Aveiro, everything we needed

Not the prettiest of views but… we can see Ruby from the train station!

On Wednesday the weather got even hotter and the pressure rose higher as we drove north towards Porto. We didn’t have a place to stay in Porto and there was a possibility we wouldn’t be able to visit this time which was disappointing because it is such a beautiful place. By the time we arrived in Aveiro neither of us were thinking straight, we had headaches and were tired. There are only six or seven spaces at the official motorhome parking in Aveiro, although later we realised there’s an overflow parking about a hundred meters away. At the time we weren’t sure what we would do if it was full.

Friendship Bridge

And it was full when we drove in. Now what? We drove around once looked longing at each full space and then noticed a motorhome at the far end was driving out… so we drove in feeling very happy. And then the rain came. Never before have we been as excited about rain and parking. The rain was glorious, the air pressure returned to normal, the heat broke and we got a parking space. On top of that, it was free. Best day ever!

Some of the art nouveau buildings in Aveiro

We only adventured out to the supermarket, less than 3 minutes walk way, for the rest of that day. Next morning we went to look at Averio. In the first century its then name translated as, “a gathering place or preserve of birds and of great salt”. Now it’s sometimes called, the Venice of Portugal. Averio is a university town with a young, international population and very vibrant. There are beautiful art nouveau buildings, some in great condition, some not so great. And there’s a canal.

Traditional Moliceiro boats

The reason it got the Venice name was because of the canal running through the city. Boats, not unlike Gondolas, previously used to transport seaweed now give tourist trips up and down the canal. We walked twenty minutes from our parking to the first bridge we came to which turned out to be the Laços de Amizade. This is the bridge of friendship where friends or lovers write a message on a ribbon (prettier than padlocks) and tie it to the bridge. We sat to have a coffee and watched people write messages and tie their ribbons to the bridge. There’s a booth beside the bridge were you can buy ribbons.

Queuing to travel the canal

It was late into this second day that we realised we were parked beside the train station where we could get a train to Porto! If we could only work out how to purchase tickets and where to go to get on the train we’d be off to Porto the next day. It turned out to be very easy. The ticket office person spoke great English and we bought our tickets to São Bento train staton, Porto, for Friday. Fifteen euros return, two adults on a one hour each way journey – a bargain.

Off to Porto by train

Aveiro had provided everything we needed, thank you Aveiro!