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Friday, 25 March 2016

Cruise and Land Tour in Portugal - July 8th/15....

We had a nice buffet breakfast at the AC Hotel Porto.   The first stop in Oporto was the Stock Exchange (Palacio da Bolsa) -  for those interested in architecture, the Stock Exchange is well worth a visit. 
Gustave Eiffel ( Eiffel Tower in Paris) worked in Oporto for a time, and had offices in the palace.

The highlight of the palace is the Arab Room, built between 1862 and 1880 by Goncalves e Sousa.  The room is decorated in the Moorish Revival style, and is used as a reception hall for personalities and heads of state. 

We then walked through the city toward the Ponte de Dom Luis I Bridge, which crosses the Douro River.  Next, we viewed the Tower of the Clerics, and then we walked along the exclusive Aveneda dos Aliados.

We stopped at the Sandeman Winery for a tour and wine tasting.  Our tour guide gave us another treat, a piece of heart-shaped chocolate which went well with the port wine.  I skipped lunch today.

A boat ride and dinner was an optional excursion for €49.   We received an aperitif of port wine on the boat.  The boat ride afforded us the opportunity to take photos of Oporto from the river and also of the famous six bridges.

Immediately after the boat ride, we walked to the restaurant, Chez Lapin, for the dinner.  We started with a fancy, large salad with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, a crab/tuna dip.  There was a long, sliced choric (spicy) sausage on a skewer in a long dish with some alcohol - the alcohol was alighted, and after several minutes, the flame was extinguished.  We then slid the slices off the skewer - it was something different.  We had a choice for the main course - roast loin of pork or rabbit.  I had the pork with roasted potatoes, onion rings, and slices of pineapple.  It was excellent, and those who had the rabbit said it was also excellent.  For dessert, there was chocolate cake and the wine was excellent.  Everyone enjoyed the meal - this was one of the best meals that we had on the trip.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco 

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