Letter from Portugal Part 2 – coffee and port

I was nearly getting the shakes not getting my normal morning fix of at least 3 coffees until I arrived in Lisbon.  I kept getting the shakes paying USD2-50 in parts further north.

Arrive Lisbon, pay USD0-80 for an espresso – problem solved.  I just love the way you walk in, order your coffee, its in your hand in 30 seconds, and the guy next to you has purchased, consumed and left the pastelaria in under 2 minutes.  I prefer to savour my 80 cents for a bit longer.

It is no coincidence that the word Portugal contains the word port, as does the city of Oporto.

For the OZ wine lover accustomed to travelling around a large vineyard area sampling wines from a number of different wineries, it certainly comes as a pleasant surprise to arrive in Oporto and find the port cellars all concentrated on the south bank of the Douro river right in the middle of Oporto tourist central.

The cunning plan to go to one or two before lunch then tackling a few more after lunch failed miserably.  The port tasting took over and lunch was missed entirely.  By 5pm, the strong desire for a burger from a large US hamburger chain appeared.  So much for the planned sophisticated lunch by the Douro river.

Apart from all the port and coffee, Oporto is pretty neat if you like walking up and down hills and taking some pretty speccy photos of old European towns.  The light is a photographers dream or maybe it only seems that way after the 6th port cellar tasting.