Portugal’s northwest corner along the border with Spain is the region known as the Costa Verde (Green Coast). Porto, the country’s second-largest city, gave the name port to its fortified wine and to the left-hand side of ships sailing south. The vines are grown along the length of the Douro River up to the border with Spain. Vinho verde (green wine) is Portugal’s signature wine, a light, crisp, dry form of the grape.
Braga is near the border of Spain. Nearly everywhere you look, there is a church, a palace, or a fountain. To Braga’s west is Barcelos, a sprawling river town that is home to the Barcelos cock, the most characteristic souvenir of Portugal. Its legend began when a man was sentenced to hang. Appealing to the judge, who was eating a chicken dinner at the time, the condemned man said that to prove his innocence, the rooster on the judge’s plate would get up and crow. Of course it did!
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