The Porto Sketchbook - celebrating my love for a city

The Sketchbook!

It's time to sign up for the 2014 Sketchbook Project tour. Last year I sent a sketchbook that celebrates my favorite Portuguese city - Porto! Enjoy!

My previous posts about this:

Sketchbook arrived to Brooklyn Library

Sketchbook sent!

I just got the sketchbook in the mail!

I joined sketchbook project!

My favorite Portuguese city 
Porto is a city to love

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. It's one of the oldest European centers and it was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name Portugal. It's located along the mouth of the Douro river in northern Portugal. I lived in several Portuguese cities and Oporto is my all-time favorite. In this sketchbook, I reveal a few facts about the city. 

Pansy means Amor Perfeito
Perfect love

In Portuguese language Pansy is Amor-perfeito. Literally, these two words mean perfect love. A long time ago I fell in love with a city... 

Oporto is Porto.
And Porto is Porto Wine!

Let us drink to Porto, also known as Oporto, in English. I can't fully explain my passion for Invicta. Maybe I'm drunk on Porto. One of Portugal's internationally famous exports is Port Wine. The wine ages in the various lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia. It's the city that lies in front of Porto, across the river Douro. 

The city of the iron bridges
Dom Luis I iron bridge

Porto is located across river Douro estuary and it's often known as the city of the bridges or Invicta - The Invincible one! Porto must be one of the world's most memorable landscapes. This city has the key to my heart. Was I seduced by its beauty?

Metal arch bridge Dom Luis I and Rabelo boat once used to transport the wine from Douro valley to the city of Porto. 

Sophisticated stores...
...or traditional ones? You choose!

Porto offers from traditional to sophisticated and alternative stores where you can find almost anything. Casa Oriental is a small grocery shop that offers a good selection of wines and dried codfish. Look at that reminder of Portugal's colonial past on the front. 

S.João Festival
Maybe the biggest street festival in Europe!

São João Festival on 23/24th June night is the liveliest street festival of all. People take the street and have fun dancing, eating sardines, and hitting each other heads with plastic hammers or leeks. I prefer the alho porro - the leek - to the modern plastic hammer. Hitting heads with a leek it's a way to wish good luck and good fortune. Hot air paper balloons - balões de papel - and fireworks are also part of the fun. But the hammer - martelo de S.João - makes a cute noise! 

Basil is manjerico!
S.João is a time for poetry and love!

During S.João Festival you can find street sellers offering basil. Some will have popular poetry celebrating S. João spirit, life, and love. 

FantasPorto Movie Festival
Of movies, football, and dragons!

Oporto holds Fantasporto or Fantas Festival since 1981. It's a fantasy, science-fiction, horror-oriented movie festival that shows films from all over the world. Manoel de Oliveira is reported to be the oldest movie director in the world. He was born in 1908, in Porto. FCP is one of the three big Portuguese soccer teams. FCP has seven international titles to this date. They are called "The Dragons"! The drawing represents a dragon statue I once saw in front of Rivoli theatre(where Fantasporto Movie Festival takes place.) 

People with a big heart
Generous and friendly people of the North!

People from Porto are known to be generous and friendly. I miss my good Oporto friends and cherish the moments we have shared. 

Amor de gata is kitty love!
And Miau is Meow!

Coca is pure sweetness. She taught me to love stray cats that roam the narrow streets of Porto's old quarters. (She's a cat from a friend.) 

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
More fun than you can imagine

Serralves Museum and Gardens is where you can find some contemporary cutting-edge art at Porto. 

Old tiles on street buildings
The language that makes any angel blush!

Inhabitants of Porto have a distinctive accent and use language in a very free way that often can make more conservative ones blush. The streets of Porto are delightful to walk. You can't miss history when you look at old buildings covered with blue typical tiles. 

Porto seagulls
This is not Rubik's cube

I like to wake up in the morning to the cry of seagulls that remind me of how near Porto is to the sea. Near Douro river, the Ribeira square is where you can find a modern cubic sculpture with a seagull on the top! 

What's my motto?
When in doubt, go to Porto!

There's no other Portuguese city that fascinates me as much. Line 22 . Carmo-Batalha trams celebrate the old way of life. Outfitted with old leather seats and wood paneling the tram cars clatter on the rails! 

Futuristic Porto!
Casa da Música is House of Music

Casa da Música is kind of a revolutionary building. It's a concert hall and it was designed by Rem Koolhas. Porto embraces modernity also. 

Short coffee, big word.
Cimbalino is an Expresso

The biggest word to ask for an expresso cup of coffee must be Cimbalino. A black short cup of coffee was named like this after a coffee machine brand. Nowadays most people just ask for a coffee or a bica but the memory remains. 

The end!
This sketchbook ends with a smile