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Los Olivos, California, United States
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Portugal Debriefing, #2

After we left Lisbon, we took a train to Porto, approximately 170 miles north of Lisbon.

Our train was not the fastest, but it was fascinating to see the scenery as we went by. I am a long-time train travel enthusiast, I always love to see a country this way. Porto is on the estuary of the Douro River, our cruise route.

A busy plaza in Porto, the second largest city in Portugal.

Dave and I treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner at O Paparico, a fabulous restaurant on the outskirts of Porto.

The next day, we met up with our group of 11, had a brief tour of Porto, and arrived at our home for the next seven days, MS Gil Eanes. It was a lovely place to be, not full, as we were at the end of the high season.

The cabin was comfortable, the food excellent and the bar open 24/7. What more could we ask for?

This ship only travels during daylight hours, so sleeping is very easy. As we left the next morning, I looked forward to the first of 3 locks...

looking up while going through the lock...very interesting!

One of our side trips was to the Mateus Palace...a familiar name to those of us who grew up drinking Mateus Rose in the '60s...

Beautiful place, with lovely gardens.

The vineyard acreage, in the Douro Valley, numbers more than 21,000 acres...
most of it beautifully terraced.

That's our ship down there, waiting for us to come back from a side trip.

We were lucky to be in Portugal in the fall...the leaves and vines were most colorful.

When our ship docked at the last port before the border with Spain, we went by bus to Salamanca, Spain and spent the day there. The University of Salamanca is large, old (founded in 1094),majestic, and home to many foreign students. Our daughter Linda spent a semester there.

 The beautiful towers...

The charming narrow streets...

The magnificent chapel...

and the gorgeous library.  We really enjoyed our day there.

On our cruise back towards Porto, we visited one of the many vineyards and wineries of the area...

had a tour explaining the process of making port...

and finished with a port tasting!

We walked around the charming town and visited the beautifully tiled train station, now used as a Wine House.

The balance of the trip included more charming small towns

complete with public sculptures (the guitar, not me)

Coimbra University...

and a borrowed student gown to mimic the Sandeman advertisement seen all over Portugal!

Back to Lisbon, various activities, and, because Dave and I were disappointed in the contemporary art museum scene, lots of photos of the graffiti, which qualified as contemporary art!

It's a lovely country to visit...I highly recommend it.

Next post, the Travel Wardrobe Review!


PS: sliding into Patti's Visible Monday, even tho' it's Tuesday...


  1. Portugal looks like a charming place and what a fun way to see it via the boat.

  2. I love your travel posts! My husband and I got to visit Portugal back in 2000. Mostly we were in and around Lisbon. We went to Cascais, Sintra but also got to visit the University at Coimbra. Truly we loved it -- the food (even at gas stations), the people, the history. Then we rode the night train from Lisbon to Madrid......not much sleep but still a great adventure:)

  3. What a marvelous trip, Margy. The cruise sounds like a wonderful way to travel, being able to stop and see the sights. Thanks for linking up,


  4. Such beautiful photos! I love the way your red jacket/coat stands out ;-)

  5. Thank you for sharing your trip. I loved the graffiti!

  6. You do a good Sandeman impression! Love the hat.
    Never been to Portugal. Looks and sounds wonderful.
    Imagine a university since 1094! Xo Jazzy Jack

  7. Thanks for sharing. You and your husband look very happy! Your handmade wardrobe looks fab.

  8. What an absolutely beautiful country. I love your choice of train and river travel. I laughed at your Sandeman impression but I guess you already drank the wine. Heh. I feel a sense of quiet in these photos - old buildings, changing leaves, quiet dining. How lovely.

  9. Looks like a great trip. I love taking train trips (mostly-when the louts aren't around) and river cruises.Offers a different perspective from some other kinds of travel. Had to laugh when you mentioned the Mateus Rose--dropped me back to college years--several or more decades ago. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. Your outfits all look terrific.

  10. Oh, WOW, what a GORGEOUS place! The fall colors are To.Die.For! And you look ah-mazing!!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I can think of a few people I know who have travelled there, and on cruises, but no-one has ever shown me photos of the locks - what awesome pictures, and they looked nothing like I imagined.

    I don't comment often, but always read and enjoy your posts, whatever the topic, so thanks for sharing with us. I particularly liked the graffiti, and the 2nd photo of Dave - with the spark in his eyes!