PORTUGAL TOUR-2009 Page 1
After a short visit to Italy's Piemonte region,
I hopped on a plane bound for Portugal and the city of Oporto.
We had a terrific itinerary for Portugal, starting in Oporto (in the north),
heading up the Douro Valley and then south, inland, toward Lisbon. We had
numerous winery visits lined-up as well as cultural sight-seeing.
But, as usual:
I arrived around mid-day and met my friends, Gaby & Norbert Auth, at the
airport...we rented a car and found our hotel in Oporto.
It was a Sunday, so the city was a bit quiet.
It's an old city....
We strolled around the mostly-empty streets taking in the
architecture and style...
Of course, Portugal is famous for its tile works...and there
are plenty of these displayed in nearly every city.
Graffiti is out of
control in Oporto.
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Just our luck...all the stores were "fechado" (closed).
After so much walking around town, we found a table along the
river and had a Super Bock beer...
You can hop on a small boat and motor up and down the Douro river...
After our break at "Beer-Thirty" in the afternoon, it was time to
stroll around some more...
I was surprised to see a sign of some guy, who like myself, seemed hobbled by a
We ambled across the river to Vila Nova de Gaia...lots of Port
lodges are situated there.
Not many hedonists taking advantage of this place...
We were enticed by the Sandeman Port Lodge...
They have tours for a few dollars--we took a tour in
though they offer tours in numerous languages...depends.
At the conclusion of our walk through the cellars, we were offered a sip of a
couple of Sandeman's basic Portos...
After our tasting, we continued ambling along the river front...
No signs or graffiti by law...
This design is numbered and found all over town...
After some hours of seeing the towns, we hopped into a taxi
and headed for the coastal town of Matosinhos.
Our friend, Francisco Guedes (of the Aveleda winery) has suggested his favorite
Restaurante Esplanada Marisqueira (Antiga)
R Roberto Ivens 628/38
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This is an old-time place...stepping inside is like stepping into the 1960s.
We started with some fresh oysters and a bottle of Francisco's terrific, simple
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde...
Shrimps and a delectable sea treat called "Percebes" (Barnacles).
Seafood and rice...
We had enjoyed so much seafood...no chance for dessert.
The following morning we had a look around town when the shops and cafes were
There's an old market hall in town...it seemed to be a place where the vendors
are, for the most part, senior citizens.
The Tripe Lady.
The Bread Lady.
The Fruit Queen.
Near the market was this magnificent cafe...
More famous is the Majestic Cafe...
This is a local landmark and another throw-back to "simpler times."
After our stroll around town and a coffee, we got in the car
and headed for the Quinta da Aveleda...
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