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Day 6 - Return to Vila Nova de Gaia and Sightseeing

Thursday 20th April 2017


  07-00 hrs Ship departs Entre-os-Rios  
  09-05 hrs Crestuma-Lever Lock  
  10-30 hrs Ship arrives in Vila Nova de Gaia  
  10-45 hrs Optional Sandemans cellar tour and tasting  
  14-00 hrs Coaches for Oporto City tour  
  18-00 hrs Return to ship  
    Moored overnight at Vila Nova de Gaia  




View from Vila Nova de Gaia towards the Ponte Luis (right) and the Sé Cathedral (left)

Ponte Luis


Dom Louis I Bridge

The steel Louis I bridge was designed by Teófilo Seyrig, an employee of Gustave Eiffel. Seyrig worked on the bridge for five years from 1881 to 1886. The double decks, one 44 meters above the other are exceptional. In between is a steel arch structure supporting the top road; the lower one hangs from it. The lower deck is intended for traffic and connects the lower parts of the city. The upper deck features a light rail line (metro). Both are accessible to pedestrians. The upper deck offers a fantastic view of the River Douro, Oporto and Vila Nova da Gaia.



The Metro on the upper part of the bridge

Not your average grafitti

As Mais Deliciosas

View from the Louis Bridge









Prince Henry the Navigator (4 March 1394 – 13 November 1460), was an important figure in 15th-century Portuguese politics and in the early days of the Portuguese Empire. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discoveries. Henry was the third child of the Portuguese King John I and responsible for the early development of Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents through the systematic exploration of Western Africa, the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the search for new routes.

King John I was the founder of the House of Aviz. Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta (1415), the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian Peninsula. He learned of the opportunities from the Saharan trade routes that terminated there, and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade. Henry is regarded as the patron of Portuguese exploration.

Source: Wikipedia




The Railway Station.... noted for its blue tile decoration

More people viewing the tiles than catching trains!




One of the original tram cars still running

Clérigos Bell Tower (Torre dos Clérigos). Built between 1754 and 1763, this bell tower was a project
of the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, an order for the Brotherhood of the Poor Clerics.
The Clérigos Tower is an example of baroque architecture, with its many statues of saints,
prominent cornices and balustrades. Built in granite and marble, has six floors, which correspond
to approximately 75 meters in height, accessible by a spiral staircase with 240 steps. It was
during many years the tallest building in Portugal.




The Carmo and Carmelitas churches 

The  Carmo (right) and carmelitas (left) churches look like the biggest church in the city. In fact, they are two churches separated by one of the world’s narrowest houses. This house was built to make all contact between the nuns and the monks impossible. Carmelitas Church was part of a convent in the 17h century. The building has a classical façade with a single a bell tower and a rich gilded interior. The church was used as barracks during the French Invasion of Porto (1808-1814).

Carmo Church was built in the 18th century and is an amazing example of the baroque architecture. Outside is a magnificent panel of blue and white tiles, representing the Brown Scapular imposition on Mount Carmel. The panel is rich in details, perspective and color and was designed by Silvestro Silvestri.

The Carmelitas’ church interior is a rich baroque and rococo style with gilded woodcarvings on the main altar and the lateral chapels. The same details of gilded woodcarving is to be found on Carmo church. On the left to Carmelitas church, are now the headquarters of GNR (Portuguese National Guard). The building is the former Carmelite convent.








Ramalho Ortigão 1836-1915


José Duarte Ramalho Ortigão (24 October 1836 – 27 September 1915)


José Ortigão was a Portuguese writer of the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Ortigão spent his early years with his maternal grandmother in Porto. He studied law in the University of Coimbra but he did not complete his studies. After returning to his home town, he taught French at a college run by his father. Among his students, was Eça de Queiroz.

In 1862 he dedicated himself to journalism and became a literary critic at the Diário do Porto and contributed to several literary magazines.

At this period Romanticism was the dominant trend in Portuguese literature, led by several major writers including Camilo Castelo Branco and António Augusto Soares de Passos, who influenced Ortigão. In the 1870s, a group of students from Coimbra began to promote new ideas in a reaction against romanticism. This group, eventually called the 70s Generation, was to have a major influence on Portuguese literature. As a supporter of romanticism, Ortigão became involved in a struggle against them and even fought a duel with Antero de Quental. In spite of this early opposition he afterwards became friendly with some members of the group. It was at this period that he wrote O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra and created the satirical journal As Farpas, both in collaboration with Eça de Queiroz. When Queiroz became a diplomat, initially in Cuba, Ortigão continued As Farpas alone.

Ortigão also worked as a translator. In 1874 he produced a Portuguese translation of the English satirical novel Ginx's Baby by Edward Jenkins.

Ramalho Ortigão died in Lisbon on 27 September 1915.

Source: Wikipedia



Municipal Council of Oporto Building in Liberdade Square

In 1866 a monument dedicated to King Peter IV, a monarch closely linked to Porto, was inaugurated in
the middle of the square. The monument, by French sculptor Anatole Calmels, consists of a statue of
Peter IV riding a horse and holding the Constitution that he had fought to protect during the Liberal Wars.

King Peter IV


Claimed to be the most beautiful McDonald's in the world, this building was the Imperial Café, an emblematic historic building from the 30s, just by Aliados Avenue. The name “Imperial” comes from the Eagle, still preeminent in the facade. The art deco stained glass is a major attraction, and like the railway station, there are more people viewing the building than buying Big Mac's!


The art deco stained glass



The Porto Cathedral ( Sé do Porto) is a Roman Catholic church located in the historical centre of the city. It is one of the city's oldest monuments and one of the most important local Romanesque monuments.

The current Cathedral underwent construction around 1110 under the patronage of Bishop Hugo and was completed in the 13th century, but there is evidence that the city has been a bishopric seat since the Suevi domination in the 5th-6th centuries.

The cathedral is flanked by two square towers, each supported with two buttresses and crowned with a cupola. The façade lacks decoration and is rather architecturally heterogeneous. It shows a Baroque porch and a beautiful Romanesque rose window under a crenellated arch, giving the impression of a fortified church.

The Romanesque nave is rather narrow and is covered by barrel vaulting. It is flanked by two aisles with a lower vault. The stone roof of the central aisle is supported by flying buttresses, making the building one of the first in Portugal to use this architectonic feature.

This first Romanesque building has suffered many alterations but the general aspect of the façade has remained Romanesque.

Source: Wikipedia






Vímara Peres was a ninth-century nobleman from the Kingdom of Asturias and the first ruler of the County of Portugal.


  Ribeira is the old historical centre of the city. Exceptional facades set the scene here. There are many narrow streets, terraces and of course, markets.  


The Ribeira area of Porto

The Ribeira area of Porto



The River Taxi....... 3 euros saves you a lot of walking and the trip is scenic

Night falls over the city, and what a lot we have seen in just our first day