I spent the weekend in Porto, after (sadly!) some American friends from home had to cancel their trip last minute and were left with a non-refundable reservation for a little roadtrip we were going to take together. I had never been to Porto and it was so interesting to go after living in Lisbon and being able to note the big contrasts between the two cities. I spent a rain-drenched weekend exploring. Porto has more flower shops than Lisbon. In Portugal, much of the cut flower culture seems to be based around the tradition of bringing flowers to the graves of loved ones. Many of the flower shops are located close to the cemeteries in the city and are quite untouched by time. I bought some calla lilies from this flower seller on the street and she was kind enough to let me take her photo. I wish I had gotten her name, but she was incredibly warm, with a very happy disposition.
I’ve never been a calla lily fan but here they grow almost wild and seem to make more sense in the landscape. I carried the calla lilies with me in the rain for hours, until, lost, I happened upon a cemetery, so I left the stems there on a stranger´s grave. Porto is darker, moodier, and felt familiar but exotic all at the same time. Certain areas feel more sophisticated than Lisbon but also more rustic. Those two qualities intertwine to make a fascinating city for a visit and I can´t wait to go back for more!
Photo: Chelsea Fuss. Taken in Porto, Portugal.
Sorry your friends had to cancel their trip. But so wonderful that you were able to explore Porto. I plan on visiting Lisbon next year and will add Porto to my list 🙂
I felt so transported by this little travel vignette. How lovely that you left a bit of beauty behind you at the stranger’s grave.