The other region of Portugal we visited was in and around Porto. We
drove up from Lisboa, so our first impressions of Porto were after
We had dinner near this square, Praca da Liberdade, which was also dressed up for Christmas.
And then, there's Porto during the day. In the foreground is a boat
similar to the ones that used to ferry young Port fortified wine from
the vineyards up the Douro river to Porto (actual, Vila Nova de Gaia,
on the south bank of the river Douro) where it is stored and aged in
large buildings and/or caves.
This bridge, built by a student of Gustav Eiffel, has car traffic on
the lower level and light rail / pedestrian traffic on the upper level.
We got up to that upper level by use of a gondola, like at a ski resort.
This is the riverfront of Porto.
More buildings of Porto, but the reason I included this picture is
because of the seagulls standing in the sun atop the smokestack.
When in Porto, one should try some Port. We visited the factory /
storage facility for Taylor and Fladgate. These small barrels are used
to age tawny port; vintage or ruby port is aged in larger vats.
After touring the aging facilities, we went back to the office and
tried some of both varieties, and they are both good in their own way.
We saw this cool fountain near the river, right before we drove up the Douro River Valley.
The water covers up the structure that holds up the cube, so it looks like the water is supporting it.
A bridge over the Douro...
On the way back to Porto, we took the highway which ran along the
ridgeway high above the valley. This inversion layer provided us with a
About halfway between Lisboa and Porto is the town of Coimbra. It is
best known for its university, one of the most prestigious and oldest
in the country.
This is the main courtyard of the university.
One more day trip to discuss, to the north to Braga. It's a pretty city, but the most striking feature is outside of town.
At the top of this Baroque stairway is the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte (the twin-towered church in the background).