Portugal is our first stop on our journey! It’s Ayaan’s 14th country and Ariana’s 10th; it’s also the first time for us. We made it here via EWR and two tiring flights and as expected it was where we got over our jet lag – luckily no more of that for 2.5 months. No better way to spend Father’s Day but to kick of our trip with the two little wanderers.

After checking in to the Sheraton Porto and a nice long siesta, we spent the evening on the Port wine side of the Duoro river. Nothing better than some Tawny and Ruby with some grilled octopus and spaghetti carbonara after a long day. A further treat was watching Brazil play in the square (The Portuguese are big fans since Brazil was a colony).

Our 2nd day started at 2pm (thank you jet lag) with a walk in the art district and the historical part of town including many churches and Ayaan’s favorite spot – the train station that has amazing tile murals. In fact the architecture is stunning in Porto with tile covered edifices and the 6 bridges across the river. Our favorite stop of the day was a truffle and port cave experience that we stumbled upon in a little alley in the historic district called Chocolataria Equador .

We spent the evening taking a boat ride, hanging out in the square watching musicians, walking over the famous bridge and drinking some port wine while the kids had a late nap. We met a lovely couple from the States who’d now made Burma their home and enjoyed sharing our life and travel experiences. Our last stop for the night was a children’s park with the most fantastic view that was extremely crowded for 10pm!

On Tuesday, June 18th we leased a white Peugeot 308 – the leasing experience was fantastic and I drove away with a brand new car with all coverage for the next 55 days. Our first trip in the car was a day trip to Duoro Valley – our first wine region of this trip. We visited one winery called Quinto do Vallado and it included a short tour of the Portuguese barrels where Port wine is stored and an elaborate tasting in a cave including white, red and port wines. Our final stop was at the stunning Six Senses where we enjoyed a lunch of Portuguese rice with chicken while appreciating the magnificent view. We finished our Porto experience with a stroll on the beach and grilled octopus and prawns with rice paired with a Tawny port at 5 Oceanos. Onto Lisbon tomorrow and looking forward to reuniting with Anjali’s family! – Gaurav

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