On a trip to Portugal last year, I was really excited to visit Porto, a city located on the River Douro, a few hours north of Lisbon by train. I had seen a lot of photographs of the city and its buildings, waterfront, and bridges all looked very photogenic to me.
Arriving in Porto, I left my belongings in a rented apartment and then walked to the Dom Louis I bridge. This double decker metal arched bridge dates from the 1880s and connects Porto to its neighbor across the river, Vila Nova de Gaia. You can walk along the bridge on either deck — the lower deck has vehicular traffic, while the upper deck has trains.
When crossing into Vila Nova de Gaia, there are some great views of Porto’s waterfront. You can also climb high above the town to the Monastery of Serra do Pilar. Built on a rocky outcrop in the 1600s, this Monastery and plaza offer sweeping views of the Dom Luis I Bridge, Porto, and Vila Nova de Gaia — but it’s quite the climb up!
I decided this would be the ideal place to station myself at sunset, both for the views of the town, and the bridge. I spent about an hour and half there and got some great shots. This one is one of my favorites:
I like the strong line of the bridge, as well as the color in the sky and the lights coming on in Porto. I do feel that the composition is a tad awkward, but it’s mostly because there’s a building roof directly below this view that I’ve cropped out to remove the distraction.