Porto Vinho II

February 1, 2006

After running errands, such as mailing postcards and buying bus tickets for tomorrow, we walked through the Palacio park which overlooks the Douro river.

In the park there was a small castle which had two teenagers swapping spit. As we walked up on them they scattered away and the castle then became known as make out castle. I then made Tina kiss me up there until another couplecame up on us and scattered us a away. OK, maybe part of that story is a lie. I don't want Oprah Winfrey interrogating me on her show about fiction in my memoirs. The park lead us down to the river.

We walked along the river to the Ponte De Luis bridge where we crossed the river to the town of Vila Nova Gaia.

Vila Nova De Gaia is home to the wine cellars in the area. Most of them offer tours and tastings. We chose the Ramos Pinto as our first spot because we hoped to find a poster of the advertisement we saw in town the day before.

The tour cost 2 Euro each and was quite interesting. The founder, Mr Ramos Pinto, like to push the envelope back in his day by creating and using provocative and shocking advertisements for his wine. Many of the posters his used would have an exposed breast and women wearing short skirts. One poster was of Eve tempting Adam with a glass of wine instead of with an apple. One of the interesting facts we learned about port wines is they add brandy to the wine during the aging process to stop the fermenting and to keep the fruity taste. And this is why the port wines have such a high alcohol content, usually around 19%.

Our next stop was the Sandeman cellar. Again, we stopped here because we liked the logo. They were closing soon and not giving anymore tours so ended up just buying a poster.

In the evening we went out to dinner at O Muro's which our Lonely Planet guide book said had vegetarian options. I guess if you consider a cheese sandwich options, it did. This is what Tina had for dinner while I had a traditional Porto meal, the francesinha. Mmm mmm good! This dish is very similar to a dish I call shit on a shingle. The francesinha dish consisted of a slice of bread with melted cheese topped with a beef cutlet, topped with sliced ham, topped with another slice of bread with melted cheese and finished off with a fried egg on top. This is then served in a bowl of gravy. I should have taken a picture.

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