As we explored the back streets and narrow alleyways of Portugal we became facinated with the weathered doors and the old-world hand knockers that adorn them. They almost wave to you, inviting you to knock them against the heavy and decaying doors where they hang. You feel temped, wondering what may lay beyond them.
When we arrived in Porto we asked our Airbnb host if he had any suggestions on where we can find some to purchase. He suggested the Ruo do Almada – the hardware district. We set out on a mission and wandered our way up the Rua das Flores, a narrow pedestrian street lined with many shops and cafes, to find ourselves our own hand knockers.
Porto is a town of winding streets that crisscross like a labyrinth up from the Rio Douro across the steep hills and valleys that make up the town. Working up a sweat and with a huff under our breath we found our way to Ruo do Almada only to find the hardware stores on afternoon siesta. We could see knockers through the window but the stores wouldn’t be open again until 2:30 or 3pm.
We headed back into Rua das Flores to grab ourselves some lunch at a little lunch counter and store that sells sardines, olive oils, and cured meats called Mercearia Das Flores. They made these incredible toasted almonds in Portugese flor du sal and these delectable toasted open-faced sandwiches.
After lunch we had some more time to kill before the hardware stores opened and we found a few nearby record stores to shop. In particular, we liked Porto Calling where we picked up a Portuguese Punk Rock band called The Parkinsons.
As siesta ended it started to rain. We dashed between rain drops, in and out of varied hardware stores and found that hand knockers – even new ones – are few in selection and surprisingly expensive. Finally we found a nice gentleman in a narrow hardware store willing to help us and we bought a few knockers for home (one for our house and one for Clara’s bedroom door ;). If you are ever in Seattle swing by and give them a knock.
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