The Douro – Portugal’s River of Gold with Viking Cruises: Day 3

Alfama Restaurant - LisbonLast night we explored Lisbon’s old district, Alfana, in search of a ‘Fado’ restaurant. Each of the first three we tried were fully booked so we made a rapid decision to accept the next restaurant that served a selection of fish whether or not it provided ‘Fado’ entertainment.

Not only did we have an excellent meal in a typically ‘local’ Portuguese restaurant, on paying our bill the proprietor invited us to his other restaurant, some 200 metres away, to enjoy Lady luck was with us and we had a most enjoyable a ‘Fado’ show.

At this point I am prepared to confess that I should have entitled this review ‘Discovering Fado with a Viking.

Porto and Douro river from sundeck of Viking HemmingDay three and after breakfast we checked out of the hotel Tivoli Lisboa for our 315 km coach transfer to the Viking Hemming – which was berthed in Porto. The transfer followed the scenic Portuguese coastline and made a lunch stop at Coimbra.

At this point I should add that Viking River Cruises had arranged a coach that offered complimentary Wi-Fi, just as all their longboats do.

Coimbra was the capital of Portugal in the Middle Ages. It was also the birthplace of 6 Portuguese kings and the home to one of Europe’s oldest universities and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese speaking world.

University of CoimbraAnd what a gem of a place. In addition to visiting the University and in particular its 16th Century Library, lunch was provided in a local restaurant.

We arrived at Porto mid afternoon and joined Viking Hemming which was berthed in the heart of Porto, at the Vila Nova de Gaia.

Check in was the usual efficient service from Viking and post dinner we were given a special late evening cruise along the Douro in the Porto vicinity – quite spectacular considering it was not in our original schedule.

Tomorrow we sail east.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Viking River and Ocean Cruises

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Richard Okill

Retired naval officer & businessman

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