September 2006


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The church of Bom Jesus do Monte (the good Jesus of the mountain?) a few hours from Porto.

One of northern Portugal’s highlights. The actual church is ho-hum but the magnificent landscaping is something to remember by! Its actually a mini-Calvary or sorts as there are little chapels dotted along the stairs encouraging people to do the Way of the Cross-literally by climbing the hill.

Such a dreamy church…as the say, its all about location,location, location!

You know that old saying that good things come in little packages? Well, we might as well be talking about the city of Porto in northern Portugal.

Admittedly not in the roster of the great and fashionable European capitals, Portugal’s second city is nonetheless a class of its own. Arriving at night with nary an idea of where to stay, our first experience with this city was memorable – creepy to say the least- when we had to stay at hostel that could have been straight out of the movie ‘The Others’.

Thankfully,the city proved otherwise, in fact every twist, every turn, every huff and puff of this hillside city was a delight to explore. Spanning the Duoro River, Porto is a city of hidden magnificent vistas.

Loved that double platformed bridge, a baby from the Industrial Revolution…
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The city’s Se (Cathedral) perched atop one of the city’s hill. Not really a ‘wow’ building but nonetheless charming for its baroque simplicity. Loved that column too!

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One of Porto’s relgious jewel: the Church of Sao Francisco. Nothing memorbale outside…
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But wait…
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as you step in, you are suddenly greeted by a ‘WOW-this-is-outrageous’ sight to behold! Truly, Baroque excess to the extreme…and these are just the side altrars! No photos inside so these were stolen shots….

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Another shot of the altars. Truth be told, never ave I seen so much gilded wood in my life, I wonder how much trees they used up to carve all of these?

Worth every log if you ask me!

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The Portuguese are masters in creating stunning vistas. Small streets, like this one where my hostel was, leads one eyes to this prettly little tile-painted church.

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And here’s another magnificent vista, this time, towards one of Porto’s most famous landmark, the Clericos church tower.

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Something to remember Porto by…a bird’s-eye view from one the city’s hills.

Oh, I love the underdogs!