Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

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Advice

Porto, Portugal Rains in Spring. Remember to Bring a Travel Umbrella

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Springtime in Portugal is wet. Porto Portugal and rain go hand in hand! There are days when the sun shines, but it’s best when you go to Porto to take a travel umbrella if you are visiting in spring or winter. My rainy days in Porto, Portugal required an umbrella. I have to admit, l haven’t had to use until now. Bring your travel umbrella for rainy days and leave grumpy people in the room, the real advice, I have to offer.

Porto Portugal, Rain & a Travel Umbrella

We woke to cold, damp rooms. Remember not to book this Porto Airbnb below in April. This is not the place to stay. Actually, I was getting pretty turned off to Airbnb as a result of this trip. There are many cute rooms, and hotels to select in Porto. Most are very inexpensive. This isn’t one of them. Noisy and damp, without heat, isn’t acceptable. The location is great. The Airbnb flat is terrible.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

We were all freezing cold in the dank, dirty Airbnb.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Breakfast in Porto                                                         

The Airbnb owner when we arrived, invited us to his cafe for breakfast. We decide to take him up on his sweet invitation. Before we ordered breakfast, we ask if he takes American Express credit cards. He pointed to the Amex sign on his door. We always ask, to be sure. We order, I hand him my Amex card, and it doesn’t work. He said all the credit cards weren’t working because of the Portuguese banks. I hand him my Visa card. The Visa card works. The owner insists the problem was my Amex card.

I walk to the shop next to his, and my Amex card works, just fine. I find this credit card issue happens to me when I am traveling solo. It’s unusual to happen when I am in a group. My advice, carry a few credit cards, and cash. If this happens on your trip, you will be able to pay. I have a friend, and when this happened to her the police were called because she didn’t have enough cash.

My Beef About Travel Behavior

Typically, I don’t complain ‘much.’ Today, my complaint is about travel behavior, I observed on this trip. Controlling, passive-aggressive behavior puts a damper on a journey a lot more than rain does.

One person’s passive-aggressiveness dominated this trip and put everyone on edge. Being a control freak makes people hesitant to make decisions. While walking the Camino de Santiago, she was able to rise each morning and be out by 9:00 am. After the Camino de Santiago, she controlled everything from food to bedtime. When she was with us, she controlled the pace we walk, what we see, and even how I’m supposed to pack my bags. For goodness sake, I have traveled enough to know how to take care of my bag. Leave my bag alone. I know how to pack. Her attitude is a black cloud, drenching us in depression in a way our umbrellas couldn’t protect us.

What’s the Purpose

If I don’t like something, I typically shut up. But, it is my trip too. After all, I’m part of the group. I’ll be straight up and say it. What gives one person the right to dominate every aspect of the trip. It got so bad her husband yelled, “Just tell me what you want us to do. I don’t know how to guess what you are thinking!”

Just speak up about what you need when traveling. I’ve found people are always happy to help. If sightseeing isn’t your thing on any day, it is ok to stay behind. Stay home, read a book and do what your soul needs.  Hopefully, we all remember one thing after reading this post, when traveling, if you aren’t having a good time, try not to take it out on others. Try to do no harm.

If your behavior is worthy of a spanking, you’ll be sent to your room, indefinitely. If you don’t like the weather or want travel, don’t go, but don’t ruin everyone else’ good time.

Grabbed An Umbrellas and Go for It

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Breakfast, a serving of chocolate and sugar. We were ready to go, go, go.

Her husband and son sat patiently waiting to decide what to do next. They decided to go sightseeing and come back for her later. Out we went to enjoy seeing the sights. We had a great time. Here is what we saw, earned and what happened next.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Noisy and Porto Security

As we left, the cold, noisy apartment, we see a police officer next to our building. He is watching something. I ask if I can take his photo. He said sure. Then I ask him, why is he standing there. Did a robbery happen? He answered ‘Nope. No thief.’ He told me the building across the street is under construction. He is the guard for the building site. Are they working around the clock? Yes, the officer said. Now, that explains why it was so noisy last night. It seems our noisy flat is in a construction zone.

"Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

We carried on after a short rain storm. The rain didn’t bother us. After all, we had our travel umbrellas protecting us. The light that came after the stormy weather was gorgeous and made our walk fun and somewhat nostalgic. In the early morning light, walking in the rain, we experienced how locals live in Porto in the spring.

Here are a few of the sites we went to the Porto Marcado. Porto’s Saint Catherine Cathedral is right down the street from our Airbnb. My favorite video is of the Atlantic Ocean and coastline in Porto with a citadel guarding the coast. This is where I put my toes in the Atlantic ocean, in Portugal. I try to put my toes in every body of water I see. Putting my toes in the everybody of water is one of my travel goals.

As I stood next to the Atlantic Ocean, it is much louder than I expected. Hopefully, my Porto Atlantic Ocean video gives a taste of the experience. Please let me know what you think about the best places you have seen in Porto.

Porto Shopping with my Travel Umbrella

Next, we went to several tourist sites. With fewer people in our group, we scramble and see lots of places in a short amount of time. For an Easter weekend, we are shocked by how empty the sites are. Where are all the tourists?  The sites are all ours for two reasons. When it rains, tourists remain in their rooms or go to inside attractions. The other reason is the cruise ships aren’t in Porto today. Therefore, Porto is all ours. The churches, state buildings, and castles are all open and empty. Our fun photos in this post, show that we are virtually alone at all the sites.

"Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Bartering

One travel hack to remember is when tourists aren’t in town, the prices for small group tours excursions go down. A man in a white shuttle golf cart offered his little car for 5 Euros a person instead of 15 Euros. Remember, bartering seems to be ok in Porto. For me,  it’s fun to bargain. Give it a try. If you like to bartering, Porto is a place where it is acceptable.

Hop On – Hop Off Buses

If your travel umbrella isn’t keeping you dry, or walking isn’t your thing come rain or shine, you might want to take a Hop on Hop off tour. The fixed price tours won’t bargain.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Porto is wet and cold in April as my video shows. Rain doesn’t stop the Portuguese. The businesses of Porto carry on regardless of the stormy weather. This is similar to Seattle and London, where rainy days are a regular occurrence. If you aren’t a rain person here are a few suggestions.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Porto’s Hop-On-Hop-Off Buses

Some people swear by the Yellow Bus Tour, and some swear by Viators Red Hop-On and Hop-Off Bus tours. My dad and I always like to take one of these when it’s raining. Rain or shine, I love free walking tours. Free Lifestyle Walking tours are a favorite type of tour in Porto.

In my opinion, if you have a good travel umbrella, walking tours are the way to see Porto. Additionally, our Amazon travel umbrellas, brought from home, don’t collapse when the wind blows, so stay dry by buying a good one. The ones purchased at tourist locations tend to collapse.

Right Gear for Walking Tours

I love walking tours here because wearing a rain slicker makes everything better. Rain slickers cost about a dollar. Slickers aren’t stylish. They look like you are wearing a giant plastic garbage bag. If you go to a place that rains a lot you can buy rain slickers in all tourist locations.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Port

Port wine originated in Porto. Because Porto is famous for PortPort Tours are accessible here. Porto is the capital of Port world. We had our glass of Port in a local restaurant but didn’t have time to take a Port tour. Traveling with 10, 13, and 16-year-olds changed the routine a bit.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Asian Connection in Porto

As we were shopping and sightseeing, my friends spot an Asian market. I hadn’t noticed, but my Asian friends did and found it questionable? But the words in Portuguese don’t have the same meaning. It was odd to them because all the Asian Markets are called ‘Oriental’ Markets. This is a term, in English that is racially insensitive. I’m glad they noticed it and talked about it. It is great to learn about others’ culture while traveling. Once they pointed it out, I started looking for the markets. They are right. Porto has a lot of Asian Markets, all called ‘Oriental’ Markets, which is Portuguese for ‘Asian’ Markets.

Asians in Portugal

We also noticed a large Asian population in Portugal. We looked up ‘Asians Portugal’ on Google and found an Asian connection between Portugal and China going back to the 1500s. The first official Portuguese visit was made by Fernão Pires de Andrade. He is one of the fathers of Portuguese navigation. He opened the mission to Guangzhou in 1517–1518.

There is also another connection that is interestingly called the Lusco-Asian.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Rental Car in Porto

From the warmth of our rental car, we hopped in to see more of the city. We stopped and spotted a Seagull.  The seagull greets us with a look, that says, ‘Where do you think you are going?’ It’s routine to see them in Porto, even in the rain. I think the seagulls look for ways to get out of the weather and get food from the tourists. I believe, the Seagulls can spot a tourist and we invite them to come with us. Mr. Seagull, we have room for one more! This one seemed to follow us.

Porto Portugal, Rain, and a Travel Umbrella

Expect spring showers, seagulls, and cold weather. arrive prepared in April and May for rain storms. These storms never interrupted our sightseeing. Through all the spring showers, we enjoyed our Porto travel experience. If you hate crowds, March, April and early May are the best times to visit. Get out there rain or shine, It made us feel like we were locals. I think it helped us experience the best of Portuguese culture too.

Next stop Lisbon, I hope we can see all the sites on this Lisbon Video.

Travel advice: Buy a travel umbrella at home and bring it. You will need it.

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.

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