nature

Perfectly peaceful Porto…

I’ve been to Porto a few times before, so this trip I simply wanted to chill out and enjoy the various neighbourhoods of Porto. Nevertheless, there was one thing on my list that I simply had to see: The Lello & Irmão Bookstore! Seeing as though I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, I just had to see it. BOY WAS IT AWESOME! The only thing was that there were too many people in here, this was all the time… Our Airbnb was close by, so we’d always have to go past the book store when going into town, we’d peek inside to see if it was full, sometimes we wouldn’t even have to peek given the huge line out front… In any case, it was still awesome – you should definitely check it out!

We hung out along the river Douro quite alot, and the night shots are taken on the city side of the river. On one of the days that we were just walking around, we crossed the Ponte Luis I bridge and there was a young man preparing to jump off the bridge and into the water. He was gathering a crowd before doing so…. he was fine. We then crossed the bridge and saw a whole bunch of people jumping into the water (disclaimer it was boiling hot!!). There was even a group of men dressed up in weird outfits, continuously jumping into the water – it was actually quite funny!

We stayed in an Airbnb on Rua de Cedofeita, our hosts were really nice and the apartment itself was bright and spacious. Great location as it was where the locals mainly lived, so there was also local bakeries and grocery stores. The end of the street towards the city was pedestrianised and was a shopping street.

In terms of food, we found amazing restaurants on Rua das Taipas. The first one we discovered was called Tia Orlanda, which was food from Mozambique. The staff were amazing and the restaurant was VERY FULL! it seemed as though alot of people had booked prior to coming for dinner, we were lucky that there was one table for two. The food was simply amazing, plus it was cheap! The second place we discovered was at the bottom of the street (I can’t recall the name) but we had fish and rice – was amazing! We sat at the back, outside, where we had a view of Porto – truly amazing! I would definitely recommend exploring this street as the restaurants were cheap yet also really good!

12 Apostles

We arrived at the 12 Apostles before sunset – YAAY! So we managed to fulfil part 1 of our mission. Part 2 of the mission was to secure a good viewing spot to make our time-lapse and capture awesome shots of the sunset. BUT before we set up we thought we’d explore the National Park a bit…

There are many beautiful things to see here – we only managed to get to one of the viewpoints. There were others that we really wanted to see (e.g. London Bridge – rock formation) but we couldn’t risk not making it back in time to see the sunset at the Apostles. So we made our way back to the Apostles view point.

It was such a surreal moment when I first set eyes on the Apostles – I had wanted to come here for such a long time that I couldn’t believe that I was actually there! There weren’t 12 of them anymore – nature had taken its toll. I think there were 7 or so Apostles remaining, but even then, it was absolutely beautiful. We set up our tripods and began our shoot. About 30 mins later, there were 3 other tripods set up next to us – we weren’t the only ones eager to capture the sunset… Slowly the crowds formed so we were happy that we had secured a brilliant spot. It was about 10pm and we were still there! It hadn’t gotten completely dark yet – but the wind had picked up and we were beginning to get cold. We saw the moon rising and we actually managed to capture this in our time-lapse. We wanted to photograph some stars as well but it was too cold and it hadn’t gotten dark enough for the stars to be easily visible through our lenses – so we decided to call it a night.

If you plan on road tripping along the Great Ocean Rd – definitely spend a good few hours at the 12 Apostles National Park. There are a lot of view points and hikes that you can do that would definitely be worth it. Seeing the sunset at the Apostles is a must – absolutely breathtaking! Also, spread out your trip if you have the time. We wanted to go to the zip-lining park around Cape Otway but it was raining on the day and we thought it wouldn’t have been as fun.

All in all – one of the best road trip destinations with loads to see along the way. You will definitely be stopping every half hour just to take a photo of the amazing coastline of Australia!!