Since I've been here, not all of my time has been spent in the Hospital. I've had the chance to get to know the city a bit.
I mentioned in my first blog posting that I live in the area called Campanhã. I like it! It's close to the center of town, and it is very well communicated with buses, metro, and a train station. The station has local, regional, and long distance trains so you can travel almost anywhere in Portugal from Campanhã!
Campanhã also illustrates very well my favorite thing about Porto: the contrast between the traditional and the contemporary.
I like to start from Campanhã, walk to the center of town, and then make my way down to the river. For me, it's a good way to get to know my way around the city. It's about a 20min walk to the center, and then a short walk to the river.
In the center of the city, one can find amazing architecture, museums, monuments, and churches. It's great for just walking around, visiting museums, or just stopping for a pingo and a pastry at a cafe. But if you can go with someone who knows the history of the city well, it's even better! I spent an afternoon walking through the center with my intern, Mara. She explained the history behind many streets and buildings, the different architectural styles of the churches, and we even went to a bookshop just to see the staircase (Lello & Irmão" bookshop; it is the most amazing bookshop I've ever seen!).
3. Rio Douro
For me, the most amazing part of the city is the Ribeira. The homes are amazing! Although some are crumbling, they are still beautiful. The local government is in the process of renovating them, one by one. The amazing things about this area is that local people live here, and have lived here for generations. I was told that it is difficult to buy a home here, not necessarily because of cost, but more so because there are not many for sale. They are usually passed down within families. Or like my attending told me, if you really want one, "you just have to wait for the old people to die".
From Ribeira you can also see the Port Wine houses across the river, as well as the Cais de Gaia riverfront. The best views are from one of the many bridges that crosses the river. Just don't get run over by the metro!
Ok...so these are just a few pictures that I've taken (I have hundreds!). I've also gone to the coast with Mara, but that was the ONE time I did not have my camera. If I get a chance, I'll go back and take some more pictures.