Porto, Portugal

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Cruising to Porto

The birthplace of port; The Portuguese city of Porto sprawls lazily over the hills, overlooking the River Douro and generally looking as pretty as a picture. Approach it by day via cruise ship and you'll see the portside activity, hypnotic and bustling. Approach by night and you can admire the lights shimmering off the glassy surface of the water.  Wandering its narrow cobbled streets, you'll notice Porto isn't rich in grand civic buildings. Nor does it seem overly busy - despite being recognised by UNESCO, its rarely flooded with tourists.  Step back in time with a visit to Lello, a bookshop dating back to 1906 that resembles a library so grand it could have come from a Disney film. Cafe Majestic presents a similar vibe and is also worth a gander.  Wherever you go, you'll witness scenes that hark back to old Portugal, from residents gossiping over their sewing to port being made the traditional way. It really is something magical.

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