The third night we spent in Coimbra. Actually we drove on to Coimbra right after Avila where we had a light meal of coffee (cafe leche) and muffins. I noticed some others had hamburgers but since we could not take meat during this trip we made do with muffins, pancakes and other light pasteries. An interesting thing happened in Avila that day - Ron and Julia, the only New Zealanders among us - were late to the bus and was finally thought to be lost. Poor Angel. our Tour Director was quite distraught because nobody knew them at that time except us - I sat with them during breakfast at the hotel, so could give a description of the couple. I'm sure it must have been a scary experience for them - I know how easily one can get lost in that medieval city - a wrong turn and you don't know where you are! We sent out a small search party but after half an hour still could not find them. Finally after waiting for almost one hour they turned up at the supposed meeting place, very pale and frightened thinking we might be angry with them. Of course we were not for anybody could get lost in the narrow winding streets!
So at 2.30 pm, one hour later then the scheduled time we left for Portugal. It was a long drive through narrow gorges and splendid looking scenery, past olive and cork plantations as well as vineyards.We arrived at Coimbra in Portugal earlier than we thought, thanks to our fantastic driver, Sergio and still had time to visit the university that is so famous for its black uniforms or capes! The Coimbra University or Universidad de Coimbra is the oldest university in Portugal and the fifth oldest in Europe. Coimbra itself is a scenic city, very well-preserved with old cobble-stoned roads, tiny alleys that climb up to the university which is situated at the top of the town. I noticed that there were also a lot of nice shops but we didnt have time to shop so had to say good bye to that!
|One of the narrow cobbled streets|
|Gate into the old city|