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Arrábida Bridge, Porto

Porto’s beautifully elegant Arrábida Bridge (Ponte de Arrábida) carries motorway traffic over the River Douro on the western portion of the ring road around central Porto.

From the River Douro:-

Arrábida Bridge, Porto from River Douro

Photo from Wikipedia (taken from the Vila Nova de Gaia bank of the river Douro):-

Arrábida Bridge

Statue on top of bridge pillar:-

Arrábida Bridge, Porto, Statue

Support pillars and statue:-

Arrábida Bridge, Pillar and Statue

Close up on one of the bronze statues (from Wikipedia):-

Bronze Statue on Arrábida Bridge, Porto

Arrábida Bridge looking back towards Porto:-

Arrábida Bridge Looking Back to Porto

On the River, Porto

Bank of River Douro, Porto, Dom Luís I Bridge to left of photo:-

Bank of River Douro, Porto

Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, Porto, Dom Luís I Bridge to extreme right:-

Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, Porto

Yacht on river:-

aBuildings 20 yacht  river bank

Riverside buildings and river cruise boats:-

Buildings 21 river bank

Another river cruise boat. Its inhabitants must have been visiting the port warehouses along the banks as they were in singing mood!:-

river cruise boat

More buildings, Arrábida Bridge in background:-

Buildings , Porto and Arrábida Bridge

Down by the Riverside, Porto

I took this photo of the Arrábida Bridge (of which more later) from the road above the north bank of the River Douro before we found the starting point for the boat trip:-

Arrábida Bridge, Porto from North Bank

And I took this zoom from the bank itself:-

Arrábida Bridge Zoom

River bank buildings hard by the Dom Luís I Bridge:-

River Bank Buildings, Porto

Other river bank buildings:-

Buildings by River Douro, Porto

Heritage Tram, Porto:-

Heritage Tram, Porto

This bridge seemed to take a road out over the river,* presumably because the houses were right on the bank and allowed no room:-

Bridge Over River Bank, Porto

Cable cars. They seemed to come down from near the Dom Luís I Bridge:-

Cable Cars, Porto

*Edited to add:- it’s called the Viaduto do Caias das Pedras.

Ponte de São João (St John’s Bridge) Porto

Back to more pleasant things.

This is the Ponte de São João or St John’s Bridge in Porto which appeared in the background of my photos of the Maria Pia Bridge and replaced it as a carrier of rail traffic across the River Douro.

Ponte de São João (St John's Bridge) Porto

It’s another elegant concrete structure:-

Under St John's Bridge, Porto

If you look to the left of the bridge support in the above photos you can see kilns. Those brown things look like kilns anyway. This closer view also shows the nice arches on the river embankment:-

Ponte de São João and Kilns, Porto

Maria Pia Bridge, Porto

Porto’s Maria Pia Bridge was built by Gustave Eiffel of Paris Tower fame in 1877. It used to carry the railway over the River Douro.

Behind it is the Ponte de São João or St John’s Bridge, which now carres the rail traffic.

Maria Pia Bridge, Porto

Closer view:-

Maria Pia Bridge Closer View

Maria Pia Bridge, Porto, Reverse View. Infante D Henrique Bridge in background:-

Maria Pia Bridge, Porto, Reverse View

North support, Maria Pia Bridge:-

Maria Pia Bridge, Porto, Support

Infante D Henrique and Freixo Bridges, Porto

The Infante D Henrique Bridge is, according to this, a prestressed concrete deck-stiffened arch bridge. Completed in 2002. Elegant in its way.

Infante D Henrique Bridge, Porto

This is situated between two iron arch bridges of which the Dom Luís I Bridge is the first. The second I’ll come on to in a later post.

You can find more images here.

Like the Infante D Henrique Bridge, the Freixo Bridge (Ponte do Freixo) carries road traffic. We saw it only from a distance as the boat had to turn back to make good time:-

Freixo Bridge, Porto

There are more images of it here.

Dom Luís I Bridge, Porto

Porto is bridge heaven. There are six bridges across the River Douro of which the Dom Luís I Bridge (Ponte D. Luís I) is a two-deck bridge that carries the metro line I featured a few posts ago as well as road traffic on its lower level.

Dom Luís I Bridge, Porto

Dom Luís I Bridge, Porto

It being a very nice day we enquired about the length of the boat trip available on the nearer boat in the above pictures and having plenty of time decided to go for it.

From that vantage point we got closer to the north bridge support buttress:-

Dom Luís I Bridge, Porto, North Support Buttress

The one below is from the bridge’s Wikipedia page and the last photo is of a distant viaduct bridge somewhere across the Douro which I had taken on the way down to the river:-

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Porto Metro System

Porto (Oporto) has a brilliant tram/metro system with six different lines (which sometimes meet up) and 80 or so stations.

It was the first time on the cruise we’d had to negotiate a foreign transport network, but the ticketing machine had an English option and was easy to use. The tickets were also cheap. For a fifteen or so stop ride into Porto from Matosinhos the cost was €2.60 return; for two!

The one we got on was heading for the home of Porto FC, Estádio do Dragão, but we had been told to get off at Trindad for the main part of the city so I never saw the stadium.

These photos were all taken on the way back when we had to make a change.

Porto Metro Tram

There are at least two types of tram on the Porto Metro system as seen here:-

Porto Metro Trams

The tram on the opposite track was going to the Estádio do Dragão. You can just about make that out on its destination board, even though it’s coupled up:-

metro 3

Our final destination tram to Senhor de Matosinhos, though our stop was Matosinhos Sul:-

Porto Metro

Porto’s metro system – it’s really a light rail – goes along streets, underground and even over the River Douro via the Dom Luis I bridge (Puente Don Luis I):-

Porto Metro Bridge

Avilés, Asturias, Spain

The photograph below is of a colourful bridge which is the second part of the direct pedestrian access to the Centro Niemeyer from Avilés town and which we used in the afternoon. Another (curved) walkway leading to a small park (once you cross the railway and the road on shore) lies behind. We used that one to get to the town in the morning:-

Colourful Bridge, Avilés, Asturias, Spain

View of buildings in Avilés taken from the from same vantage point as the photo above. There were men precariously at work on the roof of the building which has blue sheeting on its gable! (just to left of centre of photo.):-

Avilés From Bridge to Town

Balconies were a feature of lots of buildings in Avilés. Also spot the street sculpture in the roadway below the yellow/mustard coloured building and the mural beyond:-

Balconies, Sculpture and Gable-end Mural

As we were walking through the town a local heard us speaking English and kindly directed us to an example of what is apparently a traditional kind of Asturian building. On wooden stilts! It was the only one of its kind we saw though:-

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Avilés has lots of old buildings like this church, Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari de Avilés:-

Panorama of Church

The City Hall is much more recent though:-

City Hall, Avilés

Vizcaya Transporter Bridge, Getxo

The coach trip to Bilbao had taken us through Getxo itself and given us a brief view of the Vizcaya Transporter Bridge, a UNESCO-listed Industrial Revolution icon, which carries people over the Ria Nervión between Las Arenas and Portugalete. Turning the corner of Getxo promenade takes you onto the riverside with a great view of the bridge:-

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo

Closer view:-

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo

I took a couple of videos of the bridge in operation. A gondola slung from the supports is the means of transportation. (Click on the pictures to take you to the videos.)

Vizcaya Transporter Bridge in Operation

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo in Operation

Compare the Tees Transporter Bridge at Middlesbrough.

End-on view of Vizcaya Bridge from Getxo:-

Vizcaya Bridge, Getxo, End-on

Nice square and fountain as seen in above photo but this time from the bridge ramp:-

Fountain, Getxo

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