A Porto Tale

Friday June 13      Wherein A. goeth before a fall.

Douro River
Douro River

Thanks to our good friend Mark, we were very careful in Lisbon as we had been warned of the treachery of their medieval, cobbled streets. We were VERY careful. In fact, we have loads of pix of stone patterns to prove it and we walked into things sometimes while busily navigating the ground. It’s actually a wonder we saw anything above shoe height in Lisbon! But we did.

And then we get to Porto, where after yesterday’s day of driving from Lisbon, this was our day to see the sights. We walked from our fabulous, posh furnished apartment in the burbs all the way downtown to the fabled beauty of the Douro  River. We crossed a postcard perfect bridge across said river and headed to the fabled beauty of their noble port wines.  And then it happened.

A. fell.  He was looking one way and the sidewalk was suddenly not there.  He fell hard. There was blood dripping from the side his face, a huge bruise on his knee and scrapes on his hand. Meanwhile, the wonderfully kind Porto people came running from everywhere to help. There were people who offered to call an ambulance, bring water, lift him off the ground. A young man ran back to his store and brought a chair and first aid kit. I had band aids on me.

After the initial shock and clean up, A. was okay,  just really sore and really pissed off that he fell on yet another vacation!  We rested a few minutes and then we brought the chair and first aid kit back to the nice young man’s shop. Marcelo (we are now on a first name basis) then told A. “This is your lucky day.” and gave us free passes to tour the port wine caves of Offley, the oldest port company in the region. Marcelo also recommended a little local restaurant for lunch first where we had amazing grilled sardines. Again. Truth be told, every good thing that happened after the fall happened because of it! We never would have found this locals only restaurant or had the super informative port cave tour or tasted our first really good port.  Even I liked it!

Offley Port. So awfully good.
Offley Port. So awfully good.

Because of the fall and A’s now sore ankle (not on the previously broken foot) we decided we wouldn’t walk all the way back on the top level of the bridge which required a steep hike. Instead, we crossed back on the lower level and took the funicular up which, delightfully, landed us a block from the top level of the bridge. But before we walked onto the bridge, we spied a guitar shop where there was a Fado performance coming up in just 30 minutes! So as not to miss it, we walked midway across the top of the bridge and got some artistic late day “sun on the river” shots. Then we returned to hear a wonderful concert with three guitars and a charming young singer who belted out these melancholy Fado tunes.

Finally, as we pondered our trudging return to our place in the burbs, we proclaimed, “Fxxk  it, we are taking a taxi back.”  And poof, a taxi instantly appeared and whisked us home. There we researched and reserved dinner at Camafeu, an intimate Portuguese restaurant in a former antique store and had a brilliant meal of cod and duck interpretations .

None of these good things would have happened today if the ground had not dropped out from under A. How’s that for making lemonade out of lemons!


  1. Mimi, we need you to travel more so that we can continue to receive these witty updates. Maybe Trip Advisor can take you on as a permanent consultant.


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