Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sunny Porto and seafood

Greetings Anna from a very sunny Porto!
Legs up and blogging away

Just a quick blog to tell you how we're doing in Porto!

We arrived yesterday at noon. Unfortunately for us google maps let me down and pointed me to the wrong apartments with similar name. I won't blame my poor googling skills) This meant that dad had to lug down a 20kg suitcase that contained his and mum's belongings down these uneven windy steps. Oops!

Getting us lost!
Sneak peek of the river as we took the steps the wrong way. Will take better pictures when we go there again.
The steps!
Immediately I thought of Perth and parents agreed too because of the blue skies, fresh air, cleanliness, and wide open spaces. I also thought of Spain because some of the terrace buildings had balconies and the black wrought iron barricades that we saw in Gaudi's house. The one where we went crazy taking loads of photos in with the blue mirrors and tiles that were suppose to be like water.

We had lunch 'Annaandchia-in-Spain' style too! After finally checking in, we were so hungry and couldn't find any decent restaurants nearby so we went into a supermarket and got various bits and bobs for lunch. Mum and dad aren't fussy at all with their food so I grabbed random things like chickpeas, some sort of snails/fish in a tin in tomato sauce (haha. I know sounds bad but it was tasty!), bruschetta cruskit things, fruit and yoghurt. That was it I think. It was good because we wanted something light and especially because we planned to indulge in a huge seafood feast for dinner.

That dinner was huge alright! Again google maps let me down and we did a big loop before we asked a couple of locals. What I like about Porto is that the people leave you alone. They don't pester you to buy things and they don't stare at you. They pretty much leave you alone and I like that.  It might come across as unfriendly but they are very happy to help you but if you are lost and there is so much sincerity and humbleness when they speak. We asked a couple of old women peeping out the windows of their houses having a little evening chat where the restaurant was, and they pointed it to us and spoke in Portugese the right direction. Bless!

Dinner was in a restaurant called A Antiga. Porto is well known for it's fresh seafood and it was fresh alright! We did not realise it was fine dining and of course not dressed for it. Mum and dad definitely loved getting into the seafood. I had barnacles for the first time too! Think black stubby hairy fingers. They look rather ghastly! You had to twist them in the middle and shcluuuck the rubbery flesh out. Haha! good fun though and they tasted quite nice. Salty with a hint of an after taste I can't think of a word to describe it, but I did end up having a fair bit. Mum and dad also tried these shell creatures that looked like hermit crabs except instead of a crunchy creature inside it was like a conch inside. The crab was amazing too! Soft buttery juicy flesh. Best I've ever had!! And the fish came in huge portions too! Before we ordered, they brought out this humongous fish and we pointed to them which part we would like. They cook it up and bring it on a trolley and the waiter will dish up the food right in front of you.

He sells sea shells by the sea shore. You select and they bring it to you. Barnacles on the left, the shell things in the middle ad shrimp
Waiter serving food
Names of the things we ate. Cherne= crab, camarao costa= shrimp, ercebas = barnacles, sapateira= fish I think?, canhilhas= those shell things I was trying to describe,
The crab!!!

Empty street waiting for the tram back

That was yesterday for us It's almost 10am now, and after we're ready, I'm planning to take my parents to Mercado Bolhao and to walk along the river. I wonder if Mercado Bolhao will look similar to the markets in Valencia. Maybe we'll end up gathering another Annaandchia-in-Spain lunch.

It's a bit of an adjustment travelling with my parents and making sure they are alright and enjoying it. I was telling them how it's like looking after two children. I'm the one doing all the map reading (not so good on this trip!) and organising and them following like little ducklings, behind. We must stand out, haven't seen any other Chinese. I like to walk everywhere, but with my parents and the hilly cobble paths here, it means I have to limit the walking and have frequent stops with them. Overall I have to say they are a lot fitter and easier to travel with than I imagined!

Hope you enjoyed reading about our first day in Porto. Not sure if I have time to write later on the travels so thought I'd do a first post :) Enjoy your weekend!

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