Oporto - Friends, Food, Culture

It's hard to believe it's Sunday and we are making our journey home tomorrow, a day late. I will explain that later. The last five days have been jam packed with a combination of sightseeing, visiting Paula's friends, eating and shopping. So much so that I had to backtrack the days and make notes of what we did.  

On Wednesday Ana, our host, drove us to Oporto and dropped us off and we made our way to a large roundabout called Rotunda da Boavista with a 148 foot column in the middle. It commemorates the victory of the Portuguese against the French troops that invaded Portugal during the Peninsular War. 

 Monumento aos Heróis da Guerra Peninsular

Monumento aos Heróis da Guerra Peninsular

 Paula and Fátima

Paula and Fátima

For lunch we met one of Paula's good friends Fátima that she has known for many years from their University days. She is a University professor who lived 10 years in Belgium and fairly recently moved back to Porto. She speaks 7 languages. I'm still wrapping my head around that one.  

IMG_2959.JPG

After lunch, we took a drive to see the Foz do Douro Lighthouse on the Atlantic Ocean. I have seen some very dramatic images of this lighthouse with waves crashing over it which happens in the winter time.

It was here that we were able to meet up with our other friends Sanae and Danna from the U.S. who also came to celebrate Paula's birthday. It was surreal to be taking an afternoon stroll all together along the Douro River. 

 From left: Amy 1.0, Danna, Sanae, Amy 1.5, Paula, Fátima

From left: Amy 1.0, Danna, Sanae, Amy 1.5, Paula, Fátima

 Boats overlooking the Douro River  

Boats overlooking the Douro River  

In the evening we were treated to a wonderful fish dinner with the Costa family, our hosts. The fish is caught the same day as it is served. We had a variety of dishes including Hake, Robalo and of course more Bachelhau. Our animated server Orlando filleted a whole cooked fish tableside. 

 Typical Portuguese Bachelhau dish  

Typical Portuguese Bachelhau dish