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I arrived in Oporto with all the best intentions…relax, relax, sun, wine, something to eat in relax, bacalau, sardinas fritas, and of course, port wine! Yes, my mission is not so easy, but…I love my work!DSC_0068DSC_0110

The hotel is in the centre of the city, in Praça da Batalha, B&B Hotel, thanks Sivan Askayo for tips! (her blog: sivanaskayoblog.com).

From here is simple to start the exploration. Yes, it’s simple, but fragrant bakeries deviate me from azulejos, churches and towers. My senses are attracted from natas, the famous sweet mini cream filled cakes…wow, it’s a good start for a sweet tooth like me!

Sao Bento Station

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But, wait wait…I’ve my camera in the hands. I have to take pictures! And Oporto helps me, because is very photogenic. Every corners invites me to shoot. So, I defeat culinary temptations and down the stairs to reach Ribeira District, UNESCO Word Heritage.

Ribeira district

Ribeira district

The sun already shining high, too much for the pictures that I want…so, I plan to myself to come back at sunset for a best light.

After a drunken siesta, in the afternoon I visit the Vila Nova de Gaia district, must-visit destination for the port wine cellar. It’s on the other side of the Douro river, crossing by a short and impressive walk on Dom Luis I bridge. In this area there are many warehouses and cellars.

view from Vila Nova de Gaia

view from Vila Nova de Gaia

Croft cellar

Croft cellar

I choose Croft port, founded over three hundred years ago by Croft family, from the Yorkshire. In this cellar I taste the Pink light (19,5°, invented by Croft in 2008), Reserve (20°) and Tawny 10 years old (20°), led by the qualified and nice guide Ileana. The fine blend of all this wines dancing across my tongue and palate. The coolness of the ambient help me and there is no danger of falling asleep, also because Ileana and her story about port wine is very interesting!

inside Croft cellar

inside Croft cellar

And here it is, the sunset! But…at the sunset, cocktail bar and simple pub invites you to seat and drink quietly the lovely local beer, Super Bock, or other alcoholic drinks. Once again I yeald to temptation and linger over a glass of vinho verde and appetizer for my personal people watching, comfortably seated mixed portuguese people. Oh, priceless!DSC_0119

Walking around the district, you can see that the colorful buildings are little scruffy and battered, but this surely adds charm and atmosphere.DSC_0093

At the end, the night comes and with her, the dinner time. I’ll not bore with my dinner choice, but you have a great selection of tabernas, gourmet restaurant, cafè for fish dish, meat, or francesinhas!

Obrigado Oporto, and goodnight!

davidetiezzi@yahoo.it

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