Monday, June 18, 2007


The rain here in Porto stopped in the morning thank goodness because we were starting to suffer from cabin fever.
So Sunday we were able to get out to explore more of the city and it was fantastic. We started at the contemporary art museum, Museu Serralves, the biggest in the country.
There were several large exhibitions featuring contemporary Portugese artist and while not to our taste we did love the simplicity of the building…modern art museums always seem so calm!

And we completely fell in love with the massive park-like grounds, acres & acres. Boxed hedging, symmetry, 4 inch high lawn, fountains, white magnolia trees, ghinkos, sculpture,(see pic), gravel pathways through avenues of tall trees, it was breathtaking, ordered yet unexpected somehow.

Then by cab down to the Duoro River and the medieval part of town, Ribeira, wtih all its bars and restaurants, and the Port Houses (Taylors, Sandemann, Graham etc) in gorgeous old whitewashed buildings. We took a tour of one of them, Calem, then sampled the wares, 22% alcohol, so what with that and the red wine at lunch we were both feeling a little jaded by nightfall.

It was a fantastic landscape of river and cathedrals and houses all perched and jammed in together and the beautiful port boats with their old oak barrels….... once used to bring the grape juice down the river from the vineyards but now decorative, bobbing on the river.

Then a long leisurely and steep meander back to the Hotel Grande do Porto.

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