We spent most of our time in the Porto area using Matosinhos as our base. From here we ventured into Porto, took our day trips to Braga, Guimaraes, and Aviera, and generally got comfortable navigating the area. It is a busy port city for cargo, cruises, and fishing. And it also has some beautiful beaches.
The Market in Matosinhos is a modern building from the 1950s and they are very proud of the architecture. It has a large section for the fishmongers, a lot of fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, and butchers line the walls. They sell a lot more of the animals than we are used to seeing in American supermarkets, you see a lot of organs, and full heads among other things. Also, several large booths had live fowl and rabbits as well as the eggs.
A restaurant on one of the beaches with a great view.
The food was pretty good too!
The coast near Porto has several castle forts used to defend the country. This one is on the beach between Matosinhos and Porto. It is Castelo de Queijo, and with my rudimentary Portugese I was calling it Castle of Cheese in my head but was also certain that couldn’t be right. So, I was much pleased when the bartender called it that too! It is fairly historic and we were able to go in and walk around as it is now run by a Portugese Veterans group.
A view down the beach near our hotel. This is just a small portion of the beach. On the other side of the port and river there is another long sandy beach.
A view of the Cruise Port. Since we came to town via land, we did not use the port, but they offer tours. We weren’t able to get a tour, but it looks like an impressive building.
When the port was built in the late 1800s it was quite the engineering feat. They used enormous steam powered cranes in the construction. A few years ago they restored one of the cranes and opened it for tours. The crane, Titan, is a major part of the skyline. Well worth the short walk from the port entrance and the climb up the stairs.
Mind your head when walking along the cranes top arm. Well, many people like Dan must mind their head, I am not one of those people though.
Inside the room with the steam engine and motors.
Matosinhos was having the community fair during our stay, and in addition to the games, carnival rides, craft booths and food – a knit bombed park!
Matosinhos is a mostly modern city but has a lovely church.
With a very fancy interior.
The view of a city park from our hotel. The area once was a major refinery which is now relocated a bit further north of town. The park attracted lots of skateboarders and dog walkers daily and on one Saturday, a youth football (soccer) tournament. This area had a lot of new residential and commercial construction going on and is clearly a bustling place!