Porto is Where I Begin My Journey

I’m in Porto, Portugal, in a Sheraton outside the city center, awaiting my deployment, when I will be driven down to the dock and board the Scenic Azure, a river ship that will take me all the way east to Spain.

Entrance to a restaurant in Porto, Portugal.
Entrance to a restaurant in Porto, Portugal.
The longest people mover I've ever seen, in Frankfurt Airport.
The longest people mover I’ve ever seen, in Frankfurt Airport.
Home of the Boa Vista Panthers football club in Porto.
Home of the Boa Vista Panthers football club.

What could be more exciting than departing this evening?  This is actually my first river cruise, having read and published story after story about the experience.

Now it’s my turn. I have a few anxieties that I am quelling, like ‘do I have enough t-shirts?’ but I think I can obtain a few at a store I passed during my reconnaissance mission yesterday aftern00n.

Porto is the second city of Portugal and I remember on previous visits taking a trip down to the Ribiera, the riverside area where there are many clubs, cafes and sidewalk music along the Douro river.

I found out that the pandemic is in a different phase here, with mask rules inside every business and pretty strict rules like we had back in 2020.  <<<<<shudder>>>>

I really hope that this is gone soon, you can really see how it affects tourism, such as this Sheraton with more than 200 rooms but only about 100 full.

Our Scenic cruise, too, will be an uncrowded affair, with around 44 passengers in a space that would normally hold 98. I think this is going to be an epic adventure, relaxing, and full of interesting people and experiences. It’s just the kind of trip I relish!