Ribeira, Porto

Ribeira (Porto, Portugal)

I’m on a one-day break from guiding friends around Porto; two friends left yesterday and two more friends arrive tomorrow. I was asked if I ever get tired of taking people around and my honest answer is no, because Porto is such an interesting city. The more I discover, the more I realize how much I have yet to learn about it. Also, the more I photograph it and learn its history, the more emotionally attached I am to this city and its future. I really do consider myself an immigrant rather than an expat, even though I call myself an expat with no plans to leave.

So, if you’re wondering whether to ask me about Porto, fire away! I’m happy to field questions regarding tourism, cost of living, culture, or practical issues, eg., if taxis accept credit cards or which supermarkets are wheelchair-friendly. Whatever I don’t know, I can find out.

May 21, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]

Tour Guiding In Porto: A Few Highlights

Porto from Cais de Gaia

pull up a chair, we saved it for you

It’s been a flurry of activity at Casa Aguiar as of late, but I’ve been doggedly determined to post a few photos from each day rather than an avalanche of photos in one post. We did a dizzying amount of sightseeing on Thursday, enough to make me wonder if I’ll remember any of this when I’m granny age. (No need to rely on recall, I have this blog!)

Honourable Mention goes out to Livraria Lello & Irmão, the bookstore below with the magnificent staircase. These are my first interior photographs of it after shooting some shaky video on the sly in 2011, because the shop imposed a ban on photography for years. I don’t know what prompted this change, but I’ll take it.

Livraria Lello & Irmão (Porto, Portugal)

Livraria Lello & Irmão

And last but not least, a photo of our seafood dinner, which we pared down to a HALF portion for four because a full portion would’ve sent us directly into food comas.

seafood at 7 Mares (Matosinhos, Portugal)

seafood at 7 Mares

In a rare show of shameless plugging, here’s a link to an article published today in the Portuguese-American Journal about Piódão, written by Joy Hanford of Conversations With Hank and with photographs by me:

Portuguese-American Journal: Life in Piódão is much more than clickbait journalism (May 21, 2015)

May 21, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]

Welcome To Portugal, Your Day Will Revolve Around Food

Casa do Pescador, Afurada (Porto, Portugal)

Casa do Pescador, Afurada

My friends from Vancouver arrived this morning and I’ve been sharpening my tour guiding skills again. Maybe it’s a Vancouver thing, but our lives tend to revolve around food. We talk about the food we ate, the food we will eat, and discuss the merits of each food over — you guessed it — food. This is but a tiny preview of what we saw (and ate) today, along with a couple of non-food pictures as evidence that we did actually step foot outside of restaurants and eateries. But you can’t expect a trip to Portugal to be complete without food, especially seafood!

lulas for lunch

lulas (squid) for lunch

Matosinhos beach

Matosinhos beach

Chocolataria Equador, Porto

Chocolataria Equador

Café Majestic, Porto

Café Majestic

Porto sunset and skyline

Porto sunset and skyline

May 20, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]

Rua de 31 de Janeiro, Porto: 2015 Edition

Rua de 31 de Janeiro, Porto

Recently, I posted a photo I took of Rua de 31 de Janeiro two years ago, in May 2013. By chance, I just came across a photo I took of it last month, shot from the hip while I was on my way somewhere. It’s a wider shot of the street than before, and I was lucky enough this time to catch the 22 tram in the frame. The street’s incline doesn’t look nearly as steep here as it does in person!

Posting will be light(er) these days — Round 2 of visitor high season at Casa Aguiar has begun!

April 11, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]

A Sad Ice Cone

Ice the Dog and his cone of shame

Meet the newest reluctant member of the Neutered Dogs Club. As you can see by his expression, Ice is less than thrilled to be a part of this cone-wearing society. The Elizabethan collar cramps his style. It also makes him run into walls and doorframes, table legs and human legs. It turns simple things such as sniffing and drinking water into a chore, like wearing a golf umbrella that’s impossible to close. Ice wants your sympathy, and he wants to be hand-fed treats because PLEASE, it makes life just a bit easier right now. Ice is also profoundly sad about the prospect of being ungainly for an entire week and he’s mourning the death of his social life. I mean, who can play with this thing on?!?

I confess to being a bit anxious for Ice when we dropped him off at the vet this morning. It’s surgery, after all, which carries attendant risks and pain associated with even routine procedures such as this one. I expected Ice would be out of sorts when I picked him up at the end of the day, and his nether region would be sore and tender for a while. But the worst thing is to see him so utterly sad. Ice will figure out how to get around with the cone in a day or two, but until then he’s just going to mope and listen to Adele and reminisce about his life, pre-cone.

Ice the Dog and his cone of shame

Ice the Dog and his cone of shame

Ice the Dog and his cone of shame

May 18, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]