Tuesday, August 7, 2018


7/24/18 Coimbra University Tower

Our international travel experience has shown us that we are happiest when we schedule a smaller, low-key town at the end of the trip instead of a large, intense city. To that end, we made Coimbra the last stop on our Portuguese itinerary, a college town that has been described as “Lisbon, but without all the tourists.” Four nights is probably more than most travelers to Portugal would devote to this friendly town, which doesn’t have any big-name attractions (other than Coimbra Universidade, of course – one of Europe’s oldest universities). But photos we’d seen and articles we’d read gave us the impression that Coimbra would be an ideal place to wind down and relax before we headed home, and it turned out to be exactly right.

Although we didn’t get to rest our weary legs much – Coimbra has its share of hills – we could give Google Maps a rest (in a town with one main square, it’s hard to get lost). Feeling safe and relaxed and having sketched enough iconic towers and views during the rest of the trip, I found myself making more of the kinds of sketches I would make if I were home – ordinary street scenes, utility wires, a busker, heavy equipment.
7/23/18 Bellini gelateria, Coimbra
We finally had time to enjoy Fado, the traditional Portuguese musical form. I found myself taking more photos of the remarkable pavement and details like doorknobs because there wasn’t as much vehicular or pedestrian traffic to worry about bumping into. We ate more gelato!

7/24/18 Fado performers
7/23/18 busker

7/23/18 Detail of Igreja de Santa Cruz
7/24/18 door knob

7/24/18 Igreia Santa Cruz 
7/25/18 An historic flag of Portugal was being hoisted
for an event.

7/26/18 Se Velha cathedral, Rua dos Coutinhos

7/25/18 monument of Joaquim Antonio de Aguiar,
which was always covered with pigeons

7/25/18 I loved the juxtaposition of the Gothic cathedral, highrises, construction crane and utility poles -- all in the same view.

7/26/18 St. Benedict Chapel and bamboo forest, Jardim Botanica

7/25/18 utility wires wrapped around a balcony
7/25/18 building details

7/25/18 Mondego River, Coimbra

7/26/18 Hotel Astoria

Street scenes of Coimbra

A car and a bus trying to squeeze past each other!

Lots of interesting doors and doorknobs

I had more time to appreciate the pavement.

Bamboo grove inside the Jardim Botanica, which is part of Coimbra Universidade

Burger King delivers!
184 narrow, winding steps to the top of Coimbra University's
iconic tower

And when we climbed to the top, this view was our reward.

After Greg's Fitbit registered our 19,488 steps for the day, we stopped for gelato. BIG gelato.

1 comment:

  1. How nice to stop in a quieter place after a big city...good move! Looks like there was a lot to see and a lot of walking too!


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