Porto – River Douro, Port Wine, a Pretty Portuguese Gem

Porto: Pretty as a Picture :)

“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.

Cruising Down Douro River

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 :).

Outside the Concert Hall

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 :)

About Junying Kirk

I came to Britain from China in 1988. I have worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher, professional interpreter/translator and cultural consultant. Currently working as an International Partnerships Manager in a large UK university, I enjoy reading, writing, sampling a variety of yummy foods, travelling the world and blogging about my adventures :). My 'Journey to the West' trilogy - 'The Same Moon', 'Trials of Life' and 'Land of Hope' are available on Amazon (both on Kindle and paperbacks), Smashwords and iBook. I live in Birmingham, UK with my husband.
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6 Responses to Porto – River Douro, Port Wine, a Pretty Portuguese Gem

  1. Luna says:

    I just read a book titled ‘Beloved Oxford’ telling a romantic love story between a Vietnamese student and a Portuguese tutor and it described a lovely Lisbon city :)

    • Junying says:

      That’s lovely, Luna. I must check out the book you just mentioned.

      If you enjoy reading books, and would like to read either one or both my books, I can send you a voucher for you to download from Smashwords – they are both in electronic forms so you can only read it from your e-reader or PC/iPod etc.

      Hope to see you before you finish your studies :)

  2. Dannie Hill says:

    Great pictures, Junying. You and John go to interesting places! I’ve yet to make it to Portugal but it is on my list.

    • Junying says:

      Thanks, Dannie. Yes, we have visited some amazing places and hope to contine our quest to discover this wonderful world of ours. As writers and readers, we do our virtual tours also. I enjoy your posts on Thailand a lot and that is also on my list :)

      Have a great weekend!

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