El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

El Camino de Santiago

Camino Portugues

London to Porto 4th July

Up and away from a deserted Wimbledon station. I couldn't help thinking that in the 'before' world it would be packed with tennis fans making their way to the Championships. 

My trains were on time and actually it was quite a painless journey to Luton Airport which I was totally unfamiliar with but in fact was fine in an empty, strange way. No chance to waste time and money in the duty free, it was all wrapped in cling film and locked up. However, WizzAir is the only way to go! It was on time, clean and even had engines!

I needed to hit the ground running to get the best out of Porto in the short time available. Like Seville I should have given myself an extra day to enjoy the sights but I crammed quite a lot in.

First up was the Cathedral which is the official starting point for the Camino and the place to get the first stamp in my pilgrim's passport. According to Wikipedia it was started in 1110 and finally opened in 1737. You wouldn't want those builders updating your bathroom. Remembering I gave Seville Cathedral a miss and possibly, as a result, was cursed with hellish blisters, I thought I should give Porto Cathedral a respectful once over. It is big no wonder they took forever.

 

Not impressed

 

When I came out I found the starting point for tomorrow's big day. What a let down that was and hardly reassuring for signs needed on the rest of the way. Well at least I know not to head off to see Fatima.

Porto is a bit like Budapest and is divided by the river so next up was a walk over the Dom Luis bridge to the side where all the old Port distilleries are located. All those bars were a bit of a distraction so I settled down to admire the view with my first beer of the day only to be photobombed

One of the big things round here are 'azulejos' which are blue tiles painted individually to tell a story - usually one of a magnificent triumph by someone Portuguese. There are some good ones in the Cathedral but a railway station named San Bento is particularly impressive

By way of a footnote, Portugues may look a bit like Spanish on the page, but spoken it is incomprehensible. My schoolgirl Spanish which I revived for essential wine ordering etc is of no use here but thankfully so far English is widely spoken and understood