• Bob Tapper

Hello from Lisbon!


It was time to say goodbye to Porto for now, and return to Lisbon for the month of August. I'll miss the history, architecture, and ambiance of my friendly Selina co-working space, my daily workouts at Fitness Hut gym, and the awesome neighborhood and Airbnb I've lived in for the past few months. It will be sad to see this adventure pass, but it's time.


However, this newsletter covers the month of July, so here's how I finished up my three month stay in Porto!


Cruising the River Douro and Wine Tasting!

You've seen some pictures of the Douro River in past newsletters. I loved walking along the boardwalk at different times of the day and night - watching the boats cruise around. When I first saw the river (and the magnificent bridges that cross it), I knew a "golden hour" cruise had to be on the agenda.


I found a wine tasting cruise (from 7:00pm to 8:30pm) that sounded like a wonderful way to spend a nice, summer July evening. A local wine producer hosted the Wine Tasting Thursday cruise, so we sampled four different wines from the Douro Valley as we took in the sights of the city from the water. The wines were really good, but taking pictures and video as the sun was setting was just as important to me. What a beautiful, unforgettable evening this was!

Porto Bridge Climb

I certainly like a bit of adventure every now and then, so I decided to hike up to the top of the Arrábida Bridge with the Porto Bridge Climb folks! The climb was 262 steps, or 65 meters (so glad I go to the gym!) but it wasn't dangerous. The bridge is very wide and you are harnessed and tethered to a railing as you climb. I guess this is necessary to prevent someone maybe crazy or drunk that may try to jump off!?! Scary thought. But the night time view of the city was magical to say the least. We celebrated with wine poured into a small, edible chocolate cup - yum! The climb was well worth it!

The Big Yellow Bus Tour

Most every European city (and the UK) has the Yellow Bus "hop on/hop off" bus tours. Even though it's a very touristy thing to do, it's a really great way to get to know an unfamiliar city. So one day I decided to hop on and just sit for the whole 1 1/2 hour ride. It was a glorious day with bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. You can enjoy the video below as if you were sitting on the bus!

Finally...

Being back in Lisbon is a bit strange since I've already lived here for six months. However, I'm anxious to meet up with my filmmaker's group - and hopefully get involved in a project or two.


When I was here earlier in the year, Lisbon folks told me Porto was "different" - and it was. Everyone in Portugal has been friendly to me, but I'm told the people in Porto are a bit more approachable and easy-going than those living in the larger "capital city" of Lisbon. I found that to be true. Also, given the way the city is laid out, finding good restaurants was easier - and I thought the food was more innovative, creative, tasty, and less expensive.


As for my travels beyond August...well, it's back to Croatia! This time, I'm staying on an island! So, stay tuned for that...


Thanks for following along!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


  • Bob Tapper

Hello from Porto!


Summer is in full swing here in Portugal, and the comfortable weather makes it all the more enjoyable! Porto has nice seasonal temperatures (in the low 70's), usually sunny with a few cloudy or rainy days mixed in - and the only drawback for me has been a little sneezing from some allergies 🤧. Otherwise, it's a wonderful place to be in the summertime!


Covid is still happening here, unlike the U.S. where it seems to be over. Life in Porto is pretty much back to normal, with most businesses and restaurants open. There are still not as many tourists as usual (which is okay with me.) But masks are required indoors at stores and restaurants - and outdoors where you can't socially distance.


Portugal has had a hard time getting enough supply of vaccines, and keep in mind the entire country is the size of Los Angeles. The case numbers are going back up at the moment, and Lisbon (thankfully not Porto) is back to closing down at 3:30pm on Saturday and Sundays. The country is vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible to avoid more restrictions. The projections are that the numbers should drastically reduce as the months go on. We'll see.


I don't think Portugal will go back into a full lockdown like last winter. But one thing I've learned since I started my travels is that you never know what the future holds - so you just have to roll with it...


The Most Beautiful McDonald's

Someone told me that Porto had one of the most beautifully decorated McDonald's in the world. I thought he was kidding, but a quick Google search proved that this is actually true. I rarely eat at McDonalds, but I had to make a visit. What do you think? Is this the most beautiful McDonald's you've ever seen?

Livraria Lello

Every time I walk past this bookstore, there is a line of people waiting to get in. At first I thought maybe there was a book signing with some famous author. But upon further investigation, I found that Livraria Lello is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and rated amongst the top bookstores in the world! There's a Harry Potter connection too! Click here to see the full video! Oh, "Livraria" means "bookstore" in English - and there are lots of Livrarias around Porto.

Porto Legends: The Underground Experience

This was a really fun way to learn about the history of Porto, and Portugal in general. The presentation and special effects were awesome! It's a lot of information to absorb in just under an hour, but you leave with a much better understanding of the origins of the country. If you like wine, this is the place to be!

Finally...

I'm really enjoying my summer here in Porto, and it's hard to believe that I only have another four weeks left. I'll be a bit sad to leave because I've met some really nice people and made friends. So on August 1st, it's back to Lisbon for a month!


I can't wait to see some of my filmmaking friends again, and am planning to be involved in a couple film projects as well. Super fun times ahead. But for now, I'm just relishing my time in beautiful Porto.


Thanks for following along!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275


  • Bob Tapper

Hello from Porto!


Well, I made it to Porto! I'm really excited to explore another part of Portugal. People in Lisbon told me Porto has beautiful buildings and landscape, with cooler temperatures, more rain, and an overall different weather climate. I've found all of these things to be true. Most homes and apartments don't have air conditioning, so the cooler temperatures should be welcome this summer!


My Airbnb is super modern and nice, and really conveniently located. As soon as I walk out of my building, there are amazing restaurants and shops everywhere. The University of Porto is nearby, so there's a youthful feel to the area as well. I'm sure that if the usual amount of tourists were around, it would be really popping! But right now, there is just enough activity for me, and I am loving it!


The Douro River

Since I'd been here before, I knew I'd be spending much of my time near the Douro River and marveling at the six beautiful bridges that cross it! The Douro flows throughout Spain, and empties to the Atlantic Ocean here in Porto. The restaurants and atmosphere along the walkway next to the river is so electric! The people are friendly, and buskers provide the music vibe. The area is also full of history. More on that next month.


Porto (and Portugal in general) is known for their amazing wines, and the Douro provides access for the wine boats to transport it - as shown in the first photo below. You also see the Dom Luís I Bridge in the background. This double-deck bridge connects Porto (left side of the photo) to the city and municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia - also known as just "Gaia" (which is the hub for port wine.)


Along the river bank is The Ribeira (meaning riverside), Porto's riverside quarter. It's one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, and known for the tall, colorful building terraces which make up the main part of the river bank.


Set against the stunning blue skies of Portugal, this is a sight that never gets old. A night time boat ride is certainly in the future!

Selina

I've written before about my love of coworking spaces. I missed not joining one in Lisbon. My apartment there was quite spacious, and with the December holidays followed by lockdown, it just didn't make sense. So I worked from home. But I found a wonderful coworking space here and joined right away!


Selina (www.selina.com) provides guests with beautiful places to stay, travel, and work indefinitely. There are a few Selina's in the United States, but they are mainly located in Mexico, Latin American, and the U.K. - with six locations here in Portugal. They offer a great place to network, make friends, have fun, be healthy, and explore the city you are in. They are environmentally and socially conscious, and growing every day with new locations!


As you can see, the facade is decorated with stunning gold tiles and a pattern that really captures the eye. Inside and upstairs is a large, open workspace area with a high ornate white ceiling, modern light fixtures, and wide structural pillars. The large windows open up so you can let in a nice breeze. It's such a comfortable place - and the people are super nice.

The Street He Lives On

I met some great people and hopefully made some lasting friendships from my Filmmaking Lisboa group in Lisbon. One filmmaker, Hussene Keshavjee, cast me in a short film along with Rae Hannah and Fausto Muniz. Rae plays my daughter, and I can certainly see a resemblance. Do you agree? We shot the film in my apartment and I loved being part of the creative team that made this happen. Hope you enjoy it!

Finally...

I'm really looking forward to being in Porto this summer. I feel very productive and in a good groove. I once again joined a gym, and it's within walking distance from my apartment. Having my coworking space so close by is also really convenient. I walk to everything!


I can stay healthy and in shape, get lots of work done, take in gorgeous scenery, and have tons of restaurants nearby to choose from. I was told, and have to agree, the food is Porto is really fresh and tasty. It's going to be a great summer!


Thanks for following along!


ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT


TAPP

Bob Tapper

tapp@bobtapper

www.bobtapper.com

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275