The city of elegant bridges and mazelike streets, fouled on the map as if a headphones carelessly flung into a pocket. A place that gave name to the whole country and an alcohol drink that used to pack a punch for rugged sailors. The capital’s main rival and the pride of the North in its opposition to the South. We’re talking about Porto – Portugal’s second business and industrial centre after Lisbon and all-in-all one of key South European metropolises.
In order to follow the history of the hero of our story, it takes digging back into 'bearded’ times of Roman Empire. We reach such distant layers to discover a small settlement of Portucale situated in the mouth of river Douro. In fact, lazy Romans mated to towns that occupied both sides of the water artery. On the North bank citizens of Portus found lodgement with inhabitants of Cale that we know today under the name of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite one.
Later Latins, who erected a large dock here, got shifted by Moors, who did their best for former masters to be forgotten as soon as possible. So, when Europeans got to Porto, they didn’t find constructions from imperial times. They had to sway the city’s history from square one. The whole country borrowed the ancient name of Portucale to become Portugal. And the strong drink produced nearby in the valley of Douro, gained notoriety under the name “port wine”. Without a second thought Englishmen combined in one term – ‘dock’ – both wine and the city from harbors of which the drink was being sent to them.Photo edreams.com
First thing to strike one’s eye is Porto’s peculiar building development. Streets here are tied into a snaky knot occasionally intersecting at incredible angles. And houses are shoved so close to one another, they resemble subway passengers at rush hours. Speaking of subway, there is one here, and it has illuminated tunnels. Truth be told, the tracks mostly lies above ground so the trains should be more appropriately called express trams.
Porto’s historic centre is listed among UNESCO World Culture Heritage objects. And since the property is common, tourists settled in the old part of the city, having a watchful look around numerous places of interest. Main symbol of Porto is Clérigos Tower 75 meters high – the highest in the country. It can easily serve as a reference point since the offspring of Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni can be seen from every spot of the city. Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) can serve as another beacon therefore only an utterly topographically challenged person can get completely lost here provided that he sets himself such an honorable globetrotter’s aim.
Walking around the city’s historic centre, you’re sure to be carried away by the sight of Cadofeita and St. Francis Churches with their towers “photographically worn thin” as well as by tremendous Episcopal Palace. Now that we mentioned it, kings from all over Europe used to come to it to get married, they just about queued here! One can also have a look at Stock Exchange Palace where a tour to Arabic Hall full of the shine of gold enjoys great popularity. Main condition is not to touch anything and not to partition anything for souvenirs… Photo traveller.ee
Porto never palls. Even in the eyes of a tourist schooled by experience of antiquity it still represents an admirable sight. Hilly terrain allows finding various sightseeing platforms that busy quays and an endless surface of the Atlantic Ocean can be seen from. It is also the city of bridges; there are 6 of them here: from Ponte D. Maria Pia designed by Eiffel in 19th century to modern metal Ponte D. Luis.
It is remarkable that in the time of erection the length of the latter construction’s arch span was the largest in the world – 172 meters.
However, whether you’re overlooking Porto or closely perusing its every street winding as a “Teutonic pretzel”, hunger pierces stone walls and even amazing views cannot satisfy it. In order to recharge you power we suggest you drop by the iconic café Majestic. According to the biography of Joanne Rowling, author of Harry Potter adventures, she spent quite some time in the place when she was working on the first book about the young wizard. So who knows, maybe splendid coffee collection at Majestic together with aristocratic interior of 1920s, will prompt you to your own writing about magic and miracles attempt. If so – don’t be greedy, share with us. Editorial staff of Outlook as well as our readers will be happy to read your “op-porto-nist” notes!
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
Six million years ago, in faraway Mongolia a deep crater of an extinct volcano was gradually filled to the brims with water, turning into a wonderful lake. Water ran high with gusts of wind, and sparkled in the sun like precious jewel, so no wonder that along with the official name of Hövsgöl Lake, this nature wonder has a more poetic name of the Dark Blue Pearl.
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
Marina Orlova is a project manager in a cultural and public organization. Working on one of her international projects, she met her love - Wim, a guy from Belgium. She succeeded to visit his country only when Ukraine obtained visa-free regime and Marina shared with OUTLOOK her observations about how the Belgians live, what they eat for breakfast and how they relax.
Iceland is a ‘country of ice and fire’, ‘country of thousand rivers and lakes’, countless waterfalls and geysers. There, like in a fairy tale, again and again, you feel like pinching yourself to check if you are dreaming or does it all really exist…
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
Having been to Portugal, at the very edge of Europe, the OUTLOOK could not help paying attention to the local cuisine. Read below about gastronomical predilections of residents and tourists of this once one of the greatest empires in the world.
Someone compares Jaipur with lace tablecloth; others with a box of pink marshmallows; and some admirers claim this is a hive densely inhabited by bees. However, everyone agrees on one thing: there is the wonderful air full of freedom which cannot be found in Europe. It fills the lungs and breathing it a traveller loses count of hours and even centuries.
In Japan there is a city with the citizens who trust each other. It seems that they drink water from one source that flows along their houses. As well, they wash hands after the meals in the same places. Satoyama in translation means an ideal place for life in harmony with the nature. It is situated in Northern prefecture Gifu that is isolated from the rest of the world with the mountain tops and rice fields.
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
When moving to a new country, more often than not people tend to get settled nearby emigrants like themselves. It is pretty convenient: accommodation isn’t expensive, job can be found right on the location and there is no need to study a new language – everyone around understands you. This is how national ghettos appear.
Judging by the reviews of the majority of tourists who visited Istanbul, many of them did not reach Asian part of the main Turkish metropolis, or did not have a proper walk there. The best case, they just saw SabihaGökçen International Airport and ferry docks, a destination of leisure cruses from Europe, where on the way one can feed with bread seagulls swooping overhead.
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several days there and told us about Prague charms.
Today OUTLOOK travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.