I am an Air Force Brat. During my father’s time in the service he twice had the opportunity to be stationed in the Azores on the island of San Miguel, which is part of Portugal. This base served as a major refueling station over the years and it was my family’s introduction to the amazing culture and foods of the Portuguese. A few things that I vividly recall from VERY many years ago include the architecture, the cobblestone streets, amazing smiling faces and – the bread. Such a distinct smell that it perfumed the suitcase and all of it’s contents on subsequent trips taken by my dad. That was a highly anticipated souvenir.
In May of 2022 we will have the opportunity to visit and discover both mainland Portugal as well as Spain on a 14 day land and river adventure featuring the Flavors of Portugal and Spain.
Arriving in Lisbon we will have 2 days to explore the city before departing to Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges” where we will board the AmaVida for a 7 night journey along the Douro River. The AmaWaterways luxurious 106 passenger vessel will serve as your home away from home as we meander the river visiting Entre-Os-Rios, RÉGUA, and PINHÃO in Portugal and making our way into VEGA de TERRÓN, located in Spain. We will disembark and travel to Madrid to explore that iconic city.
There will be gardens, and museums, and UNESCO world heritage sites along with the iconic azulejos – blue and white tiles that grace the building and floors. There will also be wineries learning the timeless tradition of Portuguese wine making enjoying varietals grown only in this region. Sample sausages and meats unique to the region as well as Pastéis de Belém, a typical Portuguese pastry. And let’s not forget the cheese. I adore sampling cheese from all of the regions of Europe, and of course chocolate for those with a sweeter tooth.
The ship itself will be a respite after a long day of exploring and your every need will be catered to. The ship’s staff is always so welcoming and accommodating and they are proud to feature local wines and cuisines on board as well as more traditional cuisine should you so desire. The cities of Europe were built along the rivers and it is delightful to travel from destination to destination while enjoying beautiful vistas along the river banks. Sitting under the shade on the sun deck with a glass of local wine while passing terraced vineyards up the bank of the river while heading to our next city sounds like a delightful way to travel to me.
A long while ago Michael and I opened SeaBlue Restaurant in North Myrtle Beach and at the time of its inception we specialized in tapas (we sold it in 2008 to the current owners). Small portions of many different food items is my preferred dining choice and tapas will reign supreme in Spain. A few specialties of Madrid tapas are Patatas bravas, Pimientos de padrón, Croquetas, Gambas al ajillo, Champiñones a la plancha, and Albóndigas.
And while I always look forward to trying new things while abroad, I sure hope I get to experience the wonderful bread from my childhood once again.
You are invited to go with us!
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