Blogs from Porto, Northern, Portugal, Europe

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Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto » Paredes July 18th 2020

Once upon a time, in a land not far away, I became a port wine sipper. Perhaps it was the golf trip to Portugal after 9-11 with my golf buddy, Mike. Or maybe it was the port gently washing down the dark chocolate in a family run bistro in Vilamoura. Whatever it was, the two of us chased down hardy and wholly, to find vintage bottles of port on the Algarve and beyond. It was a search where the journey was just as rewarding as the destination. How often can you say that? The proper terminology for port wine is Vinho do Porto, but commonly called Port. It is a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern area of Portugal. Most of the time, it is ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 15th 2020

Nakonec z ubytka odchadzam uz okolo 915. V lobby nemec zo vcera co pil. Caka na check in, bo vcera ho nestihol spravit. Inak aj v tomto ubytku bolo skryte doplacanie (ale to som vedel), treba platit tur.taxu a ak chce uterak tak +1€ Vybieham do supermarketu, zavrety a to mali otvarat o 900. Na ulicy pusto, vsetko zavrete. Nakonec nachadzam otvorenu kaviarnicku, kapucino a siska s mega cokoladou. Len ta cena. Do kaviarne prichadza policia. Predavacky ju zavolali na jednu bezdacku. Policajti tu boli do 5min. Zenu vyviedli, vonku spisali, zapisnicu dali podpisat predavacke. Tomu sa hovori efektivita, ne jak u nas. Najedeny, nachadzam otvoreny mini market, kupa pozivne na let. Motam sa ulickami az prichadzam ku knihkupectvu harry poter. Zavrete lebo virus. Ludia na uliciach skoro ziadny, skoro vsetko pozatvarane (ale je nedela) lebo ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 14th 2020

Rano postupne opusta izbu osadenstvo, kazdy sa snazi dostat domov. Ja si to masirujem do prveho snackbaru a davam kapucino a k tomu omeletu so syrom a sunkov. Totalne napraskany smer prehliadka mesta. Mam len taky zhruba plan, nemusim vidiet kazdu sochu a kazdy kostolik aj tak si tie mena nepamatam. Vonku krasne slnecno a ja nahodene teplejsie nohavice. Ludi vonku dost, ziadne ruska, proste normalny bezvirusovy stav. Klesam nekonecnymi schodami uzkou ulickou az k rieke. Domy dost osarpane. Fotim slavny most. Tentoraz vyuzivam jeho spodny prechod urceny pre auta. Most je ozaj kolos. Objavuju sa tu aj prvy zebraci. Skoro normalne vyzerajuci clovek sedi na zemi a pred sebu capica ci pohar na peniaze. Zacina stupanie ku kostolu serra do pilar, odkial je na jednu stranu super vyhlad na mesto. Ono by bolo super aj ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto November 23rd 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 ... read more
A Painting of Beautiful Porto
View from our flat
Towards Igreja dos Clerigos

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto October 19th 2019

Thursday, Oct 17 Up early for a trip to Salamanca, Spain. We are at the farthest part of the Portugal section of the Douro River so it was a 2 hour drive through interesting winding hills, the rain plains and quaint villages to Salamanca. Only need to have picture ID, no passport required. Realized that somewhere I lost my little braided cork bracelet – now on the lookout for another. We had a tour of the University library (13th century – amazing collection). Students dressed like Hogwarts. Apparently JK Rowling spent time here so probably got the cape and uniform ideas from here. On our free time we went to an Art Deco Museum (no pics allowed). As we walked in, we were stunned by the stained glass ceiling. There were wonderful sculptures in bronze and ... read more
Using schist rock for walkways
on the way to Salamanca (from the bus)
leaving Favaios

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 18th 2019

United flight 144 arrived 10 minutes early in Porto and it took just a half hour to zoom through passport control and retrieve my hiking poles in baggage claim. An easy 10 minute walk landed me at the metro station and 20 minutes later I was walking out of the metro, pondering which way to turn, when I heard a voice saying “Are you Patricia?” I turned around and said “yes” and met Ricardo, who owns the apartment where we’re staying. He had come out to the station when I texted him that I’d arrived at the airport! My first taste of Porto hospitality. We walked a short 5 minutes and he showed me into the spacious 3-bedroom flat. Once he’d shown me around and given me keys, I texted Katherine, who spent the previous night ... read more
Se Cathedral
Banjo Player(!) Outside Se Cathedral
Pernil (yum! )

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 12th 2019

And off to Portugal I go - Sue had booked us into this quirky hotel in Porto - Zero box lodge, where all the rooms were basic wooden cubes with a door through to a bathroom. Every room was the same and encased in what looks like Pine, all off a long corridor with a mirror at the end so it looked longer than it was. Getting the key was interesting as they were all kept in a huge glass fronted fridge behind reception and hung over a bottle of beer which you got with the key. Opposite reception was a glass cube with a bed in it which you could stay in for free as long as you were happy with everyone looking on! Someone was staying there that night! A theatre critic, this wasn’t ... read more
Hotel corridor Zero Box Hotel
tiled church - Porto
Flight of Port

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 11th 2019

I know you’ve heard it all before; we slept in, left late, but we did visit the Eastern section of Porto, just to get a different perspective and enjoy the last day of a slow paced visit. We haven’t seen everything, didn’t have a list, but other than the helicopter ride I suggested, and never did, we think we have a handle on Porto. Apparently the chairlift was as far as Sue was leaving the ground, without two wings and a couple of motors involved. A lost opportunity, I’d say. I messaged our Airbnb host to see if he could organise a cab for us early tomorrow, but I wanted a Plan B and C. B was the train. After taking a number and seeing the random call up system operate for about 25 minutes, my ... read more
The Feathered Dish Lickers
A Blast From The Past
Porto Municipal Office

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 10th 2019

Today was intended to be a ‘catch up on rest’ day, wander around, and go on our boat ride. We took the rubbish out - 50 metres up the street, turn left and the bins are another 50 metres - and walked back to the main road down some different streets. I think we found the real local shops. A cluster of tidy cafes sat at the top of the street, followed by a butcher, fruit shop, two strangely stocked hardware shops, and an op shop/ curios business. A recommended restaurant was open and I went to enquire about the hours. Do you speak English? No. And that was it. These weren’t restaurant people, but rather tradesmen who looked displeased to see me. That conversation was over. Portugués people are loud. They yell and argue in ... read more
It ain’t no Brunettis
Our Neighbourhood, Villa Nova de Gaia.
Just Catching A Few Rays

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto September 9th 2019

The best made plans never left the ground this morning. We were up earlier but it was 9.30 before we hit the pavement and decided to try to catch a met train. These trains look more like long trams, and disappear into the earth as soon as you are over the river Douro. After that it’s 2 minutes before we are leaving Sao Bento Station to begin our walk to Lello bookshop. As we were already 45 minutes late for our intended 9am arrival at the shop, we called into O Forno, a modern cafe nearby, for a coffee. A staff member approached, placed his arm on my shoulder, and asked how we were, was the drink satisfactory, and wished us well. As we left the store, he saw us out of the cafe, hoped to ... read more
Livraria Lello
Till bought for the original shop and still in use, 2010.




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