This is the final posting from our Douro River cruise with Viking that we took in December 2019. We spent time in Porto at the beginning and end of the cruise portion of this trip, staying onboard the Helgrim for two nights at the beginning and at the Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa our last two nights in Portugal when the Helgrim was inaccessible due to flooding along the waterfront. Overall, we thought Porto was scenic from pretty much every angle, so we’ve included a lot of pictures in this post from our time there. Oh, and we loved its namesake beverage.
We got a close-up view of the bridge on our hike into Porto, including from the funicular that carried us up from the riverfront.
One of the stops on our hike was at the Porto Cathedral, with its statue of Vimara Peres (ninth-century nobleman and reputed first ruler of Portugal) and the Pillory of Porto, a symbol of justice.
We thought that the Christmas decorations in the windows of Porto were fun:
As we saw starting in Lisbon, the Portuguese are into tiles. Each wall of the Porto train station lobby has huge tile images stretching up to the ceiling, and many churches and buildings were decorated with tile on the outside as well. Sometimes they took it a little bit far, though – they even tiled some boulders that were placed on the sidewalks!
Towers, fountains, and statuary, including one commemorating Camilo Castelo Branco’s book Love of Perdition:
Like Lisbon, Porto had some beautiful tiled sidewalks:
A couple random vistas and a set of four very narrow apartments that are basically the width of their front doors:
What’s special about this picture of the river? Well, it captures the briefest moment when our longship actually sailed! On the morning before we headed up river on a bus, the captain moved our ship so that we ended up on the outside of the raft of four ships tied up together.
I know that I’ve repeatedly whined about the rain in our postings about this trip. Really, it wasn’t usually that bad. On our last day in Porto, though, we did have to seek refuge in a sidewalk restaurant from a torrential downpour. Check out this video:
The good news is that the rain passed quickly, and the sun came out to leave with us with a bright aftermath:
If you’d like to see our postings from this entire trip (or any of our previous trips), check out our trip album page.
We’re not booked for our next cruise until December of 2022, but we hope to travel again well before then. In the meantime, we’ll be digging into our photo archives and look for throwback postings to share with you.