My week in Porto is over.
Thankfully, my time in Portugal is not. Next stop Évora, east of Lisbon by 134km and 90 minutes by car or train.
Porto turned out really well. My apartment was everything I expected in terms of comfort and location. It was quiet, but only 15 minutes walk to the start of the tourist part of the city. As I knew already, it is surrounded by shops, cafes and restaurants.
I had no need to go near the tourist areas if I did not want to.
I spent a lot of time walking. I ate really well. I relaxed a lot. I tried to shut out the pandemic, Ukraine and Brexit, along with the various crooks and gangsters associated with them. The pandemic is in your face – or on it – whenever you step outside, but in fact I found it reassuring to be surrounded by people who are still taking it seriously.
After months of occasional coffees sitting outside in the Scottish autumn and winter, wearing 3-4 layers and trying to remember to drink quickly before the coffee became frappé, it was great to have coffees outside because it was warm and pleasant.
I even ate lunch outside one day!
I took the train to Évora. I had an easy 15 minute walk to catch a commuter train at Porto’s São Bento station for my 4 minute commute the the mainline station at Campanhã.
Comboios de Portugal gives over 60s a discount without the need for any special card or club membership, so between that and booking in advance my return ticket on the intercity service cost just €17 (£14) in 1st class.
Relaxed. Comfortable. Ideal.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2022