Porto is a strange place to visit, with several different characters all mixed in to the same space around the Ribera.
In the centre, there are many buildings that appear abandoned, and which have probably been abandoned for quite a long time. This is not just the ongoing effect of the 2008 financial crisis, but something more fundamental as the town has shifted from the role of wine (Port) exporting to tourism. The result is an odd mixture of derelict splendour, amazing street art, the trappings of the tourist industry, and of course, people trying to live their lives in this amazing place.
Many buildings have graffiti stating “Vazio” (empty), a serious issue for any urban area. The entrances are often bricked up, giving amazing canvases for street art.
All of this sits strangely alongside a blend of tourism, everyday people, and conspicuous wealth (we encountered one Ferrari owners club lunch outing, and saw improbably large numbers of new Porsche and Mercedes luxury cars – somewhat at odds with Portugal’s economic crisis).
Although the town is small, this is a fascinating place to visit with many unique photographic opportunities.