Day Trip to Braga

Another short hop from Porto in a different direction took us to Braga. There’s quite a bit of religion in Braga, with a huge church at the entrance to the old quarter. The old quarter is easy to wander around, with plenty of small streets to get lost on.

Braga

I really don’t understand Catholicism, even after numerous trips to countries where it has been the dominant religion for centuries and centuries. For example, what’s up with all the pain imagery?

Braga

There is street music in Portugal, not as much as in France or even England. A virtuosic violinist (I have no idea if he was a virtuoso but those two words go together so well) wearing a cape and leggings was playing on one street.

Braga

And just before leaving we found a fountain (OK, another game with words) that had a rainbow. We enjoyed Braga and hope to return during the religious festivals that are unique to the area.

Braga

Aveiro – Portugal’s Venice

A one hour train ride from Porto, Aveiro is often called the Venice of Portugal because of its canals. Originally built for commerce, the canals are now traversed by a multitude of colorful gondolas catering to tourists. The boat ride is fun, but exploring the city is more fun. Parts of it have that abandoned feeling, odd because it is a rather well-off small city; these neighborhoods were fun to walk and to photograph.

Aveiro

One interesting building had an external stucco staircase that had been shorn off, leaving just the pattern of its path on the wall as if it had been painted on.

Aveiro

And, of course, there’s religion.

Aveiro

And, of course, the contrast of old and new. There are quite a few tile murals in Aveiro.

Aveiro

Just a Few Snaps Around Town

We went to a museum in Porto that is free on Sundays. The free part was fortunate as the museum itself was quite boring, proving that art can be too conceptual to be interesting. The grounds of the museum, the estate of a benefactor of the arts, were a little more interesting.

Porto

From the other side of the river, Porto looks like a historical artifact, some sort of scale model of how it once was. It would be unreal if it wasn’t so real.

Porto

Near the port houses, there is a staircase that has been painted with humorous scenes of buildings in the area. The painter (painters?) was quite talented as the images are deceptively real when isolated, but even more fascinating in context.

Porto