Friday, June 14, 2019

June 13, 2019,   Porto, Portugal,    153/183

Clear skies, little breezy,  70 F.  Annual range is 32 F to 110 F (0 to 45 C)

Porto exhibits a vibrant atmosphere created by the integration of historical buildings interspersed with modern structures. As with Lisbon, there is an underlying sense of Portuguese pride, likely rooted in their independent spirit when you discuss their history with them.  Don't forget they beat Spain in 1760s and overthrew a dictator in a bloodless coup in 1966.

Porto and the neighboring city of Vila Nova de Gaia have six bridges connecting them.   Gustave Eiffel designed the Maria Pia bridge in 1877, where he fine toned details for the building of the Eiffel Tower 9 years later.

Cork is the number one industry here with products including clothing, surf boards, jewellery and wine corks, of course.

For you aficionados, the Livravia Lello Bookstore is located here, apparently the third most famous bookstore in the world.  JK Rowlings based some of her Harry Potter series on the facility.

Porto city center is dominated by Avenue Dos Aliados, somewhat reminiscent to the Champ de Elysee.  Numerous elegant structures dominate the skyline.

All the wine operations and warehouses are located immediately across the Porto River in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia to take advantage of lower taxes.  Obvious too, as the area is not nearly as vibrant.

Our excursion included a visit to the Pocas Winery, where they specialize in ports. Port wines were born in the Douto Valley and Port gets its name from the city of Porto.  Foot crushing is still used, but only for exotic ports. Port wines run between 19 and 22% alcohol which is achieved by adding "moonshine" to  the batches. ( Moonshine is distilled grape alcohol)  Seems like a long process just to get at the booze.......:)  Locally made oak barrels are used for most vintages, with sizes ranging from 265 to 90,000 liters.

Guggenheim-like Port authority building by our ship.

Portuguese eat the most fish per capita

Downtown Porto river front

Eiffel-designed bridge 1877

Eiffel designed concrete bridge, 1870s

Livravia Lello Bookstore

Avenue Dos Aliados in central Porto

Several photos

Building in front covered with soil to control climate

Beautifully adorned main train station in central Porto

Visit to Winery

Antique tools for barrel making

Trolleys service the city, are quite cheap.

Example of architecture in Porto

Combination church / fortress from 1400s

Along downtown river front

 Back at the port

  Park by the ship

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