Porto for Americans

Published Date Author: , November 28th, 2011
by Yvonne, Gaia Apartment, Porto, Portugal
Email Yvonne | Visit the Gaia Apartment Website

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 Porto, Portugal

Porto, PortugalPorto is a city in Portugal. Portugal is a country in Europe. Europe is a continent across the Atlantic Ocean from the USA. The Atlantic Ocean is a big wet thing you fall into if you go to Atlantic City and keep walking East.

America has never been in a war with Portugal. Portugal doesn’t have any oil.
Porto is not pronounced “poor-dough”, it is pronounced “port-oh”, with a T sound in the middle, like the sound a clock makes when it’s ticking.

Porto, PortugalThe drink port is named after Porto. Port can only be called port if it was made in the Porto region of Portugal, in the same way that champagne can only be called champagne if it was made in the Champagne region of France, and in the same way that a Californian Zinfandel can only be called Californian if it makes you vomit until you pass out the morning after you drink it.

A really cool thing to do when you visit Porto is to go on a tour of the Port cellars and enjoy the free tastings.

Porto, PortugalPorto is really made up of two cities, everything on the north bank of the river is Porto and everything on the south bank is Gaia. The Ancient Romans founded a port here called Cale (which is the ancient form of ‘Gaia’) and thus the area was called Portus-Cale, which became Portu-gal, and gave its name to the country. This all happened a long long time ago, in your terms think of it as just after Jesus died and just before Joan Rivers was born.

Porto and Gaia are separated by six bridges. Two of these were designed by Eiffel, the guy that made that tower in France. The most famous, built by his best apprentice, is called the Luis I Bridge. A seventh bridge is planned which will be designed by Donald Trump and built by John Rich.

Porto has so many things to do and see – for example the amazing 12th Century cathedral, the famous Clerigos tower, the Serra do Pilar monastery with its towering presence over the city, the UNESCO world heritage site of the riverside on both banks – the rustic, quaint Porto side and the trendy, lavish Gaia side, the Serralves modern art gallery, the gardens of the Crystal palace, the world famous Santa Catarina shopping street, the Casa da Musica … they are all within 30 minutes walk of each other. Walking is something you do in other countries, Americans, instead of driving.

The idea is that you put one foot in front of the other, and then move the other one forward so that is in front, and so on. It’s good because its environmentally friendly and you don’t need gas so you don’t have to invade any oil rich countries to do it.

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in southern Europe, but for the less food-adventurous, we also have McDonalds.

Check out the fado whilst you’re here. Fado is Portugal’s traditional music, made up mostly of melodic ballads telling heartbreaking stories. Think of it as country music but without the really irritating twangy instruments.

Porto, Portugal

Getting around can be really fun. Porto has a cable car, funicular, trolley buses, metro (tube), tourist buses, segways, boat trips along the river, helicopter tours, tourist little choo choo train things driving around, and real trains that can take you to Lisbon in 2 and a half hours, the beautiful canals of Aveiro in 30 minutes, the beaches of Francelos and Miramar in 10 minutes, or Spain in 2 hours.

Or you could just call a cab!

Porto’s climate is warm nearly all year round but the best months are normally April – early October. What you should really do though is come by in early July, so you can join in the Porto Gay Pride March. You know these European pride marches are super cool, right?

2010 Madrid Pride – 2 million people and a free concert by Kylie Minogue. 2011 Rome Pride – 1 million people and a free concert by Lady Gaga. 2011 Porto Pride – 25 people and an iPhone turned up real loud by the underground car park. There was even a rainbow flag. Awesome.

PS: Gaga, if you could come do the 2012 Pride March, we’d be real grateful. We’ll even let you keep the iPhone.

Gaia Apartment, Porto, PortugalCome see for yourself. We have the best apartment in the whole city. It’s on the 10th (top) floor of a building right by the Luis I bridge. From the east balcony (yeah, we got two balconies, you won’t find another holiday apartment like that in Porto I betcha) you can gaze at the Serra do Pilar, watch the world going by on the Avenida or look out to the mountains beyond. From the West balcony, which is really like 20 floors high because it’s on a hill, you have breathtaking views of the city, river, the port cellars, the cable car and the UNESCO world heritage site.

Oh and we got fibre optic wifi and cable TV so you can still watch Idol while you’re here. Check out our purple roofs listing “Gaia Apartment” or visit us at http://bilyard.co.uk/apartment.

Comments reader  One Reader Comment

Purple Roofs December 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter | Purple Roofs Travel Blog - Gravatar

purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/12/purple-roofs-december-2011-gay-travel-newsletter.html Purple Roofs December 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter | Purple Roofs Travel Blog said on December 5, 2011, 3:28 pm:

[…] Porto for Americans by Yvonne, Gaia Apartment Porto is a city in Portugal. Portugal is a country in Europe. Europe is a continent across the Atlantic Ocean from the USA. The Atlantic Ocean is a big wet thing you fall into if you go to Atlantic City and keep walking East. America has never been in a war with Portugal. Portugal doesn’t have any oil. Porto is not pronounced “poor-dough”, it is pronounced “port-oh”, with a T sound in the middle, like the sound a clock makes when it’s ticking. http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/11/porto-for-americans.html […]

Tony - Gravatar

www.graton.co.za Tony said on December 5, 2011, 10:03 pm:

To reinvent a movie cliche – You’ve made my day! One of the funniest travel articles I think I’ve ever read. And this is the 2nd article in the past week that I’ve read on Porto – keep it up and you’ll overtake Lisbon. Regards and continued success. Tony

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