|Off to the restaurant for the all-inclusive breakfast. Surprise – a feast like one might have on a cruise ship with an international host of travelers. The waiters are neat and pressed with bow-ties – very elegant.
Mark loves trains so we decide to find the station and go into Porto for the day. It turns out the train is right in front of the hotel, underground, in a very weird looking building!
We figure out how to take the train with the assistance of the ticket clerk who speaks pretty good English. When we do run into trouble we ask (demonstrate) to write it down on a piece of paper. A fearless traveler must know how to play charades and always carry a notebook and pen.
We sit back and look out. We are six years of age again (well Mark is) and we enjoy the thirty minute ride with sweeping views of the Atlantic and then into the city. We are lucky to get off at just the right place to view much of the old city and the riverfront.
We take a long walk, with respite for beer/coffee, and then get on a funicular to walk across one of the many bridges – this one engineered by Gustave Eiffel. It is a nervous walk across the bridge, especially when we have to share it with trains coming from either direction. But we make it, both a tad shaky and then make our way down a very narrow cobble stone road to walk back on the lower level.
Linda has wanted a piece of traditional Portuguese ceramics (the tile is literally everywhere) and we find a noncommercial shop that sells the real McCoy, hand painted by individual artists. We leave with three pieces, (and a small gift from the owner) returning to the hotel for another SuperMercado dinner as we blew the budget on ceramics. We buy a bottle of Champagne recommended by the grocery cashier who speaks perfect English. It’s another refresher course – never judge a book by looking at its cover.