Porto is a charming city of 235,000, but if you count the metro region it has a population of 1.5 million. Although it attracts throngs of tourists, it's worth a visit. Still on vacation we ate our way and drank good wine through the historic areas of town.
We stayed in the highly recommended "Trendy Oporto Apartments," about a 12 minute walk to the Cathedral, where we obtained our pilgrim passports and located the first arrows of the Camino.
C was in his element touring two port caves, one better than the other. The Callem cave is supposedly the only Portugeuse founded brand, and their product is excellent. Then we visited the Real Companhia Velha caves, founded in the 1700's, also Portugeuse owned.
He still sports his Hemmingway persona from last year's Camino, wearing the winter liner from my Dad's WW2 navy hat. It would have been perfect in Basque Country last September.
I judge port by its flavour and character as well as headache potential and Callem was high on the first two qualities with no after effects. Mind you, we were given a limited amount of 3-4 ounces at each winery. RCV, on the other hand, rated lower on the first two and for me, had a higher headache factor. One difference bwtween the two is that RCV's grapes are totally crushed by human feet rather than machine. Coincidence? This is written for Blogless Marsha, who given her limited, but negative history with port wine, would never cross the threshold of a port tasting room. Hmmm, maybe grape crushing technique makes the difference,
We have a tendency, when spending multiple nights in a city, to patronize a good restaurant on more than one occasion rather than take our chances on others. This time it was Estrela de Orient. After a long day and approaching the hangry stage, we saw what we thought was a Chinese restaurant. Appearing to be family run, the menu was not what we were expecting, definitely more Portugeuse in style. We feasted on duck leg with fire roasted fruit for the bargain price of e9.50.
Back we went for takeaway the next night, then to be disappointed when they were closed the third evening. I guess they deserve a well earned night off.
We agree that we are now ready end our stint as tourists and begin the pilgrim phase.