“Where would you like to go to celebrate your half century?” I asked John, secretly hoping that he would suggest somewhere like New Zealand, or Iguazu Falls in South America, places I have longed to visit myself.
“I’ve picked a perfect little place for us, and it takes just a short plane hop and we’ll be there.” He sounded perfectly happy with his choice, and had, in fact, already gone ahead and booked a mini break as a surprise, for me, of course 🙂
By now you probably have guessed it too, and it was no other than Porto, also known as Oporto, the second largest city in our Southern European neighbour. To be honest, my knowledge of Portugal was kind of limited to its capital city of Lisbon, and our holiday favourite resort Madeira in the Atlantic, so ‘little-known Porto’ came just a wee bit on the disappointing side for my adventure-seeking, exotic, thrill-chasing anticipation.
That little niggling of disappointment was quickly dispelled as soon as we landed in this city, one of the oldest, coolest and prettiest European cities I have ever seen.
During our short stay there, we cruised down the river on a sunny day, paid a visit to one of its many Port wineries and sampled its many varieties. We ended up being persuaded to get a single bottle, a Taylor’s 10 year old tawny port, without breaking the bank or the luggage limit. We now treat ourselves occasionally with a sip back home, my kind of drink :).
Being cultured, artistic and appreciating the finer things in life, we also went to Porto’s wonderfully modern concert hall, indulging in an evening of fabulous piano performances by the Russian Pianist Nikolai_Lugansk.
Today’s picture blog will take you on a fabulous ride through this little gem of a city. Join us in exploring its exquisite churches, an old town full of character, the Douro River which runs through the city, providing the vital life source for its many famed Port wines, all the way up in the Douro Valley, spanned on high by a number of spectacular bridges, making Porto what it is, attracting tourists from both the rest of Europe and beyond.
Please let me know if you have enjoyed this virtual tour 🙂 Thanks for dropping by 🙂