Sunday, February 19

Porto pleasures

Every now and then I get a reminder of the good bits that my job involves; last week I was invited to Portugal to witness the operation of a big, technically-sophisticated bit of bridge-building kit.

The company that invited me had booked me into one of the poshest hotels I've ever stayed in, with a glorious view across the river Douro in the heart of Porto (well in fact the hotel was in Gaia on the opposite side of the river).

The bathroom had a window for goodness sake!

I was the only person in the swimming pool/gym, which also has a view of the river, and we dined that evening in the restaurant at the hotel where I tasted a glass of Taylor's Scion port that was bottled in 1855. I like port, and this was incredible stuff but eye-wateringly expensive.

Of course everything comes at a price and the next day I endured a rather nerve-wracking few hours visiting the site; the views were lovely but clambering around large pieces of equipment at heights of about 300ft is not something I would choose to do! I could have done with a restorative glass of port after that visit!

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