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  • Day9

    Von Madrid nach Costa de Lavos/ Portugal

    August 12, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Heute war die große Fahrt von Madrid nach Portugal angesagt.

    Um 10 Uhr ging es dann vom Campingplatz los, am nächsten Einkaufszentrum wurde dann noch der Kühlschrank gefüllt und alles Nötige für die nächsten Tage eingekauft.

    Die 560 Km zogen sich dann doch ganz schön - teilweise Autobahn - Schnellstraße und aber auch über Landstraßen durch kleine Dörfer.

    Die Grenze durchfuhren wir dann mitten in der Wildnis und freuten uns, jetzt endlich in Portugal zu sein 🇵🇹

    250 Km war es dann noch in Portugal bis zum Stellplatz direkt am Strand von Costa de Lavos, etwas unterhalb von Figueira da Foz.
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  • Day48

    Studentenstadt Coimbra

    October 20, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Gestern haben wir in Coimbra verbracht, eine Studentenstadt die bekannt ist für Fado. Bei Fado handelt es sich um traditionelle portugiesische Liebeslieder die von Männern vorgesungen werden - Die ideale musikalische Begleitung für ein zwei Super Bock :)
    Die Studenten tragen noch heute schwarze bodentiefe Mäntel, weshalb man sich etwas vor kommt wie in einem Harry Potter Film. Wir hatten sogar das Glück bei einem Aufnahmeritual der neuen Studenten dabei zu sein, einer Mischung aus Trinkspielen und Bootcamp...
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  • Day10

    Der Tag in Costa de Lavos

    August 13, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Den Tag heute an der Küste Portugals, ließen wir ganz gemütlich angehen.

    6:30 Uhr (nach Portugal Zeit, also eine Stunde früher als in Deutschland) wurden wir schon wach - erst mal einen Tee und Kaffee - dann ab mit den Hunden an den Strand.

    Für die Hunde ist das wirklich ein Paradies hier, vor allem lieben sie das Klima!

    Uns ist es eigentlich schon fast zu frisch hier - es ist wohl den ganzen Tag sonnig aber nur um die 23-24 Grad - morgens und abends so um die 18-20 Grad. Eigentlich angenehm aber hier am Atlantik geht halt doch immer ein Wind.

    Die Mädels hielten sich Nachmittags noch etwas am Strand auf und ich fuhr dann mit dem Fahrrad ins 12 Km entfernte Figueira da Foz da dort die nächste Poststelle ist, bei der ich uns noch ein Ticket für die Autobahn Maut besorgen musste.

    Die Fahrt über die große Brücke (die einzige Verbindung über das Wasser) war schon etwas aufregend - neben vorbeidornenden LKWs - allerdings auch mit toller Aussicht, war ich dann doch wieder froh, dass ich gut am Stellplatz ankam.

    Hier gibt es so gut wie keine Radfahrer und somit auch keine Radwege - man fährt hier gefühlt auf dem Standstreifen einer Autobahn!

    Den Sonnenuntergang genossen wir dann noch schön mit den Hunden am Strand, wo es dann allerdings schon recht frisch war, aber wunderschön.

    Morgen werden wir kurzfristig entscheiden ob wir noch eine Nacht bleiben, oder unsere Reise fortsetzen.
    Ich habe noch ein paar schöne Stellplätze auf der Liste 😎👍
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  • Day90

    In the middle of nowhere

    September 16, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Wir reisen entlang der Westküste von Portugal. Tagsüber sind wir durch die alte Hafenstadt Porto gefahren. Das bergige auf und ab, die häufigen Kreisel und der Straßenzustand setzen unserem Hund im Auto ziemlich zu.
    Deshalb haben wir entschieden, auf den Städtebesuch von Lissabon zu verzichten.
    Die meisten Menschen sind sehr freundlich. Trotzdem drückt der rotte, spröde melancholische Charme der Küstenorte auf unsere gute Laune. Das Wetter ist umgeschlagen und es herrscht eine nebulöse Endzeitstimmung. Wir fahren lieber weiter in den sonnigen Süden 🚎...

    We travel along the west coast of Portugal. During the day we drove through the old port city Porto. The mountainous up and down, the frequent roundabouts and the road condition are quite straining our dog in the car.
    That's why we decided not to visit Lisbon.
    Most people are very friendly. Nevertheless, the red, brittle melancholic charm of the coastal towns depress our good mood. The weather has changed and there is a nebulous end-time mood. We prefer to drive on to the sunny south 🚎...
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  • Feb22

    Coimbra - First Impressions

    February 22, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Easy peasy 1 1/2 hour train ride from Aveiro to Coimbra with hardly anyone on the train. A few students. There are two train stops in Coimbra - Stations A and B. One is outside of the city and the other is in the city. So, that’s where we got off.

    So what were our first impressions?

    It seems like it is a pretty city. Pastel-coloured houses going up a high hill located beside a big river.

    It is hilly. Oh yes, very hilly. Great for getting lots of exercise – bad for people carrying backpacks and getting lost going up the hills. Great for views on every corner – bad for carrying our food and too many books over any distance over a few hundred metres! But without the bags, it is great for seeing new vistas around every corner!

    It has a beautiful university situated on top of a hill. Tourists come here to explore the historical buildings, visit the museums and check out the views. From its narrow, ancient streets to its imposing religious buildings, there’s plenty to see on campus.

    There are a lot of musicians playing saxophones, guitars and drums on the wonderful, main pedestrian street. We even saw a man playing an accordion while his wee little dog sat on a stool with a little bucket in his mouth, collecting change. So funny.

    It is a very clean city and people are nice.

    Laundry hangs out on balconies high up on five storey buildings and cats sit in windowsills. A bit of graffiti and cobblestone streets.

    Every fifth store is a bakery or a cafe. We will have to run up those steep hills on a daily basis in order to burn the calories from the pastries that we will want to eat.

    The history! Oh my.

    The city definitely has a lot of character and we are looking forward to exploring it.
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  • Day31

    First impressions of Coimbra

    October 4, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We left our apartment to explore the city and get an initial feel for our immediate area. First thing we learnt was that if a car comes down the very narrow streets, and they do, you need to hug the wall or step into a void, as you just need to get out of the way! We headed down our street and found ourselves at the river. Coimbra is a fairly hilly city, with lots of steep streets and walkways and stairs.

    We wandered down the main pedestrian mall to check out the shops and just take it all in. We encountered some uni students, who are very recognisable in their black suits and robes - very Harry Potter like. During our wanderings we noticed a lovely little restaurant around the corner from our apartment, so we decided to head there for an early dinner later in the evening. Before heading back to the apartment, we stopped for a glass of rosé in little cafe on the stairs leading up to our street, and just take in the relaxed atmosphere. We have noticed that Fado is very popular here in Coimbra as it was in Lisbon, and there are a lot of Fado bars in our area.
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  • Day31

    Arcada for dinner

    October 4, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We headed out for an early dinner, arriving at Arcada just after 6.30 to find it wasn’t open yet. So, while Ian waited at the restaurant I strolled down the road to check out if there were other options if this one didn’t open. There were several other options, but luckily Arcada soon opened. We were their first customers, and decided to sit outside. The staff (who are students from the University) were great, really helpful with assisting us choosing the wine, and told us if we ordered too much food. There was a very friendly and cute neighbourhood dog that kept hanging around hoping for some titbits - he would even sneak into the restaurant, but was chased out by the staff.

    For dinner we had stuffed mushrooms, a sandwich of pork, caramelised onions, mayonnaise and Padron peppers, chorizo, and a sardines boat, Everything was so fresh and delicious, but in terms of presentation the sardines were the standout. As we were sitting outside, as people wandered past and checked out the menu, Ian would tell them how good the food was and encourage them to come in. I think he probably convinced 4 or 5 couples during the evening.

    One couple from the US, who were in Portugal celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, sat next to us and we had a lovely night chatting to them, and then later a couple from Vienna also sat near us and joined in the conversation. There was also a lovely young German couple, and a young Italian boy called Lorenzo that kept coming out to get our attention. He was very cute, but we think his mum got a bit embarrassed, as she thought he was annoying us but he wasn’t.

    We decided to treat ourselves to dessert, a trio of tastes to share, which comprised of a key lime pie, almond mousse and chocolate mousse. Dessert also came with 2 glasses of port, which Ian had to drink, as I had ordered a local Portuguese gin which was very nice - it was called Anicis. The staff then also brought out a shot of a local digestive, for the six of us and themselves, to toast new friendships. It was a really great night, and we didn’t end up getting home until about 11.30 pm.
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  • Day32

    University of Coimbra - the Library

    October 5, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We headed up to the University this morning to explore the campus. First thing we did was purchase tickets to enter the various buildings, and secured a time to visit the library. It is broadly accepted that this University was founded on 1 March 1290. For many years, the “General Studies” alternated between the two largest cities at the time, Coimbra and Lisbon. After three centuries of roaming, in 1537 the University settled definitely in Coimbra, as ordered by King João III. The University of Coimbra is Portugal’s oldest University, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We explored the large courtyard that has a statue of King João III, and has lovely views down to the river.

    We visited the library, known as The Old (Joanine) Library, at 11 am, as it is timed entry. There are three levels in the library. The Academic prison is on the first level. It was used until 1832, and was where students served time for having committed disciplinary offences. There is a middle floor, also called depository 4, which was used to keep books to which only a restricted group of staff had access. The top floor, referred to as the Noble Floor, is unbelievably ornate and contains thousands of books. It is divided into three sections, has three ceiling paintings, ornately carved columns supporting the shelves with lots of gold, and a royal portrait of King João V. Interestingly, there is a colony of bats that also reside in the library to keep the insects such as moths under control, as they can eat the books. Each night the tables and other furnishings are covered in leather sheets to protect them from the animal droppings. No photos were allowed on the Noble Floor.
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  • Day32

    Wandering around the campus

    October 5, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    After seeing all these wonderful buildings at the University of Coimbra, and as it was a lovely sunny day, we decided to explore the campus a bit more widely. We passed a number of faculty buildings, including the Medicine, Chemistry, Physics and Botany faculties. When we reached the edge of the campus, we could see what looked like an Aquaduct which ran along the side of the Botanical Gardens (also part of the university). It turns out it is the Aqueduto de São Sebastião. We also popped into the Botanical Gardens for a quick look, but decided not to go all the way in.

    We then decided to head back up to the Science Museum, located on the University campus but, as the main part was closed for cleaning, we instead went to the Museu Nacional De Machado De Castro - located just across the road - where we first had lunch in their restaurant, which has great views.
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  • Day33

    Conimbriga - Roman Ruins

    October 6, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Today we had a bit of a lazy morning. It was nice to just hang about and take it easy without having to be somewhere at a specific time. We decided that since public transport seemed practically non existent on a Sunday, we would order an Uber to take us to Conímbriga, about 16kms southwest of Coimbra. This went without a hitch, much to Ian’s delight, as it was his first time booking an Uber. In fact, our driver was quite an interesting young man, who was very talkative. He has aspirations to travel to Australia someday. He has finished university, where he studied to be an art historian, and he has worked in his field in both Lisbon and Porto (his home town) but now resides in Coimbra. He was also an aspiring artist, writer and musician.

    We decided to have lunch before exploring the ruins, so ate at the restaurant that was part of the small museum located at the ruins. It was surprisingly good. I had fish and, and Ian had grilled chicken, washed down by a glass of wine. Once we were well nourished, we headed out to explore the ruins, which are said to be Portugal’s most extensive Roman ruins, and one of the best preserved sites on the Iberian Peninsula. The mosaic work on the floors, much of it still in tact, was amazing, and the size of the site is quite phenomenal. Established a few years BC, after about 500 years of living peacefully and prospering, the town was subjected to raids (there is evidence of a hastily built massive defensive wall built through the middle of the town). It was totally abandoned when the Roman Empire disintegrated.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Distrito de Coimbra, Coimbra