January 15, 2020
A day trip to the oceanside town of Vila do Conde is a wonderful break from the City. The metro ride takes you 24 stops away from Porto in about one hour. The ride is very nice as you pass the airport, the outlet mall and many farms before crossing the River Año and stopping at the Santa Clara metro stop.
As you head across the Año River, you are greeted with a beautiful view of arches of their aqueduct. The Aqueduct of Santa Clara is the second largest aqueduct in Portugal. Built in the 1600’s it includes 999 arches stretching for 2.5 miles from the Montesary to the spring of Terroso.
I Love Cemetaries! It may sound creepy but they tell you so much about the history and lives of a community. The cemetery of Vila do Conde was quite interesting. Here, they create a grid of underground concrete boxes and then temporarily cover them until one is needed. Then, flat marble lids are placed on top. Multiple family members are housed in the same location and small “tablets” are added to the top to designate new residents.
Strolling along the marina, you get a view of the City, the former Monestary de Santa and the sixteenth century Portuguese ship, the Nau Quinhentista. There are also multiple statues along the waterfront.
Heading back into town we saw the first signposts for the Portuguese Camino. The sign of the shell designates the path for pilgrims walking on this journey. Pilgrims have been walking these paths for over 1,000 years.
Now, let’s talk about a very important subject….FOOD. We stopped at a traditional tavern in the middle of town and it was great. Badalhoca do Fredo was everything we expected for truly local cuisine. Seriously, if you can’t get good food at a bar with meat hanging from the ceiling, then were can you?
We had a shaved ham sandwich and a stack of spicy mozzarella cheese. My sandwich was a fried egg and pork sausage on a homemade roll. Jeff wanted something out of the four big pots on the stove. His choices included: cooked tripe, cooked potato and blood sausage or two different types of beef. So, he ordered the chunks of tender beef piled onto the bun and then a large ladle of broth was poured on top. It disappeared so quickly that I wondered if he had even ordered. Haaaa!
Directions: From the Trindade Metro Station, we boarded the Red line and headed for the Santa Clara metro stop. It will take about 40 minutes as you will go approximately 24 stops. When purchasing tickets, you will be in Zone 6 and the tickets will cost about €6.20 round trip.