Category Archives: Portugal

Modern Munich Art

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 10:30 am on September 20, 2012.  We packed everything up. 

We got the bus to the Serralves Museum.  There, we had the lunch buffet with cod, vegetable crepes and carrot soup.

Next, we went to the Serralves Museum which was funny with modern art.  It was even better than the Guggenheim Museum.

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One room kept being painted black one day and then white the next day.  How very odd! 

One room had objects and then words below. 

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The words below the crocodile and pig read:

The bad news: he was extremely hungry
The good news: A nice, juicy pig appeared
Another bad news: he moved recently to
Buddism to Islam – so the pork was Forbidden
FINAL good news: Actually the pig was a dressed up lamb

There was writing on the wall that was really funny. 

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More random stuff we saw was a figure of a lady with flowers and leaves on it that kept moving around a room and a video of a bear.

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Our last stop inside were little rooms created by students.  The small rooms were really creative.

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This art gallery was great and SOO hilarious! There were so many times when were were literally laughing out loud at how funny some of the stuff was. Why cant all art galleries be like this! There was also a cool park around the art gallery which was massive.  We walked around the park and then left to find the bus stop.

We weren’t sure when the bus was coming, so we’d thought if a taxi came back we’d grab that.  A few minutes later, a taxi stopped.  The taxi drove to the apartment where we grabbed our luggage.  Then, he drove us to the airport.  He was a chatty taxi driver, and seemed to like talking about Porto.

I mailed off a package and a bunch of postcards at the post office in the airport. 

Our plane left at 5:20 pm headed from Porto, Portugal to Munich, Germany.  It was a Ryanair flight, so we weren’t sitting by each other.  The flight was 2 1/2 hours and we arrived at 8:50 pm. 

At 9:40 pm, we got the bus to Munich’s train station Hauftbahnhof. Ivan grabbed bread and pretzels filled with cream cheese and chives.  The pretzel was so tasty.  Ivan called the lady from Airbnb we’d be staying with and she said she’d meet us at the train station. 

We got the metro to Richard Strauss which was only 10 minutes away.  We met Ingrid and she drove us to her apartment nearby.

Ivan and I talked to Ingrid.  She gave us a welcome beer and a pretzel with a cheese dip.  Ingrid is a very nice German lady and we enjoyed the beer and pretzels while chatting to her about Munich and our travels.

We were tired from all the traveling and went to bed after using the internet for a short time.

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Porto Crawl

Ivan and I woke up early on the morning of September 19, 2012.  We returned the car at the Avis located at the airport after 10:30 am.

We got the free Avis shuttle to the airport and then we got the metro to the city. 

Ivan and I checked out the Pull and Bear Outlet.  I bought two cute t-shirts. 

We walked around Porto stopping by a pastry shop Padaria Ribeiro which we saw during the walking tour yesterday.

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Ivan and I shared an egg custard tart.

Lunch was at Farol de Boa Nova with a lovely view of the river. 

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The waiter gave us cod fritters and cheese which was tasty.  Lil Dave got a banana sandwich.  Ivan and I each got the cod brás which was cod, eggs, onions and chives.  It wasn’t very exciting, but apparently it’s a traditional dish. They charged us 4 Euros each for the cod fritters and cheese – they never told us about the charge.. a bit annoying when they do that, but to be fair we did eat it, and it was pretty good.

We walked to Gaia (the other side of the river) to check out a cellar tour.  The banks of Gaia are full or port wine cellars.

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Porto is known for their port wines.  We walked around to find a tour that was starting soon. 

Ivan, Lil Dave and I did the Ramos Pinto tour.  It was 5 Euros each with a museum tour, cellar tour and two tastings.  We got a white and a ruby port.  Both were tasty.  Port can be very sweet.

Outside, we had fun putting our faces in the Ramos Pinto ad with the couple kissing.

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Next, we came across Kopke which is the oldest port wine house.  Ivan and I shared the La Grima which is a sweet white port and a Tawney Reserve which is an tasty oakey port wine. 

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It came with chocolate that went well with the tawney.  Chocolate and wine are a lovely combination!!  The two glasses of wine was only 5 Euros. 

Took the tram back.  I took an hour nap since I was feeling tired probably from all the wine we had.

We went out at 8:30 pm for dinner at Casa da Foz.    Ivan and I started off with a great shrimp & mushrooms dish in a spicy sauce.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza. 

Ivan and I shared a vegetarian pizza and a weird pasta with anchovies, but actually didn’t come with anchovies.

Lil Dave decided to take it easy and head back to the room.  It’s been awhile since he got to relax, jumped on the bed and munched bananas.

It was time for the Pub Crawl.  The starting point for the crawl was at Bar Porto com Arte.  There was an option to do a wine tasting for a separate charge.  Ivan and I didn’t do it, but got a white port wine instead.  There were lots of young people for the pub crawl.  The wine tasting took forever since the waiter kept babbling about how to taste the wine – nobody seemed to care about what he was going on about.

It was time for the first bar.  It was near the university and surrounded by college students.  It looked like a crappy café that you could get drinks on the cheap.  We were given a free orange watered down drink which tasted like Fanta.  Then, we got a beer.  The group were standing outside drinking.  It felt like being in college and being a student.  Ivan and I thought were too old for these pub crawls.  The pub crawls where they show you cool bars are interesting, but the crawls, like this one, where people just want to drink… are lame and usually boring.

We walked to Plano B nearby, but nothing was really happening.   So, we went back to get some rest.

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Walking Wine

On September 18, 2012, Ivan and I had the free breakfast at the hotel.  We left the hotel at 11 am headed to Portugal.

The roads seemed even quieter than driving through Spain.  Seems like the Portuguese hate driving even more than the Spanish do! We arrived at Portugal at 1:45 pm.  Ivan drove us further on and arrived in Porto at 3:30 pm.

We met the Airbnb guy and put our luggage down in the room.  We had a room to ourselves.  The room had cute red and pink wallpaper.

Later, we went into town and parked it in a parking garage.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked to Bar Porto com Arte to check out the Sunset Wine & Food.  The bartender said he wasn’t sure how many people were going to attend.  Ivan asked about the walking tour since it’s run through the same company – he wanted to know if it might be too late to join since the tour starts at 5:30 pm.  He said you have plenty of time.  Ivan said no, it’s almost 5:30.  The guy said it was 4:30 pm.  Portugal is an hour behind from Spain which neither of us knew.

We didn’t have much for lunch, so we stopped at a restaurant to have shrimp wok which was a nice change from tapas.

It was time for the Pancho tours free walking tour which meets at Praça da Liberdade.  Our guide was a friendly Portuguese girl named Mia. 

We went to many places like the University, train station, Santa Catarina street, the clock tower and the National Theatre. 

Some of the buildings in Porto have beautiful tiles on them.  They do this to make the building look prettier.  Since Portugal is a poor country, they use tiles.  The churches and the train station have the prettiest tiles.

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It was interesting to find out why pastries are popular in Porto.  The nuns used egg whites to make their outfits stiff.  They didn’t want to waste the rest of the egg so they started making pastries. 

The group stopped at Livraria Lello which is the 3rd best bookstore in the world. 

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Mia said we shouldn’t take pictures.  Ivan took one and the guy upstairs went mental.  He told him to erase it and Ivan pretended like he did.  The guy god mad and started pushing Ivan.  I told him to stop hitting him.  We went downstairs and Ivan took another picture.  The guy was still following us.  The guy at the cashier came outside.  Ivan said I can take pictures outside.  The guy said no, this is my house.  Ivan said this is a business not your house.  The guy who pushed Ivan started chasing after him.  Ivan was worried he was going to grab the camera.  A Portuguese guy kept staring at Ivan.  I said What? He’s the one who got hit.  Go away!  which he did. 

Mia said that it’s a beautiful place but the customer service is really bad.. which was pretty obvious after what happened.  Mia said that J.K. Rowling got inspiration from the bookstore for Harry Potter.  Supposedly she wrote the first Harry Potter book in Portugal.  But, we’ve heard otherwise that she wrote it in a café in Edinburgh, Scotland.

We stopped by a pastry shop and tried a few pastries.. the apple one tasted good.

We also found out that some of the college kids wear black capes.  You don’t have to wear it.  It looks really hot and makes them look like wizards.  The kids who wear the capes all wear black.  Ivan said he would make it funny by wearing a tie and carry a wand just like the kids in Harry Potter.  Go here if you want to see a picture of the kids in capes.

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We got a nice view of the city from one of the six bridges in Porto.

Porto is very hilly so we were walking up and down. 

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It’s a pretty city. 

I definitely recommend this free walking tour. 

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Hopefully, you get Mia as your guide since she’s cool and very interesting.

For dinner, we went to ODE Porto Wine House.  The guy who served us was very nice.  He told us that the restaurant didn’t use microwaves and didn’t fry anything.  It’s recommended that dinner is 2 1/2 hours long. 

The appetizers were served at a community table that had a big wooden table and lots of bottles of wine in shelves.  Ivan and I started off with an unpasteurized sheeps milk cheese with an ODE cocktail (porto secco with lime and sparkling water).  The cocktail was refreshing.  The cheese was stinky, but tasted terrific.

The rest of the dinner was upstairs.  Five tables were in this room.  The food was delicious.  We got a great salad, sardines, vegetable soup and octopus that was grilled for 4 to 5 hours.  Our meal was enjoyed with a lovely red wine.

For dessert, we got the wonderful sleeping volcano nearby a tangerine glacier.

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It was a cake with chocolate inside and a tangerine ice cream.  What a wonderful meal!!

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