The title of this posting seems a little decadent as if it were some rather extravagant spa treatment. I decided to make the journey to Oporto in Portugal once I completed my walk from Seville to Santiago de Compostela. During my daily journey of walking northward, I found myself thinking about grilled sardines. It became almost a fixation – lightly salted and slightly crisp on the skin. Nothing complicated about the recipe.


I also got thinking about Vintage ports. Another reason to spend some time here. A vintage year has to be declared through an approved independent regulating board, so not every year is vintage. There has to be sufficient excellence of quality among 85% of growers. I’m not interested in Ruby, Tawny or Late Bottle Vintage. The latter is not the same as Vintage. Trouble is the 20 year old Vintage that I sampled still doesn’t exhibit the complexity that I like.


What I like is probably outside my price range. Complexity usually comes with age and improves greatly in the bottle. I could collect something good now at an affordable price and wait forty years or so. Doesn’t sound like a good bet, does it?


Although I’m staying in one city for a week, I’m not stationary. Even with my stops in Madrid and Seville, I was averaging walking 25 kilometers each day. My stay in Oporto is no exception. Today, this morning, I decided to walk out to the Atlantic Ocean for some bracing sea air. Except it wasn’t bracing at about 17 degrees Celsius. That was an 11-kilometer jaunt – a good start to the day.

Next time – omit the onions

Also, I get lots of exercise walking around Porto because it’s built on a hill so I won’t lose muscle tone in the next little while.


Some interestingly dressed people running around town in hordes, some rather noisy. They look to me like characters from a Harry Potter movie. Seems it’s a university graduation day and roads have been sealed off for parades.


Dinner calls. Will be back.