We’re now in Porto which is north and at the mouth of the Douro River. Based on what I had read and seen on some travel shows, I expected Porto to be a gritty, somewhat dirty city but wow were we surprised. Because of the river that flows through the center, it’s beautiful and quite the hot spot for tourists. We are very fortunate because we’re staying at a lovely hotel that overlooks the city of Porto and has accessibility to everything we need. In addition, we’re in the heart of the port houses that abound in the city. Here are a few of the panoramic views throughout the city.
And then there are the bridges that span the Douro River – they are everywhere – I think that there are 6 in this small city. We took the 6 bridge boat cruise on the river and enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful sights.
And here we are on the boat.
On many occasions, we saw large groups of students who were either exploring the city or earning money as they entertained tourists along the way. Many wore the distinctive black uniforms with matching capes.
Porto displays many of the same architectural features as those of Lisbon. Of course, the tile work is always impressive and very prominent throughout the city.
There’s also some street art that provides yet another glimpse into the life of Porto.
I’ll end today’s blog entry by describing our tour of Taylor’s Port House. It is one of the oldest port houses in Portugal and dates back to 1692. We very much enjoyed a tour of the cellars which included a history of the port house and descriptions of the port making process. All of the grapes utilized by Taylor’s come from the Douro River wine region which is the destination of our travels tomorrow. We ended the tour with a free tasting of two ports – the white port chip dry which is served chilled as an aperitif and the late bottled vintage which is a ruby and only aged 4-6 years. We then purchased a glass of the tawny 40 year old port as well. All were very good but we preferred the younger ports.
I’ll close with a photo at sunset taken from the balcony of our hotel room – construction cranes and all. Porto is beautiful, lively, and is definitely a highlight of our trip.