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Porto – Paths and Alleys

18 Sep, 2017, By Sílvia

To the untrained eye, the Historic Centre of Porto might look like a quite confusing labyrinth. To the trained eye, the Historic Centre of Porto might also look like a quite confusing labyrinth. And that’s part of Porto’s charm and magic.

Although I’ve lived here all my life, I still can get lost in this city’s bowels. Ancient and grey, it looks like Porto swallows everyone who dares to enter its premises, and like any other maze, it fights for people to stay. It seems that the streets and alleys change during the night, uncovering a different landscape every morning. Every time I venture myself I discover new passages, new corners, new small cafés and bodegas, and different people at the windows. These snoopy, extremely friendly people – usually old women, particularly inclined to call you “filho” (“son”) – are the perfect company to have a conversation with, and they surely have a lot of awesome tales to share with you.

Most of these streets are very old and usually tight; some are small, others everlasting; some are round and hilly, others are shadowy and cold and some are sunny and comfortable. Here and there you’ll spot some touches of white and some colour – I’m talking about the drying laundry by the windows and balconies, scenting the air with the bubbly aroma of soap. These are the most noticeable ‘banners’ around town, a stronger statement about our life style than any other banner or flag around.

But the greyness prevails above all…

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Sílvia Portgall contributor



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