| Cascais | Portel | Lisboa
São Miguel, Azores
We need very little encouragement
to contemplate a visit to Portugal. So, when we read
about the new "Casa da Musica" in Porto, when a
friend in Lisboa suggested attending "Moda Lisboa",
when we read about a "cooking school" in
Alentejo, when we thought about hanging out by the sea in
Cascais, when we remembered how we fell in love with the
Azores, we had no choice but to contact SATA INTERNATIONAL to make reservations.
On September 30 we left Toronto to
do as Portugal Tourism suggests, "Dig Deeper".
Fortunately having regular SATA flights from Toronto we
can fly directly to mainland Portugal or the islands, no
time-consuming and tiring changes in continental Europe.
It's 6 3/4 hours to Porto with the added bonus of only 5
hours time difference.
SATA has polite, efficient and
cheerful staff on the ground and in the air. The seating
is comfortable; the food and beverage service is very
good. The aircraft (including toilets) is kept clean.
With the new security measures limiting the amount of
carry-ons it sure makes getting folks into their seats
Since many of passengers are
Portuguese either returning home or going to visit, it
was like being in Portugal from the moment we stood in
line at check-in. We were ready to hit the ground running
so we appreciated the swift processing at immigration and
prompt luggage arrival.
The completion of the extensive
Porto Metro system makes it very easy to reach any part
of the city, north to Pavoa de Varzim and west to
Matosinhos from the airport. We followed the signing to
the Metro which entailed taking an elevator down from the
arrivals level and proceeding underground to the Metro
area. Tickets are purchased from machines. Choose your
language, follow directions. Since the Metro is still new,
there were uniformed staff members available to help. Our
destination in the city center was in Zone 2 which was .85E
(good for 1 hour-a 24 hour ticket for Zone 2 was 3.00E).
Tickets MUST be validated at the easy to access machines
for that purpose before boarding. The lines are
identified by letter and color. We took line E-Violet,
which was on an upper platform, to the Trindade station
where we changed to the D-Yellow line to the Aliados stop.
Avenida dos Aliados is the grand
boulevard in the heart of Porto lined with attractive
large buildings of diverse architectural styles. The
Camara (City Hall) sits at the north end facing Praca Gen.
Humberto Delgada. At the south is the Praca da Liberdade
with the splendid Sao Bento Railway Station the main hall
of which is covered with 20,000 tiles illustrating
historical events painted by Jorge Colaco.
There were many events taking place
in Porto and Lisboa in addition to tourist activity.
Hotels were solidly booked when we started to make
reservations. In Porto we stayed in two hotels and in
The Hotel Internacional, Rua do Almada, 131 is a 5 minute stroll
from the Aliados Metro stop. Almada is a pretty street of
neat shops just west of and parallel to Avenida dos
Aliados, just take the tiny street next to the huge Bank
of Portugal and it's straight ahead. The building was a
convent and the public areas retain the traditional
historic charm with stone pillars, archways and beautiful
tile work on the walls. The breakfast room is very
pleasant with 1/2 blue/white tile walls, below the soft
mango paint, dark wood trim and relaxing art. The
breakfast buffet had all the basic offerings highlighted
by a sweet waitress who provided excellent service as did
the front desk staff. The rooms are in need of renovation
and upgrading in every respect. There is no internet
point for guests.
The Hotel Dom Henrique, Rua Guedes De Azevado, 179 is a 5 minute
walk from the Trinidade Metro stop which is just north of
the City Hall in the center of the old city, a perfect
location for tourists or business. This was Porto's first
concrete high-rise building. It was originally built as
an office building and the decision was made to turn it
into the first 4 star hotel in the city. The exterior
looks like the original intent, but walk in and find an
inviting classic modern lobby and reception. The staff
was friendly and helpful. Our sitting room and king
bedroom were furnished with quality contemporary pieces.
Lots of closet space and very good lighting were welcome.
The good size bathroom was well stocked with basics needs
including a hair dryer.
All the 122 rooms, including 22
suites and 16 non-smoking, are air conditioned. There is
a business center with computer and printer/fax for
complimentary guest use.
Breakfast is served in the
attractive dining room adjacent to an atrium with a
colorful mosaic wall. The breakfast buffet consists of
fairly basic stuff.
After settling in at the Hotel
Internacional we took a leisurely stroll south on Rua das
Flores toward the Rio Douro. This pretty, narrow street
was always home to many wholesale/retail and bargain
stores, fine specialty shops and apartment buildings. We
were delighted to see major renovation with the upgrading
of present businesses and residences and the introduction
of new ones. It's a street in transition, definitely for
The wide Rua Mouzinho da Silveira
runs parallel to Flores and is lined with old buildings
and store fronts that have seen better days. It is the
major thoroughfare from Praca da Liberdade to the river
front. We were told that this is a priority street for
renovation and rejuvenation. We hope it catches up to Rua
Down at the Rio Douro the Praca da
Ribeira and Cais da Ribeira were packed with folks
soaking in the last rays of sunshine. Day and night this
is the hub of social life for tourists and locals. The
colorful ancient homes tumbling down to the remains of
the original town walls and the waterfront provide a
picturesque setting for the cafes, restaurants and shops.
Walk across the lower level of the
stately Ponte D. Luis I, the bridge built in 1886,
designed by Theophile Seyrig, a former assistant to
Gustave Eiffel, and you are in Vila Nova de Gaia, home of
the Port Wine Lodges. Once again we were in awe of the
scene from where we had come. The panoramic view from
this side of the Douro is perhaps the most memorable we
have encountered in Portugal. Major renovation and
rejuvenation has taken place along the Gaia embankment.
Small gardens and pathways lead to and among new
contemporary buildings housing smart restaurants, cafes
and clubs. Anchored offshore adding color and culture to
the scene are the graceful "Barco Rabelos", the
ancient boats that transported the port from the Douro
Valley here to the lodges.
Across the way there appeared to be
many visitors to the Port Wine Lodges, which is quite
normal. Many of the lodges and neighboring places to eat,
drink and be merry along this side of the road have also
been renovated and updated. Vila Nova de Gaia is now
serious competition to the Ribeira across the way.
Competition is GOOD.
It was time for dinner and a good
sleep. Rua Bonjardim starts at Praca da Liberdade and
runs north through the old city. It's a reflection of the
history and culture of the city. The short curving block
from Liberdade to Rua Passos Manuel is lined with large
commercial buildings just begging to be restored.
Proceeding north the street narrows and becomes home to
ancient buildings with old shops and businesses that have
been servicing the neighborhood forever. The smell of
grilled chicken, sardines and fish is constant as is the
scent of fresh baked bread. Speaking of frango no espeto
(grilled chicken), there is no better place to enjoy it
than Pedro Dos Frangos, Rua do Bonjardim 219/233. Be
aware, there are two Pedros, across the street from one
other. Pedro I was closed for renovations but II was open
for business. We don't know what the renovations will
bring but we found II to be the same inside as I had been.
We were initially drawn in by the sight and smell of the
nice size birds rotating on the spits just inside. The
clincher was the line up of local gentlemen standing at
the counter socializing while devouring the daily soup,
frango, or one of the daily specials.
On this initial visit many years
ago we were waiting for a spot to open at the counter
when one of the staff standing at the rear waved to us to
join him. Lo and behold he directed us upstairs to homey
surroundings filled with happy, smiling folks. The chummy
waiters directed us to a table, presented the menu and
gave us time to get acquainted with our neighbors and
Now that we were veterans we headed
directly to the rear and upstairs, but not before
stopping along the way to see what the experts were
eating this evening. Sardines and frango looked popular.
Portugal is sardines; I love sardines, roast sardinhas
smothered in grilled onions and green pepper with boiled
potatoes and salad for me. Linda is a fried fish person
so pescada filets with rice and salad for her. A very
good Vinho Verde was appreciated as was the corn bread.
This is neighborhood dining at friendly prices - it doesn't
get any better. Best of all, there are others like it in
the city - stay tuned.
The Metro was connected to Gaia
with the conversion of the top level of the D. Luis I
bridge from vehicle traffic to rail lines and pedestrian
sidewalks that allow for super views of the city and the
river. We passed by the lower end of the famous shopping
boulevard, Rua Santa Catarina, to take a look at the old
book store, Latina, with the wooden book shelves stacked
with volumes climbing high up the walls. This is how a
house of books should look.
Passing through Praca da Batalha it
was good to see the Teatro Nacional de S. Joao being
cleaned up and to learn that the interior had been
renovated. The fortress-like Cathedral of Romanesque
origins and Baroque renovation was also undergoing
exterior renovation. It was inspiring to see the effort
being made to preserve the heritage of the city. Nearby
is the Ordem dos Arquitectos (institute of architects)
where there is a display of stones and rocks going back
to the 6th and 7th centuries B.C., the oldest ever found
in the country. Architects come to Porto to study the
local architecture which is based on simplicity and local
Av. Vimara Peres leads to the top
of the bridge. The day was sunny and clear, the air was
crisp and fresh, the views were stimulating. At the Gaia
end of the bridge is the lovely Jardim do Morro that
would be a terrific spot for a picnic lunch. We are not
big on picnic lunches so we followed the winding narrow
streets of lovely homes down to the lower level of the
bridge crossed to Porto and walked north to Praca
Liberdade and continued on Rua Bandeira to Rua de
Fernandes Tomas, turned left to Rua do Bolhao to number
95, Restaurante O Buraco, for lunch.
At the top end of this street is
the Hotel Dom Henrique to which we would be moving in a
few days. O Buraco had been recommended as having very
good food at very good prices. It was true. We were
warned that it is a very busy place and indeed it was. We
were seated at the last open table on the ground floor.
We were to later discover that there is a lower level.
Dark woods and mirrors create a rather sophisticated
feeling; the menu is traditional fare at very
unsophisticated prices. Value plus.
We accepted the offered bolinhos (cylinders
of ground salt cod, herbed, breaded and deep fried), a
perfect rendition of this staple. Another favorable sign
was the excellent grain bread and rolls. We started with
sopa legumes and had breaded fried filets of cherne with
arroz and salad as our main dish. It was melon time in
Portugal and it is the best way to finish a meal. Our
list of "real deal meals" continues to grow.
We were off to the new Casa da Musica,
house of music, a fitting name. The architecture and
location is controversial but to us it's a masterful
execution of the vision and goal of its creators. It's a
cultural treasure that will have a positive economic and
social impact on the city.
In 2001 Porto was selected as one
of two cultural capitals of Europe. The same year the
Minister of Culture and the city founded Porto 2001, an
organization committed to initiating cultural venues for
the city. A concert hall was high on the list and five
international architectural organizations were selected
to participate in a restricted competition. OMA, Office
of Metropolitan Architecture, a leading international
partnership practicing contemporary architecture,
urbanism and cultural analysis was chosen.
The location chosen is in the
historical center of the city, the Rotunda da Boavista.
Avenida Boavista is the major artery from the city center
to the western coast ending at Praca Goncalves Zarco.
Many of the roads in, out and around the city link to the
rotunda and there is a Metro stop minutes away as well as
frequent bus service. The rotunda and its historical park
is close to the old city center and a dividing spot
between the old and newer contemporary suburbs to the
west, the immediate surrounding area is in transition.
The strategy is for the Casa da Musica to be a catalyst
for renewal which will unite the old and new in a
We arrived by Metro, the Casa Da
Musica stop being the 3rd after Trinidade. It is easy to see why the exterior design is
controversial. At first glance it's a massive block of
cement with windows. As we got closer and saw the design
of the angular lines of the facade, soft texture of the
cement blocks and the extensive window placement allowing
exposure of the interior (including a high and wide
section brilliantly using self-supporting corrugated
glass for maximum visibility), we became members of the
"I love it club". A clean cut, modern square,
with underground parking, has been built around the
perimeter and is linked to the green park across the way.
The goal of this House of Music is
to have a balanced mix of shows featuring resident groups
and visiting artists and to be a place of musical
education and appreciation. To this end the expansive
front staircase leads to a wide open entrance way to the
lobby, no doors, welcome to Casa Da Musica. Music was
with us all the way, softly in the background. The
performers warm-up rooms are visible from the lobby
enabling the public to observe and be involved before
show time. If performers prefer, interior rooms with
privacy are available.
The graceful angular design of the
interior is stunning, featuring eye appealing textures of
stone and cement with elements of brushed aluminum and
The main concert hall seats 1238.
The seats are comfortable with ample room between rows
for easy passage. No need for vertical aisles taking
valuable seating space. The acoustics are outstanding.
The hall is hermetically sealed during performances. The
walls and ceiling are made of pinewood with gold painted
designs and the windows around are of curved glass. The
second hall has 350 seats that can be removed to
accommodate a standing audience of 700.
Children are the main target for
music education. A Cyber Music Room for primary to
secondary grade students is dedicated to teaching them
how to create music using computers. The public can
utilize the room when students are not there for a fee of
The Orange Room and Purple Room are
for kids to have supervised fun while their parents are
attending a show. They can look into the main hall
through those curved windows, hear and see the
There are bars and cafes on various
levels and a quaint VIP room, decorated in traditional
blue and white scenic tiles, in complete contrast to
everything around it.
We bought tickets and returned a few
evenings later for a sold-out jazz concert in the main
hall. The program included Archie Shepp and Dar Gnawa de
Tanger. Archie on sax (and singing) and his group were
joined in the second set by Dar Gnawa and his group for a
unique integration of sound and culture. The group of
traditional jazz and black healer musicians of Morocco is
famous for their purification ceremonies using Gnawa
music and rhythms. The Portuguese are great music fans
and rewarded the performers with long rounds of applause.
We can attest to the marvelous acoustics and comfort of
the seats, it was a terrific evening. Casa Da Musica is
special; do plan to visit.
Since Hotel Internacional does not
have an internet point for guests we found our way to the
internet cafe, On Web, Praca General Huberto Delgada, 291.
It's in the basement, kept immaculately clean and very
Tonight we returned to an old
favorite, Restaurante Churrasqueira Moura, Rua do Almada,
219/233 the same street as our hotel just north of Praca
de Filipa de Lencastre. Surprise, after all these years
they put on a new front, painted and installed new
furniture. It was always clean but now it was bright,
fresh and clean and best of all the food and prices were
the same. Rua do Almada like Rua do Bonjardim is an
integral part of the old city and Moura is part of the
We always start with soup - tonight,
vegetable, pure heaven. What is soup without crusty,
dense bread - not to fear, it was near. We opted for the
daily special, grilled pork chops with sliced fried
potatoes and salad. The house Santa Marta tinto was
perfect. Good simple home cooking at unbelievably low
We have explored the Douro Region
quite extensively by car as you can read in our previous
Portugal travelogues. Today we decided to hit the water
and take a day train and boat cruise to Regua and back
with Douro Azul the largest tour boat operator in Portugal.
Besides daily cruises they operate hotel boats for
various numbers of days, specialty boats in the style of
those previously used for shipping port and mini yachts.
They also have fine hotels along the way for those who
would rather stay ashore, and helicopter tours over Porto
and the Douro.
Our voyage began at the Sao Bento
train station at 09:15. As the incredible terraced
hillsides along the river came into view, fond memories
flooded back. Arriving in Regua at 11:15, we crossed the
street and boarded an electric train for the transfer to
the dock where our river boat awaited. Tables were set in
the lower level and the crew was ready to serve lunch as
soon as we departed. There was reserved seating at long
tables covered with white cloths and good quality table
settings. Lunch, which was very well presented and served,
consisted of traditional fare, vegetable soup, crusty
rolls, roast pork, potatoes, rice, lemon pudding and
coffee or tea. Red and white wine flowed freely.
We enjoyed the perspective of the
landscape from the middle of the river and were intrigued
by the mechanics of going through the locks.
We arrived back at the Vila Nova de
Gaia dock at 17:30, walked across the bridge and got on
the funicular to Praca Batalha and headed over to check
email and then dinner at Churrasqueira Moura. Tonight it
was sopa caldo verde, fried fish filets for Linda and
grilled carapau for me. Of course lots of potatoes, salad,
and dense grain bread along with Santa Marta tinto and
melon to send us away smiling.
Rua da Alfandega is a short street
that runs from Rua do Infante D. Henrique to the
waterfront. At number 10 is Casa Do Infante, so named for
having been the birth place of Prince Henry the Navigator
(in 1394), the famous Portuguese maritime explorer.
This stunning stone complex on the
waterfront is the result of multiple renovations,
expansions and various uses since 1325 when King Alfonso
IV ordered the construction of a royal warehouse and the
Customs House of Porto was born. The Mint and other
services of the crown operated in adjacent buildings.
There were significant changes in
the 17th century. The facade was brought closer to the
street where it remains today. Two large roofs replaced
the upper part of the towers. The medieval Mint building
was destroyed and moved into the Customs House.
The Customs House moved to a
building in Miragaia in the 19th century and the Casa do
Infante became a merchandise warehouse for private
companies. It was classified as a National Monument in
1924 and underwent a major renovation. At the end of the
1950s it was given to the city and the Office of City
History was installed. In l980 the Oporto Historical
Municipal Archives was established which office conserves
municipal documentation dating back to the medieval
period. This required an improvement and expansion of the
facilities to make better use of the space and at the
same time provided the opportunity to study the
historical evolution of this architectural complex.
The old stone structure is handsome.
Some of the restorations from the late 1950s were kept
and enhanced. When a door or window was redone the
difference between the old and new was displayed by
distinguishing the type of stone finishes by means of an
imperceptible separator. Modern design elements of wood,
glass and steel have been added. This extraordinary
effort to make the space more efficient and workable for
today's tasks by blending the original structure into the
updated version, all of which is user-friendly for
persons with physical disabilities, was a major
The Museum is home to ancient
architectural elements and structures that have been
preserved and labeled. Roman mosaics were found in
terrible condition. After creating wonderful
reproductions they were cleaned and preserved for
comparison with the copies.
The Museum also boasts a large
interactive model of the city as it was in the Middle
Ages. Push the button of a specific site and receive an
audio response giving an excellent perspective of what it
represented at that time. Collections of artifacts,
pottery, tiles etc. from other countries illustrate how
they influenced local design. Particularly intriguing are
a group of original hand-painted tiles by Portuguese
artists, and a series of drainage gutters made of hand
There is a room for cultural
exhibits which at this time was featuring the history and
traditions of Porto's sister city, Nagasaki, Japan. From
costumes to crafts it was a bright, colorful, cheerful
The wood-beamed ceilings, stone
pillars, smart contemporary furnishings and computers of
the Archive Room with its river views offer the special
environment necessary for researching the archives.
Students use the computers to select the documents they
wish to see and the originals, which are stored nearby,
are quickly available for their inspection. We were happy
to finally see the inside of this building we had missed
on our previous visits to Porto.
After that stimulating visit we
were ready for lunch. Restaurante Boa Nova on Muro Dos
Bacalhoeiros is just in front of the Casa do Infante, on
the shore of the river. The outdoor patio offers a river
scene but the day was cool so we chose to sit indoors.
Although in a tourist location, Boa Nova offers a very
good traditional menu at fair prices and thus is popular
with locals as well as visitors. We each had sopa de
horta (pureed potato, greens and rice) and shared grilled
cherne and vegetables.
one of Portugal's famous Port Houses , is located on the
banks of Rio Douro at 380, Av. Ramos Pinto, Vila Nova de
Gaia. The company was founded in 1880 by Adriano Ramos
Pinto and later joined by his brother Antonio and other
shareholders. The present location was acquired in 1907
was made up of a number of cellars, Port wine aging
warehouses, and the head office administration. These
buildings now house the main offices, visitors
reception centre, shop and cultural department which
includes the historical archives and Casa Ramos Pinto
Bold marketing has always been the
hallmark of Ramos Pinto, so you will find the Ramos Pinto
Palace the most striking building along the Port House
strip. The Port business was very competitive and in
order to establish a presence in the market the founders
launched an innovative and bold "sexy"
advertising campaign utilizing women to sell wine. Enter
the Casa Ramos Pinto Museum and be treated to
artists tile renditions of mythological scenes
where Duriados, nymphs of the river Douro, pay homage to
Adriano developed a "personal
touch" by signing gift objects (wallets, letter
openers, evening purses, etc.) and presenting them to
ladies and gentlemen who truly appreciated his products.
Adriano targeted Brazil as a major market and the "Adriano"
label became synonymous with Port. He developed a
marketing strategy which took advantage of well-publicized
events to launch new products or promote existing ones.
The stunning museum rooms are
filled with beautifully preserved antique office
furnishings, a marvelous collection of old typewriters,
printing machines and office artifacts much of which were
utilized by the company and trace its history.
Of course no trip to a Port House
is complete without a stop in the reception center for
sampling the ruby, tawny and vintage Ports.
Restaurante Lagostim, Praca D.
Filipa de Lencastre, 200 had arrived on the scene since
our last visit. Even from the outside it looked bright,
cheerful and welcoming and indeed it was with an
attractive long eating bar with stools and pretty blue
and white dinner plates on display between the ancient
stone walls. The real reason we went in was because the
menu posted outside indicated they had cabrito assado
tonight. A very good sign was that the sopa da legumes
was superb. The roast goat was tender and tasty, the
sliced fried potatoes were thin and crispy and the salad
was fresh. The suggested vino tinto from Regua was a
perfect marriage. It's a family affair and they really
care. A splendid meal at very fair prices - a nice way to
end the day.
The Museu Nacional de
Soares dos Reis, Palacio
dos Carrancas, Rua D. Manuel II is west of the city
center. It was a 20 minute ride on bus #78 which we
boarded on the west side of Avenida dos Aliados. We
chatted with a man on the bus who told us which stop we
should get off and followed it up by instructing the
driver to tell us when we got there, which he did plus
instructions on the direction to walk.
We found another treasure to add to
our Porto discoveries. The quality collections from a
variety of sources (religious, civic, public and private
institutions, private collectors and acquisitions) are
beautifully presented. Portuguese and foreign artists who
produced paintings and sculptures in Portugal from the 19th
century to the middle of the 20th are well represented.
There is sculpture and stonework from the Medieval period
to the 19th century. Particularly noteworthy was the
ceramics collection from 17th to the 20th century.
Rounding out the displays are Oriental porcelain,
Portuguese faience as well as gold works of civil and
religious pieces, jewelry, textiles, European and
Oriental furniture. All of these dating from the 17th to
We took advantage of the snack bar
to have toasted sandwiches and coffee before boarding bus
#78 and continuing west to Praca de Congalves Zarco at
the coast, a lovely spot to breath the fresh ocean air.
We took bus #200 back into the center to Praca da
Liberdade. Each bus took a different route so we had the
opportunity to see a variety of areas between the center
and the coast, mostly attractive residential
neighborhoods with parks, gardens and room to roam.
There is more to Vila Nova de Gaia
than the Port Houses on the banks of the Douro. The upper
part is a vibrant city and home to many of those who work
in Porto. We got on the Metro D-Yellow line at Sao Bento
and took it over the Ponte D. Luis I, where we had
previously walked, to the end of the line, the Joao de
Deus stop, at which there is a large enclosed shopping
mall. The Metro runs along Avenida da Republica, a
business and shopping avenue, where lots of folks were
out and about. The Camara Municipal and Casa Municipal da
Cultura were two impressive buildings on the avenue.
The east end of Rua de Passos
Manuel is home to a local favorite, Restaurante Ribeiro.
It's pure neighborhood ambiance including the half tiled
walls and friendly waiters. It was difficult to choose
from the tantalizing meat and fish offerings. We had yet
to have arroz de marisco (rice and seafood) and it is a
specialty here, so decision made. A bit of "cheese
from the mountain" (fresh white cheese), and crusty
rolls kept us busy until the pot of rice, shrimp, clams,
calamari, and octopus arrived. It was an excellent
rendition of this typical dish, rich in flavor of the sea
with the right amount of heat.
We left the Hotel Dom Henrique
hoping to find birthday gifts for our daughters, Lisa and
Lori, nothing special in mind, just something special. We
headed south on the shopping street Rua de sa de Bandeira
and struck gold at #633. The window of Scoiattolo was
filled with some of the most creative handmade jewelry we
had seen in a long time and at very reasonable prices.
The two owners were as delightful as their creations. As
always it was panic time when faced with the awesome task
of making a buying decision - will they like it? The
ladies worked with us, what a team, our girls were
delighted. In between decision making time we shared
travel experiences and they suggested places to eat and
to visit in the area. Talented ladies, loaded with
personality and charm. Do pay them a visit.
The Bolhao Mercado (market) was
just down the street and was hopping. The Scoiattolo
ladies had told us we must try iscas, a mixture salt cod
and herbs dipped in a batter of flour and eggs and deep
fried. Low and behold a sign in a tiny snack bar in the
Mercado featuring iscas! The small counter was filled,
but stools quickly became available and we placed our
order - they were right, good stuff. As usual it was fun
roaming the market and watching the vendors at work,
shouting, slicing, dicing, chopping, bagging, rearranging,
negotiating, counting money, chatting - all non-stop,
every minute productive.
Between our iscas appetizer and the
aromas surrounding our voyage through the aisles, we were
soon contemplating serious eating, fortunately our new
found Restaurante O Buraco, Rua do Bolhao, 95 was just
around the corner. The first floor was already packed so
we were seated in the comfortable lower level where we
shared vegetable soup and a good sized grilled dourada
with crisp skin and moist flesh accompanied by boiled
potatoes and mixed salad. Superb, particularly at these
very fair prices.
Rua de Santa Catarina is the
shopping way in the old town. It's a pedestrian street
lined with wonderful old and new shops. Many of the well-maintained
historic buildings have awesome wrought iron balconies.
At Massimo Dutti, in the modern, enclosed shopping mall,
we found a few more winning gifts for our daughters. The
hordes of people strolling up and down the street
represent every demographic. It's a social event, not
just a shopping trip. It's a people watching adventure.
We wandered down to Sao Bento train
station to buy our tickets to Lisboa. The train will be
leaving from the Campanha station east of the center
which is 4 stops on the Metro from the Trinidade station.
We returned to the hotel with time left for checking
emails before getting ourselves organized for tomorrow's
And time of course for our last
Porto meal at Pedro dos Frangos. Tonight it would be the
signature dish, frango no espeto with sliced fried
potatoes and salad, but first the daily sopa legume and
last fresh cut melon. The perfect way to remember Porto.
| Cascais | Portel | Lisboa
São Miguel, Azores
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