I am about to leave for a trip to Portugal and Northern Spain. I had been especially looking forward to visiting Porto. I had heard a lot about the great architecture to be found and must have blithely assumed it would be to my taste. My taste runs to urbanist, better old than new. And it runs actively away from modernism, sprinting from brutalism.
So I grabbed a slim and convenient “wallpaper guide” to Porto put out by the art and design oriented publisher Phaidon and started planning my trip.
The “art and design” focus of the publisher should have been a giveaway. Little did I know that “Porto is famed for its modernism”. Indeed, if one follows the guide, there is really nothing of interest in the city that is not modernist in one fashion or another. That includes the galleries, the hotels, and even the food scene. The guide gives a passing nod to the historic part of the city, scurrying to recommend only one “museum piece diner” in that section of town.
But it is in the architecture department that the guide really struts its stuff. Below are photos of essentially all of the sites highlighted by the guide.
White buildings must be, for a certain kind of white person, stuff that they like.
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Northern Spain (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria) is a fascinating place but perhaps a bit damp at this time of year. Quite a Celtic feel sometimes, cider and bagpipes to be found. Feels a long way from Andalucia. Note the weather in this video.
It was in Porto that my wife observed what appeared to be transvestite prostitutes or ladyboys, frequenting the square opposite the hotel and looking for business. I was surprised that there was a demand for one, let alone half a dozen.
(There are plenty of old buildings still to be appreciated)
OT but related: I think you guys will appreciate this tweet: