Thursday June 13 in Porto
Here we are well into our trip. I wonder how long I could live like this? I guess until the money runs out.
I sure have not missed hearing the news or worrying much at all as that goes.
We slept until after 7:30. That is pretty late for us. We had showers and Neal washed some of his clothes. I will wait until the other apartment where we have a washing machine.
The weather has been perfect. The high temperatures have been in the upper 60s. The sun has been out every day.
We walked to the place we had breakfast the first day. We ordered the same dishes. This is so much food we won’t need to eat again until 8:30 tonight. My plate included two scrambled eggs that I hardly touched. Two kinds of bread that I piled high with butter, jam, cheese and thinly sliced ham, salad, chick peas, and a yogurt and fruit cup with homemade yogurt and several kinds of finely chopped fruit. I also had the black tea with orange slices. I could swim in the cup it is so big. What a meal.
Then we wandered around the streets and went into a few shops.
We went into an antique book shop because Neal saw an old gramophone he wanted me to touch. Immediately the owner came up and asked if I wanted to see two very old music boxes. Well this is just my cup of tea. They were both over 200 years old. One had the music on a disk. Hundreds of tiny holes were punched in the disk and a stylus played the disk a bit like a record. The second one, the more amazing one, had a long cylinder that had 12 songs punched into it. It took two years to make this cylinder. Besides the sort of hammers that played this cylinder, there were a cute little bird, a bell, and a miniture drum that played along. The drum actually was a little drum and got kind of annoying after a while. Both music boxes were set in over the top wooden cabinets that were a work of art on their own.
The book store is called Livraria Chamine da Mota. The owner and his uncle were only too happy to show us around. They had four floors of mostly old books in many different languages. There is something magical about book stores and this one is no exception. A world within a world welcomed us with open arms. Just being there made me feel like the world is a better place.
We spent the rest of the morning wandering aimlessly up and down hills. Eventually we came home and rested for a few minutes.
We decided we wanted to visit one of the Port caves across the river. We were sure we knew about where they were. We are starting to know our way around at least this part of town. Our home is perfectly located about half way up the hill from the river. We headed back over the bridge and found the Port cave we wanted to visit. We had two hours until the next tour in English so we bought our tickets and headed out to explore.
We went back to the market area where I had purchased a couple really interesting scarfs. She gave me a link to a video on how to wear them but I figured maybe I could just ask her to show me. We found her and she showed me several ways to wear the scarf.
Then we stopped at another wine cave to try a white Port. We did not taste this on our tastings. We were able to purchase a glass that came with two chocolates. I think we were a bit disappointed.
Then it was time for our tour. The cave is where the port is stored and bottled. There is one for each brand of Port. They are kept here because it is cooler and the temperature is constant.
Then it was back home for a nap.
We made reservations to eat next door so we could see the Fado show. Our reservations were for 8:30. We left home at about 7:00 for a walk in a new direction. Shops were closing and restaurants were opening. We found a wool shop. When the woman asked if she could help us I asked if I could just look around because her shop allowed me to feel art. She was fine with this. Neal pointed out some amazing things. There were fabulous textures, designs and colors. It seems like at least this part of Portugal is very stylish. I have seen a lot of beautiful things and our apartment is giving me a lot of design ideas.
We had made dinner reservations at the place next door. We were going to hear our first Fado with our dinner.
We ordered a bottle of wine and started with bread and a soft sheep cheese. Neal had some kind of special sandwich from the area that I have heard called a heart attack on bread. It was served with fries and the potatoes here are especially good. I had sea bass and steamed vegetables. The fish was light and had great flavor, the server boned it for me. The vegetables were several kinds of greens, carrots and I am not sure what else. They were seasoned lightly with salt and garlic.
The music was so much fun. It turns out that the owner of the restaurant is the female singer and the rest of the group was probably also relatives. The best singer was the man. He worked the room and flirted with all the women. The audience was not large so this was not so hard to do. When he was singing to a woman, he would use his cloak to block off the man she was with. There were two men playing guitar and they were very good. One of them was playing a Portuguese guitar that Neal said was very interesting. I hope to get to see one.
People were singing along. There were songs with a lot of la la las going on so we could all sing. There were local people, people from France, Spain and us. We had so much fun.
It was back home for a final glass of Port.