I love to come up with creative titles for my posts but this time I couldn’t think of anything better 😀 When I’m visiting a new country I always want to visit as many places as possible. I was deciding between two historic towns Braga and Guimarães as a day trip from Porto. I chose Braga mostly because of Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary which had always fascinated me. I don’t know where my fascination for monumental religious buildings comes from 😀
The train to Braga goes from beautiful São Bento station and takes around one hour to get there. My first stop in Braga was pharmacy I had a sore throat and felt horrible. This was the second summer in a row when I was sick and lost my voice but about that later (the omnipresent aircondition and 40 degrees outside are not a good combination for me)…So I bought some medicaments and went on a walk around the town before going to the sanctuary. Looking at the pictures now Braga seems even more charming than I remember. I apologise if don’t remember names of some of the thousand churches I saw there 😀
To get to the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary I took a bus from the city centre. When you get off the bus you have two options how to get to the church. Either take some 500 stairs monumetal baroque stairway like the pilgrims used to or use a funicular. I was not feeling the best that day so obviously I chose the second option. The funicular that takes you up the hill is water powered. There’s not many of them still in use (most of them in the UK) therefore I recommend everyone to take at least one way with the funicular.
I took a quick tour around the church, went inside then went down the zigzag staircase. The baroque staircase is full of allegoric statues, there’s fountains depicting five senses and other religious symbols. As you can see in the pictures the weather was very nice that day and it was extremely hot (at least for me as I’m not used to high temperatures) so I started to feel like a shit. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. I managed to go down three fountains then I decided to go back to the funicular to take me down. At least the funicular was not on direct sunlight. Then I went back to Porto. I had nice dinner in all you can eat vegan restaurant which I cannot find anymore on any map. It was near São Bento station. One time I actually want to recommend you a good restaurant it doesn’t exist anymore 😀
If you’re considering a day trip from Porto, Braga is a perfect option for you. It’s not that far away, there’s plenty of historical buildings to see, you won’t get bored there. I’m very happy I chose Braga over Guimarães even thought Guimarães is still on my list so hopefully next time I’m in Portugal 😀