There will be many different “Douros” in each memory.
For me, the first one remotes to about sixty-five years ago, after driving the train from Caldas de Moledo. The “boat” went to the other side. In the downstream between the rocks, born the thermal waters and rapids showed the wild face of this river. It was difficult to navigate and that was the road to drain the Porto Wine to Porto (Gaia) for over a hundred years. From the River and rising by the slope to the farm we could see the splendor of the mountains to the cliffs of Marão. This summer the river was the place to play in the sand and the splash of the waters that ran fast. Pose for a photograph in a Rabelo boat that the Boatman was riding, it was the image that I keep in my memories.
There was another “Douro” seen from the train, during a trip from Porto to Salamanca, in the distant past, it was wild with a wild beauty that we could see in our way to Spain and that we can see between the tunnels and through the iron row that was the work of outstanding engineering.
Now the river is serene, that dams carved him the impetus. The travel by boat, is already possible through all its way and is total different comparing to the first trips that Rabelo boats have done to transport the Wine barrels by treacherous rapids.
There is no longer the risk of falling to the river and drown under due to the weight of gold coins carried on the belt as have been the misfortune of the Baron of Forrester. The tourists do not require balloon skirts (which float) that save them from the water as people say that have been the fortune of “Ferreirinha”.
However there is something that does not change and that is the charm of autumn colors on the slopes covered by vineyards. This land was worked and changed each meander sailed.
In the city of Porto, the “Cruise of the Bridges” should not stop because the views of Porto and Gaia show a scenario that men have changed over the years but retains an odd interest! The “Old Town” seen from the river, it is shown in its fullness.
I still have other memories, and is worth to save them, because are where the emotions are.