The (Recent) Travels of a Journalist-A FORAY INTO NORTH PORTUGAL TO UNCOVER PORTO AND BRAGA -(PART I)
Posted on August 10th, 2010

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2010

Luis Miguel Goncalves Pereira, a graduate student from the Communication and Society Research Center (CSRC), Universidade do Minho, was at the Francisco de SƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚¡ Carneiro Airport in Pedras Rubras to greet usƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚Yoke-Sim and meƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚when we landed in Portugal on Saturday (17 July 2010) to attend the annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in Braga.

Named after a Porto-born politician who died at the age of 46 in an airplane crash just 11 months after he became PortugalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s prime minister in 1980, the airport serves as the international gateway to both Porto (pop. 221,800), 16 km to the southeast; and Braga (pop. 175,063), 56 km to the northeast. The state-of-the-art airport underwent a massive program of refurbishment for the Euro 2004 football championships, partly hosted in Porto.

Portugal Visit 1972

I had visited Portugal in 1972 for an overnight stay in Lisbon on my way back from Sri Lanka to Minnesota to submit my doctoral dissertation.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  My diary documents that on Tuesday 7 March (1972) I spent $5 to get a visa at the Portugal consulate in Madrid, Spain, and flew to Lisbon on an Iberia flight the same day. I stayed overnight in Hotel Tivoli Jardim (at Rua Julio Cesar Machado 7-9) and explored the nearby Avenida da Liberdade and PraƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚§a [square] dos Restauradores early evening, later ending up at Cabaret Maxime, still a fixture at PraƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚§a da Alegria, 58.

I vividly remember a faux pas I committed on the evening I checked in at Hotel Tivoli Jardim. The bellhop who directed me to my room dilly-dallied obviously expecting a tip.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I had no change in my possession except a U.S dime, which I passed over to him. He promptly returned the dime to me expressing the thoughtƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-You probably need it more than I do.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ I learned the lesson that giving no tip at all is better than a small tip.

On Wednesday 8 March (1972) morning, I explored the shopping area south of Restauradores; then, walked down Av 24 de Julho along the banks where Rio Tagus flows into the Atlantic Ocean; and returned on board a train to PraƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚§a [square] do Comercio. After stopping at Pan Am office to confirm my flight alterations, I took a taxi to the Lisbon Portela Airport for my flight to New York.

Background

Lisbon (pop. 584,477) is the largest city and capital of Portugal, a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-smallƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ country in the Iberian Peninsula with 11.3 million people, about 30 per cent of whomƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  (3.4 million) live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Region.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Portugal occupies an area of 35,645 square miles compared with Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s 25,332 although in population size Sri Lanka is biggerƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  (with 21.3 million people).

Porto [Port], also known as Oporto [The Port], is the second largest city. The name Portugal derives from Portus Cale, the Latin name for Porto. It lies on the estuary of the Rio Douro. Porto comprises 15 civil parishes. In 1996, UNESCO declared the historic center of Porto a World Heritage Site. The famous Port wine comes from the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, a city in the Porto Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) just south of the Douro estuary.

Braga is the fifth largest, after Vila Nova de Gaia (pop. 178,255) and Amadora (pop. 176,239; in the Lisbon GMA). Two other citiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚Almada (pop. 102,357; in the Lisbon GMA) and Coimbra (pop. 101,069; between Porto and Lisbon)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚are big population size. [Note: area is smaller than region]

On this occasion (2010), I chose to land in the closest airport to Braga because I had already been to Lisbon although what I saw of it was very much restricted to the downtown and riverbank area. WeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚Yoke-Sim and IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚reasoned that this arrangement would enable us to focus on north Portugal during the conference period.

So it happened that Louis Pereira and a coterie of communication students from Minho were at the airport to welcome the conference participants as they arrived. The CSRC coterie wore IAMCR T-shirts with the ASK ME sign to easily identify themselves.

Pereira took charge of the delegates who arrived on our flight from Gatwick late afternoon, seated them in a comfortable van, and got his doctoral thesis adviser and aunt Marcia Pereira to drive us all the way to Braga. On the way, he proved to be a good conversationalist as he used his command of English to pass on a few football tidbits to usƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚probably a bunch of cricket fans. He dropped Yoke-Sim and me at the Comfort Inn on the southwestern skirts of Braga.

It occurred to me that the numerous Pereiras and Pereras in Sri Lanka owed their names to the Portuguese who occupied parts of Sri Lanka from 1505 to1658. The Portuguese called the captured territory on the island Ceilao. Captains and captain majors ruled Ceilao until governors took over in 1594. One of the governors was Nuno Alvares Pereira (1616-1618). Thus, on the way to Braga, I had the privilege of meeting with two representatives of the Pereira Clan.

Yoke-Sim and I ate a lavish dinner at the hotel restaurant late that evening despite the communication problems we had with the young waitress, who had to summon front-desk to help understand what we wanted. Raquel QueirƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚³s, the very amiable woman who felicitously checked us into the hotel on our arrival, came to our rescue again. During a post-prandial conversation, QueirƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚³s persuaded us to go explore the sights and delights of Porto the next day (Sunday 18 Mach).

Sunday in Porto

Sunday morning we got on to a public bus and told the driver that we wanted to get off at the Braga Railway Station.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Although the bus was not heading in that direction, he allowed us in. When the passengers disembarked at the terminal, he asked us to stay on and dropped us off right in front of the station. We thanked him profusely.

The Braga-Porto train service (2.20 euro one-way) runs every hour. We were able to catch the 9 a.m. train, which took more or less one hour to reach our destination.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ We got off at PortoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s main central station, better known as Sao Benito, a tourist attraction itself. Located in the Almeida Garret Square, the station (opened since 1916) is known for its tile (azulejo) panels that depict scenes of the History of Portugal. Wikipedia elaborates that some 20,000 tiles constituting the panels show the work of Jorge ColaƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚§o, an important azulejo painter from 1905 to 1916.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After withdrawing some euro from the ATM at the Sao Benito Station, we walked downhill to the nearby Portugal Tours booth, where the man in charge suggested that we first get a feel of the city by hopping on and off the double-decker tourist buses that ran on two designated routes covering the attractions in both Porto and [Vila Nova de] Gaia. To do so, we bought two City-Sight-Seeing tickets for 13 euro each valid for two consecutive days.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ First, we tried the shorter Blue Line route with 21 stops. After lunch, we tried the Red Line route with 33 stops. The first nine stops are common to both lines, which enable visitors to explore the sights, mostly churches, closest to the Porto city centerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚such as Si Catedral [cathedral], Estacao [station] de Sao Bento, Igreja [church] de Santa Clara, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, Mercado [market] do Bolhao, Igreja Trindade, Igreja Torre des Clerigos, Museu do Vinho [wine] do Porto, Museu dos Transportes & Communicacoen, and Palacio [palace] da BolsaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚without having to walk excessively on the cityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hilly terrain. Just to the east of Sao Benito Station is Hotel/Restaurante Mondariz, which shares the block (Rua Cimo de Vila 139) with several ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-remarkably staidƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ bordellos.

A popular tourist attraction is PortoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s cable railway Funicular dos Guindais, which runs down a steep cliff from Batalha (on the higher ground of central Porto) to the quayside at Ribeira. The three-minute ride through the 90-meter tunnel is claimed to provide the passengers with spectacular views of Ponte [bridge] de Dom Luis and the wharfs of both sides of Rio Douro. The funicular track is 281 meters long and descends 61 meters, giving an average gradient of around 20 percent. Porto Metro, the company that operates the light railway network of electrified mass transportation in the Porto Metropolitan Region, also runs the funicular.

The Blue Line crosses the Rio Douro to Gaia on Ponte [bridge] de Dom Luis I and stops at Largo Miguel Bombarda and Caves Croft to allow wine tasters to visit the cellars. Several other attractions are on its route:ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Cais [wharf] de Gaia, Corpus Christi, Casa-Museu [house museum] Teixeira Lopes, Camara [chamber] Municipal de Vila Nova de Gaia, Casa [house] Barbot and Mosteiro [monastery] da Serra do Pilar.

The Red Line takes the visitor all the way to the Atlantic beaches (Praia) on the western suburbs of Nevoglide, Foz do Douro and Lordello do Ouro. The attractions on this route include Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, Casa de Musica, Estadio [stadium] do Bessa, Forte [fort] Sao Francisco Xavier, Castelo [castle] de Sao Joao de Foz, Farol [lighthouse] de Sao Miguel, Ponte [bridge] de Arrabida and Alfandega Nova [new customs].

The two bus trips, which covered about 30 km, oriented us to much of Porto and part of Vila Nova de Gaia (see Figure I) and gave us a notion of the many attractions that a visitor could explore, given more time and money. We had to catch the 4 p.m. train to get back to Braga to attend the opening ceremony of the IAMCR Conference.

World Heritage Site

We werenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t able to see all the attractions we wished to see in Porto. We missed the Port wine tasting too. However, we saw the attraction we were determined to seeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚the Palacio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚an edifice built in the 19th century by the city’s Commercial Association (AssociaƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚§ƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚£o Comercial) in Neoclassical style. It is now a World Heritage Site.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ We bought admission tickets (5.50 euro each) for the early afternoon conducted tour. Our guide, a young woman fluent in several European languages, showed us the buildingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s several roomsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚Hall of Nations, General Assembly Room, Golden Room, Court Room, PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Room, Portraits Room and the Arabic Room.

She particularly drew our attention to PortugalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s coat of arms and the flags of its 20 friendly nations in the 119-meter high Hall of Nations ensconced in a metal and glass dome. The magnificent chandelier and the paintings in the General Assembly Room impressed us although the guide explained that the roomƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s old oak and gold decorative appearance is a fake. A gold leaf implanted on the decorated plaster ceiling was the distinctive feature of theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Golden Room. The Court Room evinced its affinity with French Renaissance.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Room is noted for its elegant pavement engraved in rare wood. The Portraits Room contains the portraits of the last six kings of Portugal in Louis XVI style.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

However, the highlight of the palace is the Arabian Room, built between 1862 and 1880 by GonƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚§alves e Sousa. Built in Moorish style, this room engenders a feeling of luxury and grandeur.

Despite its fame, we fumbled locating the entrance to the palace. First, we by passed the building it is located. Second, we entered the wrong entrance and paid 3.50 euro each just to find out that we were in Igreja de Sao Francisco, the prominent Gothic monument adjoining the palacio. A 13th-century polychrome granite statue of Saint Francis of Assisi stands inside the church next to the entrance within a Baroque altarpiece. Out of curiosity, we also went to see the churchƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s catacombs.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

(To be continued: Braga and Bom Jesus)

(The writer is professor of mass communications emeritus, Minnesota State University Moorhead.)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ FIGURE 1: ROUTE OF BUS TOUR IN PORTO-GAIA.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  A=Gaia Wharf; B=Ribeira Wharf; C=Bolsa Palace/ Sao Francisco Church; D=Sao Benito Station; E=Fort San Francisco Xavier; F= Castelo Esplanade; G=Dom Luis Bridge; H=Joao de Deus; I=Cruz; J=Av. Diogo Leite.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Rio Douro separates Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ FIGURE 2: CLOSEUP OF CENTRAL CITY, PORTO. Red A=Hotel Mondariz

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Picture 1:ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Arabian Room of the Palacio de Bolsa. The structure of the palace was ready by 1850. Several artists magnificently decorated the interior of the palace, only finished in 1910.

(Photo by Josep Renalias. Wikimedia Commons.)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Picture 2: Sao Benito Train Station in the Almeida Garret Square to the east of which lies the cityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s red-light district.

(Photo by Joseolgon at pt.wikipedia. Wikimedia Commons.)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The (Recent) Travels of a Journalist

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ A FORAY INTO NORTH PORTUGAL

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ TO UNCOVER PORTO AND BRAGA

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (PART 2: Braga and Bom Jesus)

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2010

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

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