A technophilic couple with an adaptable and bilingual 11 year old and French-born 6 year old leave the USA again, this time permanently, to return to France in pursuit of good food and a different approach to life. The adventure continues.
Last weekend was nice and sunny (and 70 degrees!) so we decided to visit the Musée archéologie nationale in St.-Germain-en-Laye, a short train ride from town. Alex has been studying the paleolithic and neolithic periods at school. He was supposed to go there on a field trip in January but then it was cancelled due to the "Plan Vigipirate". After the museum we found a really good Mexican restaurant for lunch - the best we've had so far in France.
We just returned from four days in Porto for vacation. We really enjoyed Porto, even more than Lisbon a few years ago. Excellent food(fish, octopus, cheese, wine), and sights. We stayed in an art deco hotel with a cool vintage car and toy collection. We can't wait to go back.
A lot of the townhouses in the city are abandoned as folks have fled to the suburbs for more space for the money and the overall economic conditions. The outside of the townhouses are preserved as a frame or shell, but the inside is vacant and crumbling. You can see this in the pictures. It's almost like a movie set.
Arriving Porto Tuesday evening. Delicious meal around the corner from our hotel. The waitress Sandra was so nice we went back there the next evening.
Double decker tour bus all around Porto. Traditional Portuguese lunch at Brasao near our hotel, including the famous "Francesinha" sandwich from Porto - 4 kinds of meat, cheese, secret sauce with beer and ?. Yum. Nap required. Then a "light" meal by the Duoro River - octopus, clams, and grilled fish. A visit back to Sandra at the restaurant from the previous night for some port.
Walk to the historical São Bento train station, then through town, across the bridge to the port wine cellar district for a tour and tasting at Calem. Lunch nearby and back on the bus since it was raining for another ride around town. Then we found a really cool wine bar on the Quay. Then back up the hills to have sushi.
Our sunniest day yet. A walk up the hill to the Porto Cathedral, then back down through town for lunch at Cafe Guarany, one of the oldest cafes in Porto. A walk to the Livraria Lello bookstore made famous by JK Rowling in Harry Potter. She lived in Porto in the 1990's and was inspired by the bookstore, but also the students that wear black capes to classes at the University. Back to our favorite quay wine bar for the last night. Dinner at Fish Fixe.