Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
Friday, July 21
Porto has many different parks spread throughout the city. We often visited the great park “Jardins do Palácio de Cristal” because it was particularly close to our apartment.
Looking for a quiet outdoor spot, we discovered this park on our first day in Porto. We wanted to relax and read a little in the park in the afternoon, for which the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal seemed perfect. A few minutes after we entered the park, there was a great surprise for us: the park not only consisted of lots of green meadows and beautifully planted flower beds, but was located on a hill from which there was a direct view onto the Douro River and the little houses on the other bank of the river. This view was so unexpected but truly breathtaking!
After we had admired this beautiful panoramic view enough, we sat down in a quiet corner of the park to read and enjoy the sun. The first few minutes were just as calm and relaxed as we had imagined. Then suddenly we heard a hectic fluttering directly behind us, followed by loud cackling - suddenly several chickens and roosters were running close to us and seemed to be arguing violently. The cackling of the rooster and the three chickens attracted even more chickens, which suddenly came running from different sides of the park and just as quickly disappeared behind the next corner. This very absurd situation repeated itself several times in the park that afternoon and we noticed that there seemed to be a lot of roosters and chickens living here in the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. We thought our afternoon in the park couldn’t get any weirder. But to our surprise a few minutes after the gang of chickens had run away, a huge, majestic peacock with a long peacock tail suddenly ran past right next to us! We couldn’t believe our eyes at first because we had never seen a peacock so close. Had the peacock escaped from its cage? Did we have to tell anyone that there was a peacock loose in the park? A few minutes later we had the answer to our questions when we observed 5 more peacocks roaming freely in the park. So the peacocks didn’t escape, but just lived freely in the park during the day, just like the roosters and chickens.
The impressive views from above of the Douro River, the park’s beautiful spaces and the chickens, roosters and peacocks roaming around make the park truly a unique experience!