As its name implies, Porto is the home of port, the fortified wine first classified as such in the 18th century. The city’s chief port producers are located along the river. In addition to taking advantage of a few port tastings, we also enjoy navigating Porto’s narrow streets, admiring the colorful tiled houses, and drinking potent coffee in the local cafes.
As happens from time to time in Europe, a railroad strike complicates our stay in Porto. Alternative modes of transportation book quickly – buses and trains east are virtually full and rental cars unavailable. With a return flight scheduled to the U.S. a few days later from Madrid, we begin to sweat. Lady luck finally smiles upon us as the Portuguese ticket agent offers us the last two places on an overnight train to Salamanca with a connection to Madrid. We make it home for Christmas after all.