Any Porto in a storm

Only there wasn’t any storm, just a cloudy day down by the river. I know earlier I said there were 8,000 steps but I counted them the next morning, and discounting simply walking down hill, there were something in the neighborhood of 300 steps. And, people lived all along the way. How do you move a sofa? Or a box of groceries from Costco?

Down and down it goes.

The morning was thriving with bikers and bikers. The bicicletas were all dressed as if they had just completed the Tour de France, even if they were (in the most polite way possible) not in Tour de France shape, unless you count France Avenue as some sort of marker. The other bikers, those riding scooters and full blown motorcycles were all dressed in leathers. As tough as they thought they might be, they all looked like Village People wannabes. It was 10:30 in the morning and everyone was having a glass of Porto; before the ride, after the ride, or in between the ride.

charcuterie plate and a glass of Port Broncos: $4.50. Why didn’t I discover this while Trump was president?

(I jump ahead in my narrative here but as I sit having dinner outside in a lovely restaurant across the river there is a street musician playing Brazilian bosa nova which is totally fucking up my accent learning).

Do you know “Far far away?” Can you sing it far far away? (One of my father’s jokes. I have become Cyrus)

But i digress. Porto was barely 24 hours but a great town.

A view of Porto from the river.

Naturally as the town where port is bottled (not grown) i had to do a cellar tour which I did. Sandeman Port and it was great. Then back to Lisboa and class. Have I mentioned how hard it is? If not, let my just say it is hard. To sooth my soul I headed to Romiro, a famous seafood restaurant I had visited once before. But they were closed on Monday! I asked down the street deciding to eat in my neighborhood when I saw another seafood restaurant, no doubt living in the shadow of Ramiro and gave it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen, I get food poisoning and die? In Lisboa? How cool would that be?

Well, it was great. And the waiter was ex-Portuguese navy and we exchanged sailing stories (as many of you know, I worked on ships when I was a kid).

A dive? Not so, sir.
Meu amigo, Ricardo.

Dinner was amazing and as I keep saying, so inexpensive.

I know it doesn’t look like much but believe me, it was.

That is about it, brings me to now, having dinner across the river from Lisboa proper. Stanley Tucci (my second professor) loves food and has given me a list of restaurants to try and I am working my way through it. This one, Cova Funda, is across the river (the width of ten Mississippi’s between Gotham on the river and St. Paul) and thanks to my transportation card is free.

I had to retake the photo. In the first one i was wearing a hat and was told that would impede identification. I said I always were a hat and they completely ignored me.

One final observation. Every—and i mean every—street is paved like the photo below. These tiny little bits of stones that weave up and down, left and right. That, coupled with the ambient dog crap (and I hope to God it is dog crap) makes walking a bit of a challenge.

[TRANSLATED] “Excuse me sir, are you alright?” “I’m fine, it’s your fucking pavement that is fucked up!” “Have a nice day American.”

But not as challenging as learning Portuguese. That is it for now. Please excuse any typos. I have given my team of correction experts a few days off. With that, and my father dead, it is nice not to be judged.

More later, yip, yip.

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