Wednesday October 15 -- Coimbra

Wednesday October 15 -- Coimbra
Rain! Rain! A small bus picked us up at the hotel for a tour including Coimbra and Fatima (we thought). Well, HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! As we walked around Coimbra we asked about Fatima and Yolande, our guide, had no idea that we thought we were going there! That was the part of this tour I was excited about! Apparently it was quietly dropped from the itinerary without us being told -- a few of us are NOT HAPPY! Yolande offered to tell us about Fatima as we travel, so that's something at least.

Coimbra is one of the old, lovely, golden Portuguese towns on a hill. Its university is the oldest, or one of the oldest, in Portugal, so the history and buildings carry that weight of history. We visited the chapel -- gorgeous! the library -- unbelievable! The library is kept pest-free by the resident bats, which we could see hanging from the ceiling.



We saw, but couldn't enter some ceremonial rooms used for exams and graduations, and walked through others. The rain came and went as we walked around, so we got very damp.
Yolande is a great guide with lots of interesting information and stories. We've seen many churches in our travels that form part of the Portuguese pilgrimage route to Santiago, Spain. One of them is in Coimbra. Through the town of Salamanca there were markings in the pavement pointing the way for pilgrims going through there.
When we got back to Porto we all decided to go for a big mid-afternoon meal, since we hadn't had lunch. We didn't go far because of the pouring rain but had a great dinner, with a hugely-entertaining server. At the end he said, "USA?". We said "Canadian" and he replied, "Oh -- sorry to offend." We all cracked up.
We all packed up, then met for one last drink in the hotel bar.
Link to All Photos for 15 October

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