The tour was a Mayflower cruise down the Douro River. We arrived in Lisbon, got a quick tour and stopped two places on our way to Porto to board our ship. I arrived early to explore Lisbon on my own with a few other friends. I LOVED Lisbon! Old world, low key compared to other large European cities, and friendly people. The food was great everywhere. I took one day trip out to Sintra with a stop at Cascais, and Cabo da Roca, the most western point in Europe. Back in Lisbon I spent time in Alfama, an arts district with scenic lookouts onto the Tagus river. Lori and I had a wonderful meal our first night in Alfama at Farol de Santa Luzia. Later we took a backstreet food and wine tour arranged through Viator that was a highlight since our guide, Tiago, was extraordinary. We visited the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (home to outstanding examples of the blue tile work Portugal is known for) and dropped in on a Banksy show. Shopping near the Praca do Comercio and site seeing the traditional favorites like the Discoveries Memorial, Belem Tower, etc. – check! And that was just the ‘pre-trip’! On the bus to Porto we stopped at Fatima, a religious destination for Catholics, and at Coimbra, home to a famous university. That evening we dined aboard our ship and the hospitality could not have been better. The cruise ships on the Douro are small and can only hold 100 or so guests. Food was great. Scenery was great. Excursions on land included stops at Lamego, Salamanca, Pinhao, Pacheco Winery, and Museu e Parque Arqueologico do Vale do Coa. Side note: if one can do a cruise choose one that will take you on shore and bus you to Salamanca, Spain. It is charming old world and very historic. Back on ship: I enjoyed the experience of passing through a lock and viewing the vineyards from the top deck as we leisurely cruised. I could only spend a short time in Porto before our departure but I did see the spectacular tile work within the train station of Sao Bento and took a tour boat on the river to pass under each of the 7 bridges that cross from Porto to Gaia before the river spills out to the Atlantic Ocean. On the Gaia side of the river we spent time at a winery specializing in Port. So guess what I brought home with me? Oh, and don’t forget to bring back tins of sardines or anchovies. The Portuguese specialize in canned fish!