Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wining and Dining with Ben & Joyell

Neighbors from Minneapolis, Ben & Joyell, spent a few days in Lisbon, Porto and Braga as part of their whirlwind tour of Portugal and Spain.   We were excited to meet them in Porto and share some of the highlights of the city with them.   Our first stop was Caraças where we had dense & flavorful heaps of Feijoada à Transmontana -  a delicious stew of beans and pork parts from the Trás-os-Montes region in the northeast corner of Portugal.  Fully fueled, we headed out into a chilly downpour to taste some port.  We tried 9 different ports and had fun comparing their varying styles and qualities.  Magically, the Portuguese-language tour of Croft's port wine lodge actually made sense after we'd had a few samples.  

Ben & Joyell in the Croft port wine cellars

That evening in Braga we had Valentine's Day dinner at Mar de Sinos (Sea of Bells) near the cathedral.  I've always liked Valentine's Day as an occasion to exchange cards and treats with my students, family and friends, but that's not how things are done in Portugal.  The holiday is just about lovey dovey couples here.   So, we were the only table of 4 at the restaurant, and my friends and family back home got romantic cards in Portuguese this year since that's all I could find.  Oh well...  

On Tuesday we toured the sights in Braga and managed to take advantage of the occasional bursts of sunshine between rain showers.  Frequent stops for food and beverages kept us energized and gave us a chance to dry off a bit.  

Bom Jesus and fun friends

Early Wednesday morning, Ben and Joyell headed to the bus station (trains were on strike - again!) to return to Porto then on to Spain.  It was a very quick visit, but great fun.  It was nice to get caught up on neighborhood news and share stories and laughter.  

~ Peggy

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I are enjoying following you around Northern Portugal. We are going to be there in June and are really looking forward to it. How wonderful for you to be able to live there!

    Ciao! Elenita y Howard Arturo