We packed and boarded the bus for a family owned farm in the Douro Valley called Santa Eufêmia, where, in addition to growing grapes for port wine, they also grow almonds, olives, and figs. We marveled at the beauty of the farmland. We were near the city of Porto, which is famous for port wine. Wine was featured in every course at lunch!
With our appetizer course of hams, cheeses, and breads, we enjoyed a white port wine. Our next course was a bacalhau (codfish) stew with white wine. This was followed by a stew of pork, sausages, and other meats, with red wine. And for dessert, red port wine accompanied a kind of creme brûlée. The farm also sells wine. Our hostess told us that her wine was reasonably priced at €4 per bottle, while other vendors would change us €5!
Then we were back on the bus for our next hotel. To our amazement, the Village House Hotel was another five star establishment. Our room faced the river. On the left was a view of the bridge, while on the right we saw yachts that were docked for the night, or for longer! Our room had a patio that led to gardens, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.
There was to be a game before dinner. We were teamed with a “buddy, ” because Maria wanted each pair to say something in Portuguese. Most pairs said something like “We like Portugal” or “Maria is pretty.” I wrote a dialog for my buddy and me that contained the most important phrase you need to know when you travel.
She: “I drink too much coffee at breakfast.”
I: “I drink too much tea at breakfast.”
Together: “Where is the rest room?”
As for Nick, his buddy refused to attend, so he valiantly tried to say something Portuguese by himself.
The game was followed by a light dinner of sandwiches, pasta, salad and fruit. We enjoyed our meal as we sat with Patti, Sherrill, Sandy and Alice.