As you may recall from an earlier post Porto is a city made for walking. So I guess it wasn’t surprising that after our superb tour of Palácio da Bolsa we decided to stretch our legs before we had lunch. We headed uphill on Rua de Ferreira Borges into Rua de Belomonte and then right onto the Escadas da Vitória. This stairway was once called Escadas da Esnoga as it is in the middle of the Jewish quarter, and gave direct access to the Jewish temple. It wasn’t history though on mind as we climbed the steps but my feet. The narrow cobbled streets and stairways of Porto are beautiful to explore but at times you do need to look very carefully where you are walking as numerous ‘presents’ have been left by the canines of Porto.
Despite the modern day hazards though this stairway is well worth climbing for the views from the small 18th century square at the top.
From here you look across the tiled roofs of Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia and its many wine lodges, as well the Dom Luis I bridge, the convent and the large glass dome of the Palácio da Bolsa. There are plans to renovate the building on the square and this has led to concerns that access will be restricted to the hotel residents. The current owners do say they will keep the open access, but it sounds like it might be a case of visit whilst you can.
Eventually we dragged ourselves away from the view and continued our walk up Rua de São Bento da Vitóra until we found ourselves at the bottom of an even more famous viewing point – Torre dos Clérigos.
It is the bell tower of a church of the same name, and a popular tourist attraction. We half considered climbing up, but as we had already thoroughly enjoyed the views from the square and lunch was calling we continued our walk. By the way there are quite a few rings of Porto in the shots below, click on the gallery to see if you can spot them!
We soon found ourselves behind the law courts on Passeio das Virtudes, and to my delight we discovered another view point. This city is full of them!
A few steps later we were on R. De Azevedo De Albuquerque 1 and we found lunch! Not quite warm enough to sit outside despite the sunshine, we did however enjoy the views of the Gaia and Jardim do Passeio das Virtudes through the glass. And just in case you are wondering lunch at Árvore was delicious, and the set menu a bargain price.
Don’t worry Jo this is not the end of the walk! I still have a little more to share for your Monday Walkers. As after lunch we explored the garden that we have been looking at over lunch. It is a garden of terraces, and whilst there is an exit at the bottom most visitors seemed to be entering and leaving from the upper terraces. We did the same but only after we had explored all of the terraces.
By the way did you notice the two floral squares? I couldn’t resist creating two floral squares – after all I am the host of ‘Square in September‘! I didn’t take many photographs on the second half of the walk as we had explored a lot of this area on a previous walk. I did though spot some unusual street art on one of the stairways, and did take a couple of shots during our retail diversion on Rua das Carmelitas!
Despite the diversions it wasn’t long before we found ourselves back in Porto’s narrow streets and near to our apartment, so I thought I’d finish with how I started with this post – with a view of Porto’s Cathedral. A different angle though.