Portugal Trip – Day 3 – Porto PM
After lunch in Porto we had planned to tour the Taylor Wine Caves. When we checked into the hotel in the morning we had asked the receptionist if he thought this was a good plan. He said it was good but warned us about the hills – uh oh… Here we went again walking up cobble stone streets to no end to find Taylor’s.
The grounds are very nice and they were hosting a lively private function when we arrived. We were a bit early so they gave us the first port to taste – a dry white – while we sat in one of their gardens. At one point I heard some rustling in the bushes and Little Star pointed at what I expected to be a squirrel. As it turned out a peacock had emerged from the bushes!
Marta, our tour guide, took us into the cellars – which were not below ground as one might expect. She talked for about 30 minutes on how port is made and the history of their brand. After that they gave us a ruby and a tawny to taste – I’m personally a fan of the tawny.
After the tasting it was time to head back to the hotel to get our room. It was about a 30 minute walk. We crossed the river as the sun was setting which made for a pretty backdrop.
The hotel room was the nicest of the trip and the bathroom was actually big enough to move around in. While the hotel was new and very clean they also put some vintage touches including old style phones and some type writers on display in the hallway.
After a bit of rest we headed out for dinner. We wanted to try DOP – a very famous restaurant in Porto but it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. We went to the area on the map labeled, “Bars” and decided to try our luck. The area was rather deserted and we did not want to waste a lot of time looking around so we went to the first decent looking place. It was called Vinho and something or other and served typical Portuguese food. We shared a cod bra style which was like a stew with crunchy onion strings in it. We also had some asparagus covered in ricotta cheese. Both dishes were quite good! We finally took the opportunity to sample the local beer – Super Bock which tasted like a Stella or any of those light largers. This evening was colder than others but we were cozy under the heaters on the lively patio of the restaurant.
All the wine cellars are a short (albeit uphill) walk from each other on Vila Nova de Gaia side of the Duoro River
Pro-tip: Plan enough time to visit both sides of the river. The views are gorgeous from both sides but the Vila Nova de Gaia side is less touristy.
Continue to day 4