Monday, 8 October 2012

Portugal Oporto Port

This morning we arrived around 8 o 'clock in the harbour of Lexious, which is part of the town Matosinhos. Matosinhos lies around 10 km's from the city Oporto. When entering the harbour we could enjoy a beautiful sunrise. It is always exiting to stand on deck when entering a new harbour, today we were passing several fishing boats surrounded with numerous birds. From the pier two excursions were leaving strait away. One whole day excursion with destination Douro valley and one shorter excursion to the city Oporto. Both excursions had as central themes the river Douro and Port wine. Port wine is produced exclusively in the Douro valley in the Northern provinces of Portugal. The scenery is spectacular in this region. Part of the excursion was a wonderful lunch in the winery of Quinta da Pacheca. During the city tour of Oporto we got to know a lot of facts about the people living there. Did you know that the Portugees eat twice the amount of fish then the average European! They catch a lot of fish also! After Japan and Iceland Portugal is the biggest fishing nation. In the centre of town we visited the cathedral and the Sao Bento Railway Station. After that we had a nice cruise on the river Douro with a Rabelo boat, once used to transport the barrels of wine from the Douro region down to the wine cellars in Gaia. We sailed under the numerous bridges crossing this river, and we had fantastic views on both sides. We ended our tour with a visit to a port wine cellar. Here we tasted two different kinds of port wine. First we tried the white port wine, made from white grapes and then we tried a glass of ruby port wine, made from red grapes. Both very tasty! Unfortunately we didn't get the opportunity to try the tawny port which is also made from red grapes and are aged in wooden barrels. At 16 o'clock we left Oporto and we are sailing South towards the capital of Portugal, Lissabon!