A Travellerspoint blog

April 2019

Headed to Bordeaux

Day 21

We are now entering the second part of our trip. We left Porto at 10am and caught a TAP Air Portugal flight to Bordeaux. We were on standby passes and the trip went flawlessly. They told us the flights were full all day and then gave us seats all the way threw.
We dropped our bags and went for a walk. We stopped off at a cafe for some French comfort food...croque monsieur.
Just a note on the blog...going forward I will updating it every few days rather than daily since we are settling in to one area. Never fear, we are still having fun. It will just be more local immersion.

Posted by Slough 12:38 Archived in France Tagged bordeaux Comments (0)

Porto - Fashion Edition

Day 19

We just had our 3rd day of gorgeous weather and that brings out all kinds of fashion. There was a time when you could tell the Americans by the white tennis shoes that they wore. Judging by today’s cross section of tourist, the tennis shoe accounts for 96% of the footwear and it’s worn by all ages. Coimbra, a college town, had an unusually high number of shoe store. Also, everyone is carrying designer bags and backpacks...even this little girl. Her owner played the accordion and she sat there all day with a wild outfit and see-thru purse in her mouth.
Our tour today, and out last day in Porto started up by the university. There is a bookstore where J.K. Rawlings wrote and it has a bookcase that inspired her writings and movies. Knowing how much Pam loves books and libraries, I make an effort to visit as many as possible. It just wasn’t in the cards today.
This was the line at 10 am. Since the books and movies have come out and the fact this was the place of her writings and inspirations, life for this little bookstore changed. They started getting 2,000 visitors a day, but no one buying anything so now they charge 3€ and they are lined up down the street.
We also made a point of eating a local dish called Francesinhas. It has layers of bread, meats, cheeses, sauce...we shared one at 1 pm and that has been our only meal of the day.
Later we walked down to the river to watch sunset. As Bob & Viv would say...’when the sky is pink it’s time to drink’. It also brought out swarms of these little fish.
We’ve enjoyed Porto and we’re off to Bordeaux tomorrow morning.

Posted by Slough 14:01 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Porto Day 2

Day 18

Today was a lazy day. We did climb to the top of the high bridge in order to walk across to the gardens. It really gets your blood pumping. We sat down by the river for a bite. It’s nice to have some down time after 17 days of activity.

Posted by Slough 10:37 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)


Day 17

We wrapped up a wonderful stay at the Quinta da Morrocos and headed for Porto. Our first stop was to return the car. It was nice to not have to drive on the narrow, twisty streets of Porto.we checked into our Airbnb which is by the river and in the old quarter. We couldn’t ask for nicer weather so we spent the afternoon walking around.
We walked through the Ribeira, along the banks of the Douro. There is a festival in Porto that is celebrating Brazilian farol music (similar to fado) so there are a number of street performers, musicians, etc. Then we walked across the bridge to where a number of the Port houses have their tasting rooms. They also have a number of traditional flat bottomed boats anchored along the bank. These are the ships used to shuttle the Port from the wineries to the storage facilities in Porto.
We finished our walk with a stop at a cafe along the river. There were a set of tram tracks on the sidewalk next to our table and we assumed they were old since they were in the middle of tourists...they are in use and a tram passed 6” behind Greg’s back. It freaked us both out.

Posted by Slough 12:36 Archived in Portugal Tagged porto Comments (0)

Quinta da Marrocos -updated

Day 16

We left Coimbra this morning after breakfast and hit the road for the Douro Valley. We had some time to kill so we went to Pinhao first. It’s a sleepy little town, but we got to see the locks on the river and a bit of the town. Interesting tidbits...the vines are planted on an 80% slope and because it’s so steep, the farming is all done manually. It sounds like they still stomp the grapes by foot.
Next we left for the winery (Quinta). We are staying at a family run winery overlooking the river. They have a couple rooms in this rustic old building.
We checked in around 3pm and sat in front of the fire with a glass of tawny port and a macaron, all made in house. Greg of course, had to check out the winery car (where’s Waldo)
Next up, at 6pm, is a tour of the winery, a tasting of their wines and port and then a dinner with wine pairing. There are 2 other couples so it’s an intimate setting. Let me add some color to last nights dinner. One couple is from Brazil... he is in IT and she is a lawyer for the supreme court. The other couple is from Poland. He is in IT and she is a particle physicist doctorate student working underground in a mountain in Italy. They were so much fun. After dinner we went to the living room to sit around the fire...I of course let the wine dog in the house to lay by the fire. I have a new best friend even though we don’t speak the same language. This was evident when i tried to put him back outside.

Posted by Slough 00:21 Archived in Portugal Tagged peso da regua Comments (0)

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