Portugese man-‘o-flu

Travel update! Caution, may contain traces of plague. I was hoping 2 weeks in the relative warmth would sort out the cough that’s been bugging me for a while. Instead it seems to have joined forces with a European variant to create the ‘Portugese man-‘o-flu’ which is doing its best to kill me using a combination of sleep deprivation & internal snot asphyxiation. I’ve been pressing on regardless but it’s very much a ‘this is what I did between crawling in & out of bed’ style travel 🙂 So after enough churches, castles, monasteries and UNESCO sites to last multiple lifetimes, the final few days have been dedicated to other aspects this incredible country has to offer. Yesterday: Wine, Port & the francesinha.

It’s down to my own ignorance that I’d never put ‘Port’ & ‘Porto’ together to work this out myself but Port is protected by European law so has to be produced in specific areas in & around Porto to be classified as port (I think it was the English names all the companies have which threw me, however that’s down to multiple British companies setting up here when we were at war with France ((for a change)) My lack of port knowledge addressed by a tour around the wonderful Croft distillery, it was then on to the wines of the Douro Valley. I went to the lonely planet recommended ‘vino porto’ and as I was the only one there the lovely woman working there was only to happy to answer all my wine amateur questions (The place was dead, I think she was just glad of someone to talk to & she even gave me a little wine book to take away for free which was a nice touch) 🙂 After so much alcohol food was needed & after all that port & wine, cheese very much had to be involved. Enter the francesinha! An open beef, sausage, ham & egg sandwich COVERED in melded cheese and served in a light gravy style sauce. Not exactly veggie friendly but I really enjoyed it 🙂 After yesterday’s excesses, a very relaxed day strolling along the Porto promenade today with the occasional coffee stop and a very agreeable nap on a deckchair (though the coughing fit that woke me & wouldn’t let me breathe for about a minute was less pleasant) So a quick supper in the sunshine & then back to the hotel by 6 (I’m so rock n roll)

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