Here you’ll find travel reports about Lapa. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

11 travelers at this place:

  • Day272

    Meine Überraschung ist gelungen! Zu Ronja's 18 Geburtstag ging es für mich nach Portugal, um sie zu überraschen. Dieser Zeit mit der Familie ohne andere Verpflichtungen zuhause, war eine gute Lösung, denn so genießt man einfach nur das Zusammensein mit Mama, Papa und Schwester. Allerdings hat mich das Fernweh echt schon wieder gepackt und ich würde am Liebsten bald wieder los. Allerdings die Freude heute ganz nach Hause zu gehen, meine allerliebste Omi zu sehen und auch meine ganzen Freunde zu besuchen, lässt sich nicht in Worte fassen.
    Bis bald meine Lieben!
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  • Day36

    Day 36: University of Coimbra -> Porto

    March 23, 2017 in Portugal

    Time to move on again, a bit of a shame since our Airbnb apartment was really nice and we didn't have much of a chance to enjoy it. But such is the life of a traveller! We actually vegged out a bit in the morning, catching up on stuff from the previous day before packing up and heading out at around 11am. Drove into the downtown area of the city near the University.

    The University is a world heritage site, not particularly because of its buildings (although nice), and also not because of famous scientists or discoveries here, but because of its influence on the world. It was founded originally in the 12th century in Lisbon and moved to Coimbra in the 16th century, but more importantly it was the only university in Portugal for much of its history. And because of Portugal's global status via the empire, the ideas and concepts developed here spread quickly around the world.

    We had a look at the main quadrangle, overlooked by some impressive buildings. The Royal Hall (actually a repurposed part of an old royal palace) was very cool, a hall very heavy on dark decor where "PHD defences" are held. Essentially, PhD students sit at a table in the centre of the hall and defend their thesis against argument and criticism, I assume from the professors and academics. One was in progress as we visited so we couldn't enter the hall, but the view from the windows looked cool.

    The highlight here was definitely the library though - a huge building that housed 60,000 Renaissance era books. It was one of the first purpose-built libraries in Europe, and much thought was put into preservation. For example, the walls were 2 metres thick and the doors constructed of a special wood to regulate both temperature and humidity. Bookshelves made of a certain wood that smells repulsive to insects, and there's even a colony of bats living in the walls to feed on paper-eating beetles!

    Had lunch at a restaurant near a clifftop, which, although it looked and felt expensive, was actually very reasonably priced. We both had a fish dish of something very similar to grilled octopus, but not octopus, along with bread, wine and coffee for just 8 euros per head!

    Dashed upstairs to the Physics Laboratory where we had a guided tour of the faculty's collection of old instruments, an interesting throwback to an era when physics experiments were done with brass pipes and strings, not computers. We also went through the natural history department which had an enormous collection of preserved and taxidermied animals. The fin whale skeleton was the highlight, although some of the stuffed animals were comical - I guess taxidermy as a science and an art has come a long way since the 18th century!

    Back to the car where Schnitzel was faithfully waiting for us, fast asleep in his bed. He seems very happy there, and I suppose since we move houses every few days, the car and his bed are the main constants in his environment aside from us.

    Out of Coimbra we hit the road and headed north, this time thankfully on the freeway rather than the highway. About 90 minutes driving later we arrived in Porto, the second-largest city in the country and home to about 1.5 million people. Found our accommodation with no dramas and settled in. As usual, we're staying in an apartment about 20 minutes walk from the main centre of town.

    Although it was approaching evening, we headed out for a walk to stretch Schnitzel's legs. Found a park a few hundred metres up the road where he did his business and entertained himself chasing pigeons, before we headed a bit further on to a supermarket. Schnitzel and I waited outside while Shandos bought some supplies. I think I've mentioned before, but Schnitzel gets far more attention here in Portugal than in Spain - people often react like they've never seen a dachshund before (although we have seen a few around). It's nice that he's popular, but the attention gets a bit tiring sometimes. Particularly when you're cold and waiting around outside a supermarket for 30 minutes on a busy street at dusk.

    Back to the apartment where we relaxed in front of the heater and ate our dinner of soup and spinach frittata. Expecting a long day of sight-seeing tomorrow as I've heard great things about Porto - and of course it has a World Heritage listed Old Town!
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