This advert made us smile...."Join the sexiest paper on earth" ....
The Ribeira section down by the river is a warren of narrow streets and steep steps up to the centre. Washing still hangs out from upper floor balconies and many restaurants crowd the river bank. We stumbled across this little gem, cafe with the red doors below, tucked away in an ally just off the river....sorry...no name but if you can find it then order the Bolinhos de Bacalhau, a local fish cake we watched the lady make, absolutely delicious!
These boats used to be used to transport the barrels of port from the Upper Douro vineyards down to the port area here, but now they are just used during regattas by the Port companies and lorries are used to move the port.
The river Douro flows 576 miles from Spain to the Atlantic here. In the upper Douro valley grapes are grown in what was the first ever demarcated Port region and it is now recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The river cruise took us under the 6 bridges, one of which was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1877.
Vila Nova de Gaia is on the opposite bank to Porto and is where all the port is blended and left to mature in the barrels. The maritime climate makes ideal conditions and also it is shaded here until late in the afternoon. We toured the Calem and the Graham's lodge and tried out a selection of their port. There are now several bottles stashed away in Libby for drinking later.
Like any city it has its share of dilapidated buildings and graffiti, though we did find the streets very clean.
Below is a statue to the Luso-British Forces. It is a lion crushing the French eagle which celebrates the victory in the Peninsular wars. Maybe this old alliance is why the Portuguese people are so friendly towards the British tourists today. We have found welcomes and smiles everywhere.