Blogs from Porto, Northern, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 8th 2021 7th March - A Liberal Heart and 20,000 Unique Tiles - Porto My first virtual tour with Sara in Porto. We started in Avenida dos Aliados in front of the City Hall. The name of this boulevard translates as "Avenue of the Allies" and this refers to the treaty between Portugal and the United Kingdom in the 14th century. Still in place, the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force. Flanked by ornate buildings in a range of architectural styles, from neoclassical to French Beaux-arts, this avenue was built to impress. As such it is home to some of the city's most prestigious hotels along with a number of banks. The wide, somewhat short avenue was not always the grand statement it is today. In fact it has ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto February 24th 2021

I love a good port, so here is a good introduction for you. 1961: Vintage of the latest release by Taylor Fladgate of Single Harvest Vintage Port. Only 65 cases of this extraordinary 60-year-old Port are available in the U.S. for $395 per bottle. To put the age of this Port into perspective, it was made from a single year’s harvest as the first man in the world went into space, and it has been aging in oak casks ever since. Besides Vintage Ports, Taylor Fladgate also holds some of the most substantial reserves of aging Tawny Ports in the world. So, let's define Port for those of you who are either new to Port or unwilling to give it a try. Let's use Wine Folly as our expert navigators.Port: ... read more
Let's head to Porto!
Love the Taylor ports

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto February 21st 2021

Per Winespeed: As most wine drinkers know, wine can taste pleasantly salty—even when there’s no actual sodium chloride in it. Certain grape varieties, for example, can taste a bit salty (sangiovese is one), and wines made from grapes growing near a sea coast can, too. So maybe it was only a matter of time, but several winemakers in France and Portugal are now experimenting with adding salt to their wines, a practice that was described in ancient Roman texts. In particular, adding seawater was typical since it helped preserve the perishable beverage, in the same way that salt was used to preserve meat. Contemporary vintner Hervé Durand’s family estate, Mas des Tourelles, in the southern Rhône Valley, stands atop the remains of a Gallo-Roman winery. Known for his “Archeological Roman Wines,” Durand makes a version of ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto February 8th 2021

We are talking about Port wine, not a port in the storm, or a cruise. My love for Port wine blossomed when I was golfing in Portugal some years ago. Each day, after a round of golf on the beautiful Algarve, Mr. Mike and I went hunting for vintage Ports. We found many, but the prices were rather shocking. So, as I have told you numerous times, we had to get creative. Here is a great insight into Port wine from Winespeed: The only Ports that need decanting are those that throw a sediment. These include two of the major styles: Vintage Port and Single-Quinta Vintage Port. None of the other major styles (Tawny, Reserve, or Late-Vintage Bottled) throw a sufficient sediment. Vintage Port is made only in exceptional years when Port shippers “declare” a vintage. ... read more
My favorite a 97 Quinto do Noval

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! )

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