[Dec. 2021] We left our luggage in the Airbnb in Oporto, a town in northern Portugal, and immediately went out to the town.
Because we were hungry.
As usual, my husband searched for a restaurant and aimed for the one along the Douro River.
We went down the Rua Mouzinho da Silveira, the street where our Airbnb was facing, towards the river.
After spending time in Lisbon, where the weather was not good, the blue sky of Oporto struck me.
And the town felt lively.
It’s been 12 years since we visited Oporto.
The last time was December, too, but the weather was bad at that time and the whole town looked dull.
In fact, there were many decaying buildings, and I remember that was the flavour of the town.
It seems that the vibrancy was felt this time not only because the weather was good, but also because the economy was actually improving.
In the short term, the impact of the Covid-19 may be a problem, but my husband says that Portugal’s IT technology is at the forefront in Oporto, not Lisbon.
To support this, a few days later, the guide told us, “In Portugal, it is said to pray in Braga, study in Coimbra, work in Oporto, and play in Lisbon.”
When the idea was raised to make Oporto the capital, there were voices against the idea saying a non-working royal family should not be here in Oporto, so Lisbon became the capital.
When this guide started working in 2009, she said she was in trouble because she didn’t have enough work, but for the last few years, even under the Covid crisis, she was busier than that time.
Now, we reached the river.
The view of the Douro River and the Dom Luiz I Bridge over it, which symbolizes the town of Porto, was vivid.
We found the restaurant just off the river, but it was just closing.
It was an awkward timing of halfway through the afternoon, and the online information about the opening hours, which said open all day, was wrong.
After that, we tried a few restaurants around there, but they were full or closed, so we wandered seeking for foods.
Eventually, we found ourselves a little further away from the bustle and found a restaurant called La Pausa.
It didn’t seem to be very popular, but the starter, a tuna dish that was served without our asking for was delicious, and the sea bass I ordered for the main dish was also good.
The sea bass was cut open and dried like horse mackerel.
My husband chose a cod dish and said it was ok.
We ordered wine by glass, and the total price was less than € 50.
They accepted only cash, though.
As for the dessert, we wanted to try somewhere else, so we walked around a little and went to a cafe that makes and sells Pastel de Nata.
It was warm and the skin was crispy and delicious.
After leaving there, it was already dim, and we went out along the river again and enjoyed the night view and then came back.