It’s nice you came to read this one as well. I think my last post was a bit too long. But what can I do? I just want to tell you so many things. In my post today I will share my experience in visiting the castles of Sintra and the infamous port wines in Portugal.
Well, I am here in Lisbon for a few days already and I feel comfortable to move around the city without checking the map all the time.
I know I was talking a lot about food in the first part but as you know food is one of my favorite topics and Portugal is definitely a country with amazing foods. There is also a nice place for lunch or dinner you should really not miss out. It’s actually a food court and it’s called “Mercado da Ribeira: Timeout”. You can find it close to the western railway station “Cais do Sodré”.
Their menu is way better than in ordinary food courts. This amazing dish is a basil risotto with shrimps on dried tomatoes.
There is a tour to a place called “Sintra” posted at the hostel. It seems to be the only tour they offer so it’s an easy decision for me. I’ll take part. The minibus picks us up for like one hour delayed and we go there to see the famous Gardens and castles of Sintra.
It’s great fun to walk through the tunnels, stairs and checking out all the viewpoints and whatever you can find on the way.
But actually, it seems that they are suffering from lack of funds. As the gardens don’t seem to be very well maintained. I think the entry was like 6 Euro I would have paid 10 so they can have enough cash to pay for the maintenance.
After this, we go to the Port Wine. I really enjoy it because there is so much to know about it. First, you will get to know the history: When the British had a war against France they could not import wine from France anymore. So they needed another supplier. They found the valley of the river Douro in Portugal which has decent wine too. So they started to import from there. But these times the ships were not very fast and also the wine got shaken so once it arrived in GB it was not good anymore. That’s why they poured brandy in it to stop the oxidation and keep it stable throughout the journey.
You can find two different kinds of Port wines on the market: the Ruby and the Towny. The difference is that the Ruby was kept in small oak barrels which allowed the wine to get a lot of oxygen. While the Towny is kept in big barrels with less exchange of oxygen. As a result, the Ruby is sweet and dark while the Towny keeps a lighter color and stronger taste.
It is also nice to know that all those who have no age written on the bottle are between maximum 5 years old while those who are in between 5 to 10 years old are marked as “10 years old” and those who are in between 10 to 20 years old are marked as “20 years old” and so on. The reason for this is to keep a stable quality for these products.
If there is a very good year, for example, 2011, they produce so-called “Vintage” wine. These wines are very expensive and bottled already after 2 years but then should be kept like 20 years before they are ready to drink. For those who don’t want to wait this long nor pay this much. They produce so-called “late bottled Vintage” wine. It is bottled after 4 years and ready to drink.
The tour continues to the most western point of Europe called “Cabo da Roca“. At the moment there is a film crew shooting a Bollywood movie. But still, there is enough space to see the amazing rough cost of Portugal.
Further down we stop by some surf beach and catch an amazing view of the sunset.
I really enjoyed my stay in Portugal. I was able to visit amazing places like the castles of Sintra, the port wines, and tried some amazing food in the Time Out market. Indeed my short holiday break was well spent. The next day I fly out to start work again after 22 months of traveling. I enjoyed this time so much that I can’t really stop. So the next unplanned city trip is already planned. To see where it goes just register your e-mail address below to stay updated. Thanks for reading Blogodiary.