3745/8984036633_5f5928e3b9_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5322/8985232994_c63c5c9d56_o.jpgOne of the highlights of visiting Porto is climbing to the top of the 75 meters tall bell tower of the Igreja dos Clérigos built between 1754 and 1763.  For many years it was the tallest structure in Portugal.  http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3796/8984016987_dbcd3da40c_o.jpghttp://farm6.staticflickr.com/5324/8985211356_e34d885ece_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3811/8985209622_06c36fd647_o.jpgThe views from the top are the best in the city.  While the others waited on the steps outside, Frank and I paid to visit the Igreja de São Francisco with its museum, treasury and crypt.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/8984013083_820b546607_o.jpghttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3813/8984011077_37b4311869_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7430/8984010551_41c18d8068_o.jpgThe sombre catacombs are quite famous and recent excavations have even uncovered an ossuary where human bones are stored to await Judgement Day.  http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5466/8984009071_f06458e92d_o.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7385/8984007999_f28d3a3b85_o.jpghttp://farm9.staticflickr.com/8137/8985202420_1aa1472b8f_o.jpgIt was all pretty amazing especially the interior of the church with all of its side chapels gilt in gold.  The little that is not covered in pure gold (it is said that there is 400kg of it here) such as the wide-ribbed Gothic arches, is made of marble.  Photos were not allowed inside so I purchased a set of postcards.  We were able to cover quite a bit of ground together but we didn’t have time to visit any wine cellars since we had to get back to the cathedral by 19h00 in order for everyone to get a stamp in their credencial since we wouldn’t be able to do so in the morning.  No one was able to make a decision as to where we should eat for dinner.  I would have liked to eat at a place called Mal Cozinadho which is known for its live fado music but I don’t think anyone really wanted to go somewhere so expensive.  In the end, the wilde Ostern chose a place down by the river called “Uma Velha Tinh Um Gato”.  The literal translation of this is, “The Old Lady had a Cat”.  It was nice to sit outside and this more than made up for the fact that their menu options were quite simply awful.  I ate some rice with shredded duck while the others had hamburgers or salads.  The waiter was very kind and after the wilde Ostern had retired for the night, he brought the rest of us a small glass of Porto wine.  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2884/8985217000_ae83522e5c_o.jpgThis last photo is from the Monument to Henry the Navigator.  He points to the river Douro and his house which isn't too far down the road.

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Published by The Baguette - in Chemin de St-Jacques