Porto, Portugal – Guest Post
by Ken MacAdams
Ken is a traveling man and uses Lumix gear during his travels. Ken will share some of his travel photography and stories here on Successful-Photographer as he has in the past. Ken’s camera of choice is Panasonic’s flagship stills camera the Lumix G9 with the Leica DG Vario-ELMARIT Professional Lens, 12-60MM, F2.8-4.0
Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal known for its port wine and stately bridges. In the medieval riverside Ribeira district, narrow, hilly cobbled streets wind past merchants’ cafes and houses. Close by is the Dom Luis I Bridge, a double deck metal arch bridge that was designed by Gustav Eiffel, the same man who designed Paris’ famous Eiffel Tower. Spanning the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, this unique bridge offers great views of the river and city. You can walk across either level of the bridge, but most of the activity takes place on the streets adjoining the lower level, or riverside.
Dom Luis I Bridge. The bridge was designed by Gustav Eiffel. Rabelo boats in the foreground.
All Photos in this post © 2019 Ken MacAdams
While on the Vila Nova de Gaia city side, or south side of the river, we turned down Avenida Diogo Leite, a street paralleling the River Douro. This street is lined with a multitude of sidewalk cafes, and numerous wine tasting establishments. Settling in at one of the sidewalk cafes, we enjoyed the views of watercraft plying the River Douro, with the hillside city of Porto in the background.
Cafes and housing in the old Riberia district, Porto.
While history tells us it was the Romans – early conquerors of this land – that introduced the first grapevines to this area, it was the Brits who championed port. The significance of the wine producing Douro area dates back hundreds of years. When England was at war with France in the early 1700’s, English merchants began importing wine from this region, for the deprived English wine drinkers of French wines. British importers realized the need for a smooth fortified wine that would not only appeal to English palates but would also survive the trip to London.
Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, and higher in alcohol content than unfortified wines. This is caused by the addition of distilled grape spirits to fortify the wine and halt fermentation before all the sugar is converted to alcohol, and results in a wine that is usually 19% to 20% alcohol. The grapes aren’t grown in Porto itself, but in the region extending inland up the Douro River Valley.
To be continued next Friday. Porto, Portugal – Part Two
Ken MacAdams – “I grew up with a darkroom in my basement…so all the old film skills were my friend when digital came on the scene. Funny thing happened…photography just got more interesting as digital posed new challenges! While I loved the characteristic sounds and smells of the old wet-process darkroom days, I wouldn’t go back!”
Ken has always loved to travel, so when he made a common connection with the fact that either a long day pounding the streets of some foreign city, or shooting the last dance at a wedding, a good part of his physical weariness came from lugging around my big heavy DSLR. That’s when he started looking at alternatives – and ended up selecting Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds gear.
Ken is rarely without a camera, and the next great photo travel experience – whether local or abroad – is always in the back of his mind! A longtime resident of the Four Corners, and when he’s not out on the road, he enjoys some of the great outdoor opportunities found here – mountain biking, hiking, and Jeeping.