At the breakfast buffet, there were two offerings that we had never seen before: poached eggs and watermelon juice. Everyone wished that we could stay at this hotel longer and enjoy more of its amenities, but after packing, we were back on the bus.
Later Nick told me that our bus had driven past the Portuguese Grand Canyon. I had fallen asleep and missed it! I awoke to see a shoreline, enveloped in fog. We had reached Porto, a bustling port with a dynamic downtown area. Today we were going to participate in “Taste Porto.” We were to be separated into three groups, each with a different guide. We would stop in at various eateries to sample a variety of Portuguese foods. We began with a walk through the market and again saw the freshest variety of foods including fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. The first stop to which our guide, Sara, took us, was called Bolhâo Wine House. There we sampled cured pork, sheep’s milk cheese, and a variety of breads to dip in olive oil, accompanied by white wine. Our next stop was called Tasco, which has been sold out for dinner since its opening night. We ate duck sausage and quail with a variety of breads, and also, deep fried codfish fritters. After that we each received a box from Podaria Ribiero that contained desserts. They were an almond pastry, a sweet croissant, and a chocolate covered caramel. Not being hungry, we decided to save them for later. Lastly, we visited Prova, where we sampled four varieties of port.
It was time for a walk! We explored the old Jewish neighborhood. From there we went to the dock, where we boarded a boat for a short cruise on the Douro River. This was our first “river cruise,” and it was fun to see the sights from the river that we would have missed otherwise.
We had eaten so much on our taste tour at lunch that we decided to skip dinner. Instead, we enjoyed the pastries we had saved.