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Published: November 28th 2019
A full day of travel. Waiting outside under a canopy for a train transfer at Tunes, the rain falls in such thick and heavy sheets it almost looks like snow. At 10 pm we glimpse the city of Porto, Portugal under twinkling lights.
For breakfast, the coffee shop only offers one item in two flavours. One is the famous Portuguese pastel de nata (custard tart), and the other is the same tart, but with the addition of port. So we order one of each.
The Sao Bento railway station began construction in 1904. The large blue and white tile murals were composed by Jorge Calaco and involved the use of 20,000 hand-painted tiles. Many of the scenes are life in the country with cattle, camps, vineyards and watermills. Walking down the streets, reveals several beautifully tiled religious buildings. Lunch is at the Cafe Majestic which use to be where the elite met starting in 1921. Ideas were exchanged, and many discussions occurred.
The Livraria Lello bookstore was a hang out for JK Rowlings when she lived in Porto and taught English. Since 2015, if you want to enter the shop, you must stand in line to purchase a
ticket, and then stand in a line outside the front doors. Since there were 78 people waiting, and it is pouring rain, we decide this is a no go. Instead, it is a walk across the Dom Luis Bridge which was designed by a student of Eiffel’s. At a height of 85 metres, I find it difficult to look over the bridge railing. Am pleased there is a lower deck for the return walk which we access by the funicular. Close to our hotel, Chris notices a fellows cool shoes, and follows them up into the face of a fellow who appears to be actor Liam Neeson. By the time he remembers the name to tell me, Liam is long gone.
Since port originated in Porto, it is the only country that can label the liquor bottles as such. The different categories include ruby, reserve, rose, tawny, colheita, garrafeira, white, LBV, crusted and vintage. Portugal is so proud of their product that it is always offered free at the end of a restaurant meal, and even a full bottle may be found in your hotel room to be sipped and enjoyed.
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