Three days. No schedule or list of sights to visit. No palaces, churches or museums – just one tiny castle and a lighthouse. Exactly one month after we left Colorado for our seven-week trip to Portugal and Spain, we are ready for some downtime.
Porto is more famous for its vibrant historical downtown than as a beach destination, so the coastal district known as Foz do Douro is a wonderful, low key place to relax and recharge. We don’t feel like we’re missing out, because we’ll be staying in the “other” part of Porto for four days a little later on.
Our taxi driver efficiently delivers us from the airport to our Airbnb, where our host Maria meets us. She’s very friendly and helpful, and happens to live right across the hall. We are excited to see the Atlantic Ocean from our balcony.
A wide promenade on the ocean side of the street stretches in both directions as far as we can see. We first walk in the direction of downtown Porto for four kilometers or so.
After a short walk to the grocery store, I focus (literally!) on the developing sunset over the water.
The next morning, we walk along the promenade in the opposite direction.
We pay one euro (50 cents each) to do a quick tour of the Castelo de São Francisco do Queijo, frequently shortened to Castle of the Cheese, reportedly so-named because its shape resembles a block of cheese. The coolest feature of the 17th century fort is the drawbridge in front, somewhat visible in the photo below.
Other interesting sights from our walk on Day 2:
Mission accomplished – we’re relaxed and refreshed . . .
. . . and ready to continue our adventures in the Douro River Valley.
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