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Phespirit goes to Portugal
Porto     April/May 2011

AROUND PORTUGAL

Map of Portugal

1 Porto

Porto is a wonderful city. It has beauty and style, history, culture, modernity, diversity, refining much of Europe's best and giving it a unique identity of its very own.

All this presents Phespirit with the problem of how to encapsulate Porto in such limited space .....

His response: go and see.

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2 Vila Nova de Gaia

On his first morning in Porto, Phespirit walked up to the cathedral square and looked out across the Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Before him was a broad, irresistible panorama of port wine lodges, packed shoulder to shoulder, their world-famous brand names writ large across their long walls and rooftops.

Phespirit whiled a sublime couple of hours in the Taylor, Fladgate and Yeatman lodge and was well sated. There's not much else to do but drink port on this side of the river, but that's fine.

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3 Braga

Were it not for his reading ahead of this trip Phespirit's knowledge of Braga would be limited to its ultra-modern football stadium and the recent - modest - successes of its eponymous team.

He now knows that this is an old city styled as the religious heart of Portugal. Phespirit spent an hour in its cathedral and wandered around several other churches. The oldest and best is the Capela de São Frutuoso ..... a short detour on the way to the football.

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4 Guimarães

Guimarães greets visitors with the words: "Aqui Nasceu Portugal" ("Portugal was born here").

Phespirit won't go into the full history lesson. Suffice it to say that there are a few nice remnants of the city's long history but nothing particularly mesmerising.

The Paco dos Duques de Braganca is the most engrossing sight here, together with the adjacent castle. Phespirit didn't make it to the football stadium.

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  1. Porto
  2. Vila Nova de Gaia
  3. Braga
  4. Guimarães
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images 1
images 2
flickr
Porto Vila Nova de Gaia Braga Guimarães