The Tram ride
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The Tram ride

This story – The tram ride  – happens at the end of the 50s, in a torridly hot day making desirable a dive in the cold waters of the beaches of Porto.

The queue was huge and the tram is already full. Ticket inspector was shouting “can always fit one more, move forward please, ladies and gents”. By then, trams were the most frequently used form of transport in Porto, with scarce number of buses that preceded the trolley buses in operation later on. The tram tracks crossed the city in every direction expanding to the suburbs, being Foz and Matosinhos one of the favourite destinations. Notwithstanding the hollow seats and windows, the trip of about one hour was solely too quick in the circumstances (for the young person I was) of being stuck between cute girls.

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Foto: Paulo Miguel

I remember of finally getting to the beach and browse in search of my friends looking for their cotton beach tents or sun umbrellas since there were no mobile phones. From then onwards the day was filled with good conversation and football until being stopped by disturbed neighbours.

Nowadays the trams that connect the historic centre to the beaches are scarce and only safeguarded for touristic reasons. It is quite worthy to do this trip for those re-living memories from the past as well as for those enjoy the scenic route.

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Foto: Paulo Miguel

The tram ride by the Douro River which lacks the rush from other transport means is superb. The shore of the side of Gaia slides slowly from the Porto Wine Cellars until Afurada. From the side of Porto the tram passes by Miragaia, and the costumes building areas where the magnificent panel of tiles, a work by Mendes da Silva on the church of Massarelos about the Infante D, Henrique are retained in our heads, as well as the museum of the tram, the park of Passeio Alegre and Foz. Once there the tram runs through the seafront where the mansions of the twenty century can be appreciated until finally getting to Matosinhos.

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                                                                 Foto: Paulo Miguel

If interested in a comprehensive tour about the trams circulating in the city, there nothing better than a visit to the Museum of the Electric Car. From the museum I will highlight a model I used to take several times to make the route between Constituição and my own home. This was the 500, a “highly modern” and quite different machine from its predecessors. The front zone of the tram where the operator was located was closed depriving me from the pleasure of enjoying the trip on an open space while watching the rotation of the big wheel that burnt the charcoal.

Viagem de Eléctrico

Foto: Paulo Miguel

Author: José Correia da Fonseca

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