PORTO … Strong Feeling!

And… in the end, that big group of photography lovers, some who repeated, some friends, but mostly strangers gave a round of applause. Worth it!

 

Porto-Jardins-Nova-Sintra
New Sintra Gardens

Thank you all for your company, good mood and being so genuine in your thanks, my husband deserves it.

We start the photowalk in New Sintra Gardens that is a pearl, one of those pure and little known in our city. Worth the visit. I am sure many will return there to enjoy it with a deserved relax visit. Then we went to the cemetery where many of the illustrious people “rest” and where there are some of the most beautiful graves in the country, true works of art.

 

We will then walk through the steep old streets that lead us to the Fontainhas neighborhood, where you can feel the soul, the smells and the genuine people of Porto. Here it seems that the city has stopped a little in time and how good it feels!

We go down the Cranes stairs and the movement lifts, we are in the Luis I bridge lower deck where all the tourists are concentrated. It is worth to appreciate some shining eyes, these are welcome.

 

Port-Chapel-Senhor-D'Além

We are almost discovering the surprise of the afternoon. After crossing the bridge, we turn left towards the Lord of the Beyond chapel. This place is magical, old, damaged, but so beautiful. The location is unique, for those who love this city is a real blessing, the river, the light that is always beautiful, the view… and most surprising, its “guardians”, a human and a dog.

Mr. Alberto and Rox live in this falling chapel in miserable conditions and yet this man gives us a smile and his aching look is so sweet. I felt small and very grateful. After taking a deep breath, we leave with the certainty that we will have to help.

Our tour is almost over, I don’t know if it was just an impression, but I felt the speed of the strides slowed, I don’t think anyone wanted it to end.

 

As I started at the end, I’ll just talk about the place that has one of the most beautiful views of the city, Jardim do Morro garden.

Thank you for coming, for enjoying and for cheering so genuinely.

To you, my love, I thank you every day for being as you are.

Thank you,

Maria Jose Dias

Scott-Kelby-Worldwide-Photowalk

It was a big success the first Harry’s Fisch (from Nomad Photo Expedition) trip to Portugal.

Harry invited me to organize his first trip to Portugal that took us to Lisbon – a big thank you to Miguel Helfrich from Lisbon Photo for helping me to prepare this part of the trip – Sintra, Óbidos, Coimbra and Porto, on a memorable trip that allowed us to get to know unique and iconic places, taste the portuguese grastronomy and to experience extraordinary moments like being welcomed by a students Tuna in Coimbra or dine a delicious meal at the home of a typical Porto family and even make a private visit to the fantastic S. João’s National theater of  in Porto with total freedom to photograph it. Moments to remember.

Harry Fisch scouting in Porto

 

I was invited by the spanish travel photographer Harry Fisch, to help him to build the extension to Portugal of his first – SPAIN – From an insider’s point of view. A Very. Special. Trip – a Nomad Photo Expedition organization in April and May 2019.

This two events are almost full, by if you’re interested to know this two stunning countrys by the hand of such marvelous and experienced travel photographer, visit their website fast.

Good photo travels!

 

José Manuel

Ryan, a nice young South Korean guy, had a dream and came to Portugal to realize it. He wanted to surprise his girlfriend Jolly with a surprise wedding proposal in a unique place in the world and chose Porto to do so. But, because he did not know the city yet, he needed help, so he contacted Pictury Photo Tours to arrange a photo tour that would culminate in the wedding proposal. It was then that José Manuel entered the scene and became an accomplice of this surprise, proposing to Ryan an itinerary that did not raise suspicions and ended in the idyllic Serra do Pilar, iconic viewpoint over the city of Porto and its river. The rest is history … on video!

Mary & Kin, a couple from Vancouver, Canada, they wanted to see as much as possible when they were passing through Porto. Unfortunately Mary had a problem with her knee that caused some difficulty to walk. But we did not want them to lose anything to see in Porto, and from there, we spoke with Romeu, PorTuk’s owner and together we created a program as it proved to be the perfect solution for this nice couple to get to know Porto in the best way.

Porto Photo Tour TukTuk mix

We visited the main viewpoints, enjoyed multiple examples of street art, the beautiful and famous tiles of Carmo’s church and S. Bento Railway Station, we cross the most beautiful and hidden streets in the old part of town, we had a  nice coffee in a terrace looking to the Douro’s river, we bought the best Porto’s chocolates in the famous Arcadia and we had a cream cake (pastel de nata) along the way until we finished the photo tour in the “majestic” Café Majestic.

Porto Photo Tour TukTuk mix
This experience went so well that Romeu and I will establish a partnership and create a tour specifically with these characteristics and thus offer more to a greater number of people joining the indispensable photographs to a charming way of traveling.

Porto Photo Tour TukTuk mix

 

Worldwide Photowalk Porto Can't Miss It
Worldwide Photowalk Porto Can’t Miss It

Announcing Scott Kelby’s 11th Worldwide Photowalk®, the world’s largest Photowalk. The event is happening October 6, 2018 in thousands of cities all over the world.

I invite you to come to the one that I’ll leader in Porto city.

 

See here the details:
http://worldwidephotowalk.com/walk/porto-cant-miss-it/

Hit-The-Streets-Porto
The 1st Hit The Streets Porto group

“Bem hajam!” (This expression so Portuguese and so little used is my favorite to thank).

I can not help but write a few words after this tour that despite the rain (and, maybe, so) went so well. All the participants maintained their good mood and joy, as if it were a radiant sun. I felt it was worth it, thank you for the generosity.
I hope you have enjoyed it and keep it as a good memory.
We are always here, available to share the best moments and the best photos that this old and worn city, but always so beautiful, provides.
Until forever.

Maria José

Of course, there can’t be only 7 reasons to visit and photograph Porto. There are so many and so good reasons that it was not possible here and now to list them all. It is, therefore, that we suggest “only” these 7 that already justify a visit that is a delight not only for photographers as for all people. But (even here there’s a “but”), you may like it so much that you risk being in the mood to come here to live. It would not be the first !!!

1 – The People
Portugal has long been recognized as a country that enjoys receiving visitors, but Porto, even more! The writer Manuel de Sousa in his book Porto D’Honra said: “… the strong neighborhood and the unserpassed hospitality.” Photographing Porto’s people are portraits for life.

Manuela-Mercearia-Porto
D. Manuela, owner of a small and old grocery store in Rua Escura

2 – The Douro River

Born in lands of Spain, it enters in Portugal through the province of Trás-os-Montes and leaves its mark on the way to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. He brings with him many stories of achievements and it is to looking at him that Porto was born and lives every day. It is on the banks of the Douro that extends the most characteristic and the most beautiful area of Porto, the Ribeira. Photographing the Douro River is a stream of inspiration.

Serra-do-Pilar-Gaia-Porto
Porto seen from the viewpoint of the Serra do Pilar

3 – The Bridges

There are six bridges that cross the Douro River and connect the banks of the two neighboring cities, Porto and Gaia.

Starting at the oldest, the D. Maria Pia railway bridge, designed by Eng. Gustave Eiffel (the same of the Paris tower), inaugurated in 1877, now deactivated and replaced by the S. João bridge in 1991, passing through the modern bridges of Freixo and Infante, by the fantastic and imposing bridge of the Arrábida and ending in the iconic and singular bridge Luis I with its double-deck metal arch. It is a feast for any photographer whose most difficult task is to have the courage to stop taking pictures.

maria-pia-sao-joao-bridges-porto
Cruise on the river Douro under the railway bridges of D. Maria Pia and S. João

4 – The Arquitecture

sede-Vodafone-building-Porto-Pictury-Photo-Tours

There are buildings whose architecture crosses much of the city history, from the Tower of Rua do Baixo of the thirteenth century, in Ribeira, passing through the innumerable projects by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, the most emblematic without a doubt the Church and Tower of Clérigos, the S. João National Theater built at the beginning of the 20th century and designed by the Portuguese architect Marques da Silva, to the modernist House of Music, designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, as part of the European Capital of Culture event in 2001, and the headquarters of Vodafone, designed by the architects José António Barbosa and Pedro Guimarães, in the top 20 of the most spectacular creative offices in the world, is a journey that enchants and unveils the rich history. Making a photographic itinerary with architectural motifs is for it self a great story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vodafome headquarters building

5 – Parks and Gardens
The “Parque da Cidade”, Portugal’s largest urban park, stretches out to the sea and consists of a sophisticated landscape of lakes, varied flora and fauna, the Palacio de Cristal gardens with multiple viewpoints of the city and river, the magnificent gardens of the House and Museum of Serralves, the romantic gardens of Cordoaria and Botânico, and many others that can not be listed here. They are all pearls to be photographed.

botanical-garden-porto
Porto’s Botanic Gardens

6 – The Monuments

Porto-Cathedral-by-night

This city of Porto is also rich in monuments such as the ex-libris Torre dos Clérigos with its 75 meters of height that we can rise by its 240 steps and where you can see splendorous views of the city, the several stretches of medieval walls where there are still some of the old city gates, the imposing cathedral that dominates the city, the luxuriant S. Francisco church, the magnificent church of S. Clara, the almost unknown but fantastic church and museum of S. Pedro de Miragaia, the Palace of the Stock Exchange with its miraculous Arabic Salon, S. Bento Railway Station with its interior covered with more than 20.000 magnificent tiles that depict important episodes of Portugal’s history as well, excerpts from the 19th Century life in Portugal, and so many others that only a leisurely visit to the city will allow to know. Any of them is an attraction for any photographer who wants to add his story to the Porto´s history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porto’s Cathedral at night

7 – The Viewpoints

It is for many people, the most beautiful city in Europe and one of the most wonderful in the world. One of the reasons that contribute to this conviction has to do with its multiple viewpoints of the city. From the Serra do Pilar, on the south bank already in Gaia city, the perspective that is enjoyed there is splendorous, perhaps one of the most impressive images about a city that can be had. From the Vitória viewpoint you can see the all historical center, the Luis I bridge and the Serra do Pilar, and from the Virtudes Promenade, the sunset over the sea is unforgettable. And they are just some of the many who wait for you there. You may say that the beauty is so great that the cameras do not need the photographer.

Pictury Photo Tours - Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, Porto, Portugal
Viewpoint of “Palácio de Cristal” gardens

Porto, Can’t Miss It!

Photos & text:
José Manuel Santos

 

Pictury Photo Tours is crossing borders in the company of my friends Ugo Cei from Italy and Ralph Velasco from the USA, great photographers and Photo Tour international leaders who have been kind enough to interview me recently.
You can listen below and follow us at www.picturyphototours.com

TTIM 126 – José Manuel Santos in Porto

Oporto’s Winter Sun

From the narrow balcony
I feel the sun invade me.
With eyes closed
I see this beautiful city.
The tower, of Teixeira de Pascoaes, arises proudly:

“Oporto squeezed up”.

 

We descend the precious staircase lined with stained glass that leads to the street. Let’s start our crusade of accidental tourists.

First visit, the house of the photo in front of the garden with the “my” trees that, although ill, grew and became gorgeous. We enjoy, with eyes wide open, all the exposed images, because they are worth it. We continue our walk along the steep streets, winding and full of history of this city towards the viewpoint that is of the virtues, it will be, perhaps, by the stunning view. But for me, what most fills my soul is the wonderful sculpture of the master José Rodrigues (I miss him…), horses and men from / to iron that so well symbolize the beauty and strength of these people (tripeiros).

Must stop at the tavern Sto. Antonio of Mr. Vitor whose sympathy is so captivating that makes you eat or drink even without hunger or thirst. The tour is not over yet, some old, worn stairs that end up right next to the S. Domingos square are waiting for us and where there is a guy so typical that he gives me a humorous phrase: “It’s good that there is no lift.” Separation of group, I continue with the youngers, street of flowers above and another unmissable stop in what is perhaps the most charming and precious tea room, as the name indicates, the goldsmithing Alliance. What a pleasant and surprising conversation!

We are almost at the end of this journey, but we are still going up the street of Clérigos, that of the tower that I spoke at the beginning and from which one can not look away, although we have to do it in order not to lose all the balconies of twisted iron, a masterpiece. So good! I finally love this city, which, being not mine, I feel, breathe and live as if it were.

 

    Maria José Dias

Pictury Photo Tours