Chance encounters with strangers make the best travel memories


We arrived in Porto, Portugal and, due to the fact that we don't use GPS, it was touch and go a couple of times. We breezed through 2/3 of our trip but the departure from Toledo and arrival into Porto were challenging. I do not enjoy being lost but count the eleven (11) Portuguese people we met upon arrival as true blessings in our day. Not one of them would we have met had we been using a GPS and words would not do justice to how kind they all were and how out of the way they all went...even though only two of them spoke any English. I pray that I would be so kind to a foreigner in need of a bit of peace in the midst of frustration and uncertainty.

I also do not think there are words to describe what I am currently gazing upon. We did not want to leave Toledo for fear there was not a more beautiful place on our trip. I am sitting on the patio of our apartment in Porto gazing at a million dollar view. There's the echo of church bells, dogs barking (which makes me miss Challenge and Baby), seagulls (we are so near the Atlantic that we'll be taking a cruise tomorrow) and enough room for our best friends which makes me miss them more than usual. I can  not believe we're here, quite frankly. Gazing upon the Douro River, I count travel as one of my greatest blessings in life.

The 2010 Alonso Cuesta blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon is pairing spectacularly with the Manchego cheese we're nibbling on. At once my nose is hit with raspberry but there's blackberry and a bit of spice that cuts the cheese just right.

Our host pointed out a large area across the Douro River that changes from shops late in the evening to bars that are open from 1 am - 7 am. Good grief, the Europeans are a hearty

Porto's Douro River-view from our apartment
Porto's Douro River-view from our apartment