Porto and Back to Lisbon

I have not found a more hospitable and friendly hotel than the Clip Hotel in Gaia Porto.The receptionist was always ready to help and
offer advice on the best things to do and the best way to get around in town.
On the second morning, it being Sunday, we decided to attend Mass at the small but beautiful Church of St. Christopher
located a few minutes from the hotel, right behind El Corte Ingles. The Church was restored in 1956 and is in almost pristine
condition, but unfortunately, at least it seemed that the morning service was popular only amongst the elderly. We enjoyed
the service, even though it was in Portuguese. The cantor had a rich voice and the two acolytes serving (possibly seminarians)
were impeccable.
After a quick breakfast (again the Clip HOtel outdid itself), we took the metro from Joao De Deus to Sao Bento and from there
walked through the historic district. The area is a treasure trove for history and architecture buffs with its mix of old and new
buildings and myriad architectural sytles. The impulsive decision to jump onto the old tram (for just Euro 2.50 round trip)
was a great investment as we rode through the winding roads sharing the same track as pedestrians and other traffic. At the end
of the line, the tram driver, actually flips over the backs if the seats so that they are now facing in the opposite direction.
Certainly a experience worth the while, and the money, if you are ready to spend some 30 minutes unguided, yet enjoying the what
Porto’s old quarter has to offer from as great a vantage point as the Yellow or Red Bus tours will offer.
If you are looking for something different to take back from Porto, a visit to Portugalidades on Rua Mouzinho Silveira is in
order (www.portugalidades.net), and his trendy ceramic art on Porto and Portugal (including caricatured Pessoa and Camoes poems on tiles)
make a wonderful momento from this beautiful city.
The train ride back to Lisbon was uneventful, save for some amazing views and a few interesting games of cards.


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