Pip can be relied upon to sniff out a market at 100 paces so we inevitably found our way to the Mercado do Bolhao, a sort of Farmer’s Market, full of brightly coloured produce.
Back on the riverside, we walked up to St Francis’ Church. This is a 15th century Gothic pile, quite plain on the outside but inside was a different story. Practically every part of the interior was covered in gold leaf, an over-the-top extravagance to our eyes, especially since we know Francis himself embraced poverty as a way of life. Unfortunately photos were not allowed, which is a shame because the visual effect was stunning. However, they did allow photos in the catacombs, their underground burial chambers, so we wandered around in amongst the dead for a while.
Porto is famous for Port wine of course, and originally the port trade was almost exclusively with the British, so many of the wine producers have British names – Taylor’s, Cockburn’s, Graham’s, etc. Our lunch at Taylor’s was superb and then we went on a tasting tour of Cockburn’s after lunch. I must say that I thought that Taylor’s 10-year-old tawny port was the best of the bunch.
We realise that we have really just scratched the surface of Porto and we would enjoy returning there although sadly it is unlikely to happen. We have just over 10 months left from our 3-year adventure in the northern hemisphere and many other places still beckon…