Tuesday, 9 April 2013

HiOporto Travellers of Oporto, PORTUGAL


26. Featured Travellers 

Hi Oporto
Journalism Students : Travellers

L to R: Jorge, Isadora, Luis, Rita, Diogo O, Sara, Tiago and Diogo A.

(Oporto,  PORTUGAL)
                               
The City of Oporto welcomes you with arms wide open” 

I made a little twist in featuring our travellers to add flavour to our usual write-up. I have invited not one traveller but eight.....yes, you read it right folks!

Eight talented University of Oporto Journalism students joined hands to make waves in promoting the city that they call their own.

But, where is Oporto?

This city is in Northern Portugal and is probably not as famous as the capital Lisbon, but it has been registered as a World Heritage site in 1996 according to Wikipedia.

I must tell you that inviting a traveller to be featured and share travel experiences is not an easy task. To have one, it takes a couple of weeks to finalize the details.

Thanks goes to Diogo Azeredo, the spokesperson of the group, for making the interview possible for each and every member.

The team writes articles in their blog on a daily basis reaching 12000 views and 600 followers on Facebook in just few weeks on the web.

Let's congratulate the team on being awarded the "Blog of the Week" by the official tourist portal of Oporto. This leaves no doubt that they are the best at this early stage of the project. 

What an accomplishment!

Each of the members has travelled extensively in all parts of Oporto.  They all have knowledge of the city and are willing to provide an up-to-date information to help you on your trip to Portugal.

Though their focus is in Oporto, they're fascinated by the idea of travel ~ discovering different tradition, meeting local people, doing something fun and adventurous, experiencing the cultures and witnessing the festivities. It all sounds so exciting to them.

They're determined to experience the world and all of the wonders that are out there for exploring.

So let's welcome the lads from Oporto and we shall surely learn a lot from their areas of "expertise!"

Here they are:

Diogo Azeredo ~ Portugal
Diogo Oliveira ~ Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Cape Verde
Isadora Faustino ~ Spain, Belgium, England and Italy
Jorge Oliveira ~ Spain and Venezuela
Luis Martins ~ Spain and France
Rita Gordo ~ Ireland, Tunisia, Spain Cambodia, China, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Kenya, France, Canada, USA, Germany, Estonia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Peru, Galapagos, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand
Sara Goncalves ~ Spain, England and Cuba
Tiago Duraes Moreira - Spain and France


I am sure you want to know more about the team and their amazing city.

HiOporto team invites you to follow their journey and discover the best that their historical city has to offer.

Follow their blog. It's simply called HiOporto.


Here is their story.....
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Travel Story: HiOporto, travelling inside our City

Flag of Portugal
For most people travelling is about departures.

Taking a plane to the furthest place from what we call home sounds adventurous and sometimes unreachable. It's all about new scenarios, different cultures and manners, typical gastronomy, outstanding landscapes and monuments, huge historical sites and buildings and privileged contact with nature in its every shape and living being.

Crossing boundaries is the best way to get new perspectives and maybe to create our own one, but we know one thing for sure: sometimes all we need is to look to what we already have and present that to a world full of travellers just as hungry of exploring new places as we are.

That's what we've done by creating and cherishing this project about our city, Oporto.

You may be asking what's so special about Oporto.

The answer is quite simple and comes with a question mark: what is not special about it?

Ribeira
First, do you know Portugal?

We are that small country on the southwest corner of Europe. We are recently under a lot of pressure because of economic and financial crisis but not all news are bad. You might not know but Portugal is number one on the list of world top destinations for 2013.  On the north of the country, Oporto was also distinguished, winning the 2012 title for Best European Destination.

Apart from the prizes, the essence of Oporto is based on its history and authenticity.  We don't intend to become what we are not and staying true to our origins is something that's within Oporto's spirit.

Wandering by the narrow and abrupt alleyways can always lead to a different picture of the city. Coming by and not listening to our popular slang is like missing a big part of our identity that you can't find in photographs and postcards. 

And of course, we can't forget what most people come here for: the famous Port Wine which cellars are always on the list of "what to do and where to go".

Pracas dos Leoes
Although we have a Historical Centre designated World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO (that you must visit), Oporto doesn't live in  the past and there is young blood running through our streets. 

Arterial routes like Miguel Bombarda represent that new and audacious side of our city that might not be highlighted by some old and conventional travel guides.

Culture has new forms of expression nowadays; however, Oporto can't deny its ancient influences materialized, for example, in the wide catalogue of baroque architecture. You just have to look around to see one of its major symbols: Torre dos Clérigos.

Here, step after step you'll get closer to the best panoramic ever, a live and 360º interactive image of the city.  In Clérigos, the way up is not made of a fast elevator which takes you to highest floor of an incredible building in which top, there's transparent glass all over. 

We have no intention to compete with Tokyo Tower or maybe Auckland Tower, for instance (great too, of course).  Here is not about the hugeness of the construction itself, it's about charm, detail and man's history.

Miguel Bombarda
History doesn't belong only with monuments though.

At night, Oporto is not different from many other big cities around the world and makes history by gathering different stories in one particular place: Galerias de Paris.

In a city centre mainly inhabited by elder residents, at night this is young territory and the multiple voices are louder than music.

Talking about music, Oporto has its own "stage" and here the design and architecture don't recall the old times. Casa da Música is a new and modern attraction which everyone wants to see. Compared to Guggenheim Museum, in Bilbao, it is the only local in Portugal 100% dedicated to music, whether in terms of spectacles or in terms of musical formation. 

Leaving behind our big auditorium, there's another song that may follow you during your stay.

The sound of the seagulls is quite a signature of our city and that combined with the river sounds at Ribeira is just the perfect scenario to enjoy the beautiful landscape and to switch on the stress free mode. There are a lot of options to have a meal or maybe just have a drink while you are absorbing this unique atmosphere.  

Fotografia
At night, the magic feeling is tremendous and the lights give another dimension to the outlines of this genuine city.

This is yours to witness and experience, somewhere in your travel marathon we hope.

You'll read more from us soon.

Say Hi to Oporto (www.hioporto.com)

Our home. Your next destination.



From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send him a message if you will @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.

* * * * *
Are you a traveller who would like to share your travel story with our blog and our readers?  Then, I'd love to hear from you! 
Please email me at fromatravellersdesk@gmail.com

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Watch for these blogs! 
They all have been travelling for many years and I can guarantee that all of them have travel tips that all of us can learn and benefit from.  I have to thank all other fellow travellers who have responded to my invite.  I will definitely publish your stories as soon as I have completed the details.