Pronounce the title of this post in Portuguese and it rhymes. There. That’s a thing you know now. (Anybody else getting tired of that meme?) We spent one evening in Porto, plus the afternoon the next day. We drove in from our very nice hotel both days. Porto is an older city than Lisbon, and it looks it. There is what looks like a medieval church that was built in the nineteenth century. But it’s attached to a much older church that is closer to being authentic. The first thing I wanted to see was the Harry Potter bookstore, actually named Liveria Lello. Not the original name, but as you can see above, it works well in a movie about a magical library. Since it was a highlight, I’ll post a few more shots below. If you go, you must buy tickets next door, but they’ll credit your ticket price to what you purchase.
Porto is not all about Liveria Lello. It is a very old city. The Romans called it Calus, sometimes simply Portus, which taken together mean tranquil port, or peaceful port, quiet port, that sort of thing. The Portuguese call it “Portu,” never mind the spelling. The region is called Oporto, which is essentially “The Port” in Portuguese. So, Porto has lots of narrow streets, cobblestoned walkways, confusing street names, and some really high bridges across the Douro river. Across the river is Gaia, another classical name. If you say “Portu” and “Gaia” quickly one after the other, you’ll hear the origin of the name of the country. How ’bout ‘dat?
Porto features the most impressive façade of any McDonalds I’ve ever seen. Tami calls it the “Imperial” McDonalds. I don’t know the history of the place. Sorry.
Europeans seem to love Route66. (Search for Route66 on this blog for more about that highway.) Here is a pic from a store in Porto, close by the Harry Potter bookstore. Route 66 all over. We’ve found similar signs in other European countries as well. Have a look.
It’s an odd store. Some antique toys, some current items. Nice tops. We had a nice lunch around mid-afternoon, and then it was time to head back to Lisbon. The highway was all ticketed tolls, so that was a relief. *** As it happens, I got through to the website today and it was working. We owe nothing. You tell me why that is, but it’s good.*** We had one more day in Lisbon, as our plane didn’t leave until 10:30 at night. But, that’s a topic for another post.