European Trip 2012

Well - it really was a great trip. We traveled first to Ireland, arriving at dawn to be met by a taxi driver who, in normal circumstances would be retired. The economy and a tough housing market keep him behind the wheel. His only good news during our cab ride: great grandkids.
Meals were good and Guinness changed its taste from place to place. The best Guinness, interestingly enough, was not at the Storehouse. The scenery is beautiful in the Irish countryside, but we found our guides, drivers and train hosts constantly complaining about the state of the economy in their country.

Another Great Meal

Having gained ten pounds this month, I now trying to loose it during November, last night did not help.

It was a great night, the thirty minute drive each way on I435 was worth it.

Port, styles and flavors.

My first trip at the age of 19 was to the vineyards of Port ugal, which of course included the Upper Douro, the home of the vine yards. The River Douro runs very close to the growing area. Some thirty years ago a hydro electric dam was built that made a difference to irrigation. The so called soil is a schistous rock, and it is true that dynamite is some times use to break up the ground to plant the nursery vines. Most of the grape varieties grown are form less than ten staples, although over eighty varieties are available.