Christmas Lights in Porto
I don’t know that we’ve ever seen a city more decked out with Christmas lights than we have here in Porto. We spent three days in Santiago de Compostela and the city was definitely illuminated, but nothing like what’s on display in Porto.
Throughout the month of November we watched as crews hung displays of Christmas lights throughout the city. It seemed as if every time we stepped outside to explore a new neighborhood, we’d find a crew. We concluded the city must have multiple huge storage locations to house all of the lights. And, we had many silly conversations about how if one tiny bulb is fried the whole string of lights doesn’t work and what that would mean on the scale of decorating an entire city. Can you imagine?
We watched as the crews set up a giant Christmas tree made of metal framing and a gazillion twinkle lights in Liberty Square. Not being able to read the Portuguese signage, we didn’t know what all was going to happen on December 1, but we found the starting time of what we believed would be the flipping of the switch on the Christmas tree. Ha! It was so much more.
Flipping the Switch
Standing in the square with thousands of Porto locals, we were surprised when not only did they flip the switch, there were fireworks! And, not only did they flip the switch to light the tree, and not only were there fireworks, but at the same moment, the entire city lit up! And, that was followed by a children’s choir concert.
It seemed as if every person who lives in Porto was out and about on the night of the first. Liberty Square was packed with people and the nearby neighborhood sidewalks were lined with families window shopping and browsing in stores. The smoke from the fires of the corner chestnut roasters swirled through the air and of course the kids were beyond excited. Let me tell you, Porto knows how to ring in the Christmas season. It all made for a magical night.
Home for the Holidays
As life would have it though, we won’t be in Porto for the big day – Christmas Day. We’re flying home for the holidays! You know the old saying time flies? Well, it flies pretty damn quickly these days. Amazingly, we’ve been in Europe for six months and what a whirlwind of adventure its been.
We have OH so many more stories to tell, many exciting new roads to travel and we’ll soon share an update on our Portugal Expat Experiment. And, there will be an upcoming unveiling or two. For now though, we’re going home to hug those we love most in the world and to be with them as we welcome and embrace 2018.
Our wish for all of you is that you find peace and joy in the moment.
I bet it looked magnificent! I was in Cardiff and London and was a disappointed. Perhaps next year I’ll see some spectacular lights. Good to know, I can make that happen in Porto
Paula recently posted…6 Months Reflection and My Recommended Country
Porto will definitely not disappoint when it comes to holiday festiveness!
Now that’s the way to ring in the season! And hey, there’s upsides to either 1) Christmas in a foreign country or 2) Christmas with those you love, celebrating good news. Time does fly by fast and your lifestyle is the best way to make sure you get the most out of it! Wishing you a very happy 2018 and hoping our paths cross again, soon!
It was really something special, and such a fun surprise! Flexibility is one of our key motivators in continuing to define our retirement. Our paths will cross again, for sure.
Merry Christmas! Hope you have a great one. Porto looks so pretty and I really missed those mild temperatures and blue skies after we left!
Amy recently posted…Driving home for Christmas and heading to South America
I think Abi has found his ancestral home. ..where holiday light displays are extensive and wonderful.
I picture it like the oompa loompas in Willie Wonka, all of the workers in Porto look alike but they all enjoy decorating the way Abi would decorate your houses.
Happy Holidays, wherever they may find you.
There are two jobs Abi would love in Porto. And they are seasonal so it should work out perfectly. #1 Spend a summer leading tours and tastings at a port cellar and #2 hanging Christmas lights around the city in the month of November. 🙂
Welcome home, wanderers.
Ah… we never know where life will lead us.
Porto certainly knows how to do Christmas! Glad you are headed home for the holidays and looking forward to reading more of your story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Suzanne recently posted…Captured Moments – Glorious
Porto is a fantastic city year round, but it’s really quite special in December leading up to Christmas.
I loved the Porto Christmas lights, they certainly know how to make an impact. I can’t believe you are heading home already? I wish you a very Merry Christmas with your family. Many new adventures and new roads to explore in 2018
They certainly do, Gilda. It’s so much fun to be here among the throngs of people in the holiday spirit!
Although it’s fun to see all the hoopla for Christmas in another part of the world, there’s no place like home for the holidays. I’ll bet you two are planning some new adventure for next year. Safe travels. Merry Christmas!
Gaelyn recently posted…Outdoor art installation at free Goldwell Museum
Dorothy said it best, Gaelyn, there’s no place like home!