Althought I was only in Porto for 1 night, I feel like I got a good feel for this city. Porto is Portugal’s second largest city- less touristy and much more slow than Lisbon, which I didn’t think was possible because Lisbon is very slow, I easily fell in love with this city. In many respects it reminded me of Istanbul, mostly in that it almost felt as if you had taken a step back in time. Unlike many major cities in Europe where there has been a lot of restoration and cleaning in order to make really old buildings look more new, Porto seemed as if it has remained the same for centuries. I loved it.
As you can see, there is a lot of great architecture and history in Porto. But I didn’t bother to learn about it. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but honestly, I just enjoyed walking around this beautiful city with no agenda, and not caring whether I understood the significance of every building, church, or statue. It was really amazing.
Oh yeah, and I went to Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
Oh, here, I’ll lay some cool trivia for you Harry Potter fans out there. J.K. Rowling, before she wrote Harry Potter, married a Portuguese man and lived in Portugal for a bit. After a nasty divorce, she moved back to London and wrote the 7 greatest books ever. However, she took a few things from Portugal and wrote them into the book forever. First, Livraria Lello was used as a guide for Hogwarts Library, both in the book and the movie. Second, during high school, Portuguese teenagers join these weird secret societies where they were robes and run around the city acting like hooligans, which is where she got the idea for the robes for Hogwarts students. Last, but not least, the former dictator of Portugal was named Slytherin. Boom, there’s some HP knowledge for you!