Sun 25 Oct - Santiago de Compostela to Porto

Time to leave Santiago de Compostela and Spain for Portugal. I am sure that I will be back in a not too distant future. With Good Mrs next time. Spain is still my favorite European country. Perhaps Portugal will change that...

Daylight Savings Time goes for 7 months on the Iberian peninsula and overnight it reverted back to standard time. Given that Portugal is one hour earlier than Spain, i.e. same time zone as the UK, my body clock was thrown back 2 hours by the end of the day. It got dark quickly. 

My bus to Porto, Portugal did not depart until noon which means plenty of time in the morning to pack for post Camino. 

So by 8.30am standard time I was ready to go so went for a final Sunday morning wander through Santiago de Compostela. 

Sunday morning means empty and closed in Spain. 
I forgot to capture these ladies in Parque Alameda the other day. I am not sure what their message is. Welcome pilgrims?
I've passed this very touristy looking joint many times in the last few days. Misspelt or Spanish spelling?
This however is clearly not correct. 
I think that this was the tapas bar where we pilgrims went to farewell lunch yesterday. Hard to tell now that everything is shut. 
This was interesting. It's Sunday morning and almost everything is closed. But not the Santiago de Compostela post office. It's open and it is providing pilgrim services. I was impressed. 
Santiago de Compostela played host to one of those early Sunday morning runs today. The run finalized in the plaza in front of the cathedral. Plenty of runners who had made it, but more to come as we will see later. 

I slowly made my way back to hostel The Last Stamp through another typical Spanish breakfast. That consisted of a cup of Americano coffee and croissant at the very appropriately named Cafeteria Butafumerio. The setup just seemed appropriate to round up my presence here and in Spain. 
Way too early I get my backpack and wander off to the bus station... Against the direction of the remaining runners. 
There was not a lot of life at Santiago de Compostela's bus station. My bus is there. 
Yep, this is the international bus. 
The bus leaves Santiago de Compostela only a few minutes late and we are soon on the way. The bus passes through the town of Vigo, which I temporarily considered a post Camino destination. I possibly should as it looked beautiful from the bus. A bit like San Francisco with rolling hills, a bridge and lots of green on the other side. 

I was only able to shoot two crappy photos from the bus, but I include them anyway.  

Fast forward and I arrived in Porto. There was a half hour walk from the bus station to my 2 star hotel Seculo. Which was in a residential neighborhood. 
What a service. This food and drink offering is literally 3 doors up the road...
...and the food is from no other than "Hot Bob". Who could resist that?
Ahh... Own room, double bed, plenty of space. Even a bath tub. 
The view down Rua da Santa Catarina from my window. If you just follow the street you end up on a pedestrian mall and close to the river as we will see later. 
Directly opposite my window, it looks like this. The old building behind there is called Capela de Fradelos according to my map. 
After settling in, having a shower, washing some clothes in the basin, I was out searching for a meal. While the Portuguese clock said post 4.30pm, my body clock said post 6.30pm and since I had no lunch, I was hungry now. 

I found that Porto looks a bit like Macao. Which is easily explained by that I have been to Macao twice but I have never been to Portugal before. 
Yes, this could have been Macao. 
Suddenly, this menu caught my eye. 7€ for a whole "trout grilled in live(?) coal". How can I go pass a place like that?
Not a well crowded place but it had some other advantage...
... a TV where live football was on. Benfica vs Porto. Just started and Porto was 1 up. 

I ordered "vino de Porto" which of course in Port wine. Strong and sweet. Not my preferred choice of dinner drink but when in Rome...
The trout arrived and no chips. Normal potatoes. All good. I even ate the carrots as I was so deprived of vegetables. Plenty of olive oil and garlic too. Fantastic meal. 
I ate and watched the game for a good hour before leaving and... It was dark outside. At 6pm. 

If you walk south down on Rua de Santa Catarina, you end up here. 
According to a sign, this building is Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina. Beautiful tiles with blue and white patterns and images. 
Majestic Cafe is apparently a must go to destination for any visitor but not this Sunday evening as it was very closed. 
Further south is this church called Igreja de Sto Lidefonso. Also decorated with those beautiful blue and white tiles. And lit up. 
I've already seen this vendors in a few places, with their smelly and smoky cooking machines. I think they roast chestnuts but I'm not quite sure. 
I wandered down to the main Porto river called Rio Douro and the bridge Ponte Luis I. No general traffic across it, only light rail and pedestrians. 
The bridge is way up, the fencing far too low for my liking with far too many opening where things can fall through. However, Ponte Luis I provided fantastic views. 
A selfie of me slightly suffering from vertigo. 
Looking west over Rio Duoro from Ponte Luis I. 

Can I take this opportunity to say that Porto is seriously giving Paris a run for its money as the "City of Lights". So much is lit up here from what I've seen already. 
Ponte Luis I from the southern side of th in river...
...and across to town. 
The building below is an old monastery called Mosteiro da Serro da Pilar. Also remarkably well lit up. 
The buildings below the old monastery looked like a set of dominos. 
A cable car referred to as Muralha Fernandina was also visible on the town side. 
And if not don't want to pay your dues, you can always take the stairs. There are a few of them. 
Normally, train station providing services to the suburbs are pretty drab places. Not in Porto. Estacio de S Bento is a beautiful building from the outside...
...and inside. 

And there they are. The trains to the burbs. 
After my little night time familiarization of the immediate area, I then wandered back to my hotel Secula and after blogging this, it was time for bed. Remember the 2 hour difference from last night..

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