Last night I arrived in Porto and I was starving. My Airbnb hosts João and Hugo sent me lists of recommendations with restaurants, bars, supermarkets, and nightclubs in the immediate vicinity of their old town apartment near the River Douro. But now I only wanted a recommendation where I could eat something within walking distance. Hugo takes me there personally and orders me something. Direct hit: https://goo.gl/maps/MweRB3KvYHXJh7YE8. In the O Caraças in the Rua das Taipas 27 there are supposedly only locals. The price/performance ratio is accordingly: very good quality at a low price. 300g excellent beef steak with side dishes and 2 carafes of red wine (1/2l) for an incredible 13 €. Promptly, two older couples speak Portuguese and German alternately, depending on the heat of the discussion. They are Germans who have been living in Porto for many years, so no tourists!
The old town is beautiful for strolling and romantic loitering, picturesque to look at and with a touch of bohemian. It goes always only in narrow lanes uphill or downhill, often with stairs or steep rough paved ways, that look as if legionaries of the Roman Empire already patrolled on it, sometimes ending in small squares with fountains, from which again several lanes lead out star-shaped. I wonder how Google Maps doesn’t suffer and give up acute neurosis here. I even found markings of the Caminho Português de Santiago.
With blue tiles they have it here! Historical, or public buildings, or homeowners, who are very important, have Azulejo, mostly square, colourfully painted and glazed ceramic tiles on facades or even inside. The technique originates from Persia and is a legacy of the Moors on the Iberian peninsula since the 8th century. Therefore, Islamic motifs can often be found. A long time after the Reconquista, this handicraft found its way into eastern Europe from the 16th century onwards. The Delft tiles, after which the Delft blue is also named, became particularly famous in the Netherlands. Of course I mainly concentrated on the old town, where you can feel the slightly muddy, morbid charm of past grand times and history almost everywhere, and from which nevertheless bubbling, modern life springs from all corners.
It is Saturday in the Advent season in Porto. Life is raging here. I am very impressed!