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What I learned about Porto or Oporto if you're Spanish

  • There isn't a legal, on street, parking place left in Porto and it is cheaper to bed down a person for the night than it is a car
  • Portuguese cities have cobbled streets in the old centres (suspected after a visit to Guarda, confirmed here)
  • There are lots and lots of abandoned and crumbling buildings in the heart of the city and lots of people appear to live in run down properties
  • Graffiti is a national pastime
  • On the road out to the beach there are lots of dead big houses with security cameras
  • Young British men out on a Stag do behave badly. As two young Brits fought each other a passing Spanish couple mumbled "¡Que bestia!" I suspect you don't need the translation. We didn't see any French or Germans or Portuguese or Spaniards drunk and brawling in the streets
  • The river, the Duero in Spain or Douro here, is splendid, it has big waves and the pleasure boats are dead picturesque. It's the same river that we sailed on near Ciudad Rodrigo and it was smashing there too. Logical conclusion that it is a quality river for the whole of its length
  • Riding around in rattling, squealing 1930s trams is a real pleasure
  • The Port Caves, the place where the port wine is stored, are well worth a visit; a very professional tour
  • The set menu in the "Music House" is great value and the building's not bad either
  • The free appetizers in Portuguese restaurants are not necessarily free
  • Coffee in Portuguese cafés is half the price of that in Spain
  • Every single person in Porto can speak English


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Phone company

The one time state, now private, telephone company here in Spain is called Telefonica. Its reputation is not good. People complain that the service is expensive and poor.
Generally our dealings with Telefonica have been fine though we had a lot of problems when we asked for the line in Culebrón to be temporarily suspended. Finally we had it disconnected.
Anyway, we need a phone and, living in the countryside in Culebrón, our only options are Telefonica or something that involves rebroadcast signals via little antenas. We plumped for Telefonica. I went in the shop here in Ciudad Rodrigo on Wednesday to order the line and broadband. The engineer from Pinoso rang me about five minutes ago, on Friday morning, to ask if he could call by at around five this afternoon to reconnect the phone. I had to put him off till we get back.