Oh Porto!

Porto is where I first saw women at a communal wash house where women could do their laundry if they did not have facilities at home. The closest I came to it was washing our clothes by hand in the bathtub.

Salt of Portugal

O Porto, Rui Barreiros Duarte, ink on paper, 2015.

Portugal’s second largest city and the unofficial capital of the North is called Oporto. The city has a much older feel than Lisbon. While much of Lisbon was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, Oporto preserved its meandering medieval streets and ancient buildings.

Oporto is a place full of surprises. The city looks austere, but its granite architecture is just a ruse to make the gorgeous Douro river look even more seductive. Life in Oporto is hectic, but residents always take the time to give visitors a warm reception. There are plenty of restaurants that look ordinary but serve great food. And there are many hidden treasures in the port-wine caves that store, sometimes for centuries, the precious nectars from the Douro valley.

The Portuguese call the city Porto, while the English call it Oporto. There are two theories about this discrepancy. The most plausible is that…

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