As our first Portuguese stop we revelled in the discovery that for a mere €1, many places sell coffee with a devine tart called pasteis de nata. This heavenly sweet warm custard temptation would become a daily indulgence verging on serious addiction after many weeks. The Portuguese know custard tarts like the French know Coq au vin. Literally all other local cuisine cannot live up to the supreme goodness of these scrumptious treats.
Who knew Port wasn't just a drink for stout old men? Turns out its sweet, potent and very agreeable and not just as a night cap. In Porto the big name port warehouses define the riverside landscape offering tasters of their syrupy reserves. After one day here we stumbled on this new tipple and enthusiastically became drinkers. Portugease wine isn't first rate but the Port is.
The drive to Porto harbour is tense in a van, minor roads remain cobbled and skinny. We parked near the cityscape gondella and went wandering. In the centre there is a mix of abandoned rustic buildings and rich architecture. The contrast between rich and poor, trendy and dirty, vitality and dilapidation gives Porto a wealth of character. Damp smelling creepy narrow streets with alley cats branch off from the vibrantly tiled promenades with its fancy bars. This great harbour city transports you back in time, the richness of its history and culture is evident everywhere. Its a different place to visit and recommended.