Indeed, knowing that we’d be visiting Porto and Madeira, the winter of 2017-2018 became a veritable adult education course on all things Portuguese.
And that’s just the way I love it.
Pleasure travel absent context simply isn’t pleasant for me, and so I learned what I could; then we went, and I learned even more.
After 38 repetitions of this cycle, you’d think I’d qualify for a “life experience” Master of Arts degree. Maybe some day.
The travelogue, day by day:
Portugal Trip 2018 (1): A Tuesday arrival and introduction to Porto.
Portugal Trip 2018 (2): São Bento Railway Station, Mercado do Bolhão, Jardim da Cordoaria and a big Liverpool win.
Portugal Trip 2018 (3): A rainy day’s Port lodge crawl in Vila Nova de Gaia, and an inaugural Francesinha sandwich.
Portugal Trip 2018 (4): Madeira – island of eternal spring (and fortified wine, Coral beer and black scabbard fish).
Portugal Trip 2018 (5): FC Porto versus SC Lusitania in Portuguese professional basketball.
Portugal Trip 2018 (6): Sunday at the beach, then some fine eating (Taberna Stº. António) and a solid craft beer bar (As 7 Maravilhas).
Portugal Trip 2018 (7): An epic stroll along the Douro to lunch at São Pedro da Afurada.
Portugal Trip 2018 (8): Beach, park and cemetery, with a few Spanish beers and tapas.
Portugal Trip 2018 (9): History, sandwiches, sunsets and craft beer on the final day in Porto.
ON THE AVENUES: The books I’ve been reading during the winter months (including the two consumed while in Porto).
“Focus on Portugal,” a series that I prepared in advance and published while we were away.
Focus on Portugal: A history lesson upon arrival for a second visit to the country.
Focus on Portugal: Vila Nova de Gaia, the Douro and other tasty aspects of Port wine.
Focus on Portugal: Porto’s quintessential Francesinha sandwich.
Focus on Portugal: Madeira, both islands and wine.
Focus on Portugal: Learn about the music called Fado.
Focus on Portugal: Was António de Oliveira Salazar an autocrat or a dictator? Tyrant or protector? It’s complicated.
Focus on Portugal: The Carnation Revolution in 1974, and Portugal in the current age.
Focus on Portugal, which remains a central player in the world’s production of natural cork.
Focus on Portugal: The characterful and historic azulejo tiles of Portugal.