Sunday, 30 November 2008

Vila Nova de Gaia: Graham Lodge

Returning to Porto, we found ourselves rather overwhelmed by hospitality. We had been recommended a hotel, offered dinner, given two introductions to the Graham Lodge, and lent a book about the Douro Quintas! This last was inscribed (to our friend Jane Blunden) by Fr. José Cabral de Ferreira, a member of one of the oldest port families and a Jesuit priest, retired from teaching anthropology at Porto University.

Because of the timing of our Graham's visit we thought that, before checking in at our hotel, we should walk up to the Cathedral from São Bento: later it would be closed. More wonderful tiles, in the cloister! Then, on arrival at the hotel reception when we were already running late, there was Fr. José, maps and guide books to hand, waiting to show us round his home city. Oh dear! Would he by any chance mind accompanying us to a rival family's port lodge? Of course not, he said graciously; and so it was that the three of us made our way over the high bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia.

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