Europe Day 25: Porto – Duoro Valley

We woke up early today to pick up some pastries to bring back to the hostel to eat and for our car ride later on. Of course, included on our list was custard tarts and pork bun. Aimes has discovered a new addictive game for us – Tiny Towers – which has made us even more antisocial. After restocking all our stores in the game, we are off again. We head back to the airport to pick up our rental car, which happened to be a Mercedes because it was the only automatic car they had! Us being us, we swarmed the car rental place like a bunch of busy bees, then left like a tornado. After facing tolls, construction, having 5 policemen help us with directions, and extremely nauseating, windy roads, we reach Casa de Loivos in the Douro Valley. We immediately fell in love with this place when we saw the view from the terrace outside our rooms. It is supposed to be one of top 6 views in the world! We didn’t waste any time by jumping into the
pool and enjoying the view from there. After some more chilling and appreciating from the poolside, we dove into the beautiful vineyards to appreciate nature close up. Time flew because it was already dinner time! First course – ham and melon (a match made in heaven). Second course – duck, ham and sausage baked rice where the rice had the aroma of all these meats with a hint of a burnt taste. For dessert, a pineapple gelatin cake. This was all paired with the red wine produced at this winery. Accompanying us for dinner were other guests at the house – 2 Danish couples and a Portugese family. We had a great time from talking about languages and culture to fun and silly things. After dinner, we head outside to the terrace again for some stargazing.

Europe Day 24: Porto

I woke up an hour too early because I forgot about the time change. Good job. We started the day with a simple breakfast at the hostel. Then began our day of food and wine! We strolled the streets and markets of Porto trying different pastries and delicacies along the way. My favorite of which were the sausage I had during my craving for salty food and the fried sardines I had for lunch. We even managed to learn some Portugese along the way from this hilarious lady at the cafe. Next, we were off to a wine tasting tour. First, we went to the commercial exchange building to try some national wine from the different regions of Portugal, starting with a white, then rose and ending with 2 reds. Next, we walked over to the wine cellars stopping in front of the Douro River for some ice cream and appreciation. The tour of the cellar was brief but entertaining. Afterwards, we, of course, got to try some of their port wine which was utterly amazing. Because I love sweet wine, this type of wine is perfect for me! I do; however, still like Canadian ice wine more 🙂 After some more pastries and shopping along the riverfront, we find a nice mom and pops restaurant recommended by Rick. I especially liked the cabbage and potato soup and the octopus dish. Beware, however, of restaurant owners putting small dishes on your table then charging you for it. We then returned to the riverfront to end the night with a romantic night view.