Program 419a: Porto and the Douro Valley; Midnight in Siberia; Scottish Pub Talk

Release Date: 08-26-2017


Guides from Portugal describe the delights of Porto, and the winemaking traditions of the nearby Douro Valley in the north of Portugal. Then NPR's David Greene shares what he learned about everyday working-class Russians from his trips on the Trans-Siberian Railway. And friends from Scotland explain the cultural importance of their neighborhood pubs, and share tips for making yourself feel right at home on your next pub visit.


  • Robert Wright, tour guide to Portugal
  • Cristina Duarte, tour guide based in Lisbon
  • David Greene, NPR Morning Edition co-host and author of "Midnight in Siberia"  (W. W. Norton)
  • Anne Doig, tour guide based in Edinburgh
  • Colin Mairs, tour guide based in Glasgow
  • Liz Lister, Scottish tour guide based in Fife 

Related Links

  • Websites for Portugal guides Cristina Duarte and Robert Wright
  • The Visit Portugal website has detailed information about the Douro Valley.
  • Boutique hotels in central Portugal are known as "quintas."
  • The Wine Folly website has a detailed guide to the port wines of Portugal.
  • Vila Nova de Gaia, next to Porto, is famous for its wine storage caves.
  • David Greene, former Moscow bureau chief for NPR, wrote "Midnight in Siberia" about his travels on and off the Trans-Siberian Railway. It is published by W. W. Norton and Co.
  • The Trans-Siberian Railway travels past Lake Baikal, the deepest fresh water lake in the world.
  • On one of his trips across Russia, David Greene sang Beatles songs with a famous singing group of elderly ladies known as "The Babushkas of Buranovo." They are from the traditional Udmurt culture in the Ural Mountains, and almost won the Eurovision song contest in 2012.    
  • Scotland guides Liz Lister and Colin Mairs have information about their tour guiding services on their websites. 
  • The Tours section of the Rick Steves website includes a short interview with Anne Doig about Scotland.
  • The guides from Scotland recommend checking the listings in the Gig Guide for live music venues in Scotland.
  • The Glasgow Live website explores the sense of humor of the city's comedians.
  • Anne Doig and Liz Lister were also Rick's guests on program 480 from April, 2017, in which they discuss touring whisky distilleries in Scotland.

Program Extras

More with David Greene - <p>David Greene explains to a caller from Massachusetts why his Russian travels did not include a side trip to an important historic site near the route of Trans-Siberian Railway, and the important observation he gained instead. (runs 3:48)</p>