Monday, April 2, 2007
For the more pretentious and romantic, on Rua Santa Catarina you can find Cafe Majestic. It catches your eye while walking on the street and it's not a place to read in silence, but to take a handful of friends to spend the time talking about all that matters on Earth or above. Almost always full, it brings you back to the 20s-30s, in a Europe where politics has descended not on the streets, but in the cafes. Artists, politicians and profanes (J.K. Rowling wrote some of a Harry Potter book here, and Jacques Chirac also stopped by), all crowded in a magnificent decor, with wide mirrors and rich theatre-like walls. Marble tables, baroque chairs, winter garden, piano concerts and an exhibition room - all shaped to make my little heart amaze. The waiters are fast, polite, but it pays - a glass of Super Bock (great Portuguese beer) is 2,5 euros. For a short virtual tour, check out http://www.cafemajestic.com/, a website that stands up to the standards of the cafe itself. I personally went there with a friend, in a lazy moment when we had a lot of things to solve, but just wanted a break from all the noise outside. Surprisingly, it was more noisy inside, but a comforting noise. In the end we didn't talk about anything sacred, as the place encouraged us to, but just gossiped for about one hour, too preoccupied to stare at the walls and glance at the other visitors. For a cafes passionate like me, its a place to return to... of course, in the beginning of the month, when the scolarship money are not yet running low. But if you ever get to Porto... this place is a must see.