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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Cruise and Land Tour in Portugal - July 20th/15....

For breakfast, I had cereal, bacon and eggs, fresh fruit, orange juice, and coffee.

 All the activities today occurred in Oporto.  The first site was the Sao Bento Train Station - the reason why we visited was to see its large, magnificent tile panels in the vestibule.  They are the work of Jorge Colaco, who was the most important azulejo painter of the time.

The Oporto Cathedral was built as a fortress church in the 12th to 13th centuries.  A noteworthy survival from the 13th century is the beautiful rose window in the west front.

We also walked across the Ponte Dom Luis I Bridge which offered excellent views of Oporto.   

 After the bridge crossing, we boarded a cable car and descended to the bottom of the Vila Nova de Gaia.  Then we had a tour and wine tasting at Graham Winery.

In the afternoon, I got the last space for a Limited Edition Tour for a tasting at a local restaurant on the Atlantic side of Oporto.  AMA does not charge for what it calls Limited Edition Tours, but space is limited, and they use an open-air bus to drive us from the ship to a local restaurant.  As we leave the river side of Oporto and enter the Atlantic side of Oporto, there is an obvious weather change.  It becomes cooler, cloudier and windier on the Atlantic side.  The restaurant  was called Xarrcoc - it was a typical, small local restaurant. There were  bread, olives, smoked ham, cheeses, small fried peppers, meat fritters, fish fritters, and we had a choice of red or white wine.  It was a nice excursion, and there was no additional charge for it.

This was the last night and the last dinner on the AMAVIDA.  I received an invitation to sit at the Captain’s table.  The amuse bouche was an oriental type spring roll, and for the appetizer, I had the Portobello mushroom with bread stuffing which I did not care for, and vegetable soup.  For the main course, I had the sea bass. For dessert, baked Alaska and a white wine.  Overall, a very nice meal.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco  

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