Portraits of Mexico: San Miguel de Allende

Portraits of Mexico: San Miguel de Allende

If anything, I am certainly an inveterate traveler. What began as an odd trip to this country or that, is now an often-as-possible jaunt to wherever strikes my latest fancy. The latest interest was Mexico, specifically San Miguel de Allende. A pleasant town about five hours north of Mexico City, San Miguel sits roughly 2000 meters above sea-level, giving it a cool temperate climate. The landscape is equally as agreeable, with rolling lowlands interspersed with lofty hills. Here, cattle and goats lazily graze the light scrub while cowboys watch attentively. All considered, a wonderful, but all too brief journey.

Portugal Travel-Log: Part 2, Porto and the Return to Lisbon

Read Portugal Travel-Log: Part 1, Lisbon and CoimbraModern Lisbon and classic Coimbra, home to one of the world’s oldest universities

Porto

The next morning brought cold rain and an early departure for Porto, further to the north. Portugal’s second largest city and famed for its sweet Port wine, Porto stands gracefully above the northern banks of the Douro River. Arriving on the train, the first thing a visitor will notice are the towering bridges that connect Porto and its more modern neighbour Vila Nova de Gaia. One such span, the Dom Luís I Bridge, arches majestically over the river and brings to mind images of Paris’ Eiffel Tower. This is no accident; the bridge’s designer, Léopold Valentin, was one of Gustav Eiffel’s young protégés.

The lights of Ribeira glisten in the cool night air, the historic center of Porto, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 (Portugal's 8th)The lights of Ribeira glisten in the cool night air, the historic center of Porto, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 (Portugal’s 8th)Parts of Porto, with boarded up buildings and scrawled graffiti, hint at the city’s hard-scrabble past as a shipping port and decades of economic despondency. Closer to the Douro River, the buildings are older and the area more well-preserved. Riberia, belying Porto’s more recent economic struggles, is an exquisite gem of august architecture, fine restaurants and majestic bridges. UNESCO certainly thought so, naming Riberia a World Heritage Site in 1996. Dining on Portugal’s superb cuisine and sweet Port wine with the Don Luis I alight in the darkness as a backdrop is truly a singular pleasure.

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Yes. I Bought an iPhone.

Yes. I Bought an iPhone.So everyone will stop being shocked when they hear about it, yes, I bought an iPhone. And it’s brilliant.

It is sort of like the genius friend we all have. The one who also happens to be a super-model. And just like the beautiful intelligent friend, occasionally it crashes hard when over-burdened. But I still love it. Now, everyone, stop asking to hold it every time I take it out to check the time. My genius-super-model-phone is taken.