Time to leave Porto and start the road trip that will lead us to Lisbon. There are a lot of nice towns along the way, and some of them are definitely worth a stop.
The first circle on our map is Coimbra, famous for its wonderful University. In the huge space in front of the Faculties, Viola starts to run and jump around – and don’t picture it as a yard, it’s a HUGE courtyard so in ten minutes she’s super tired and of course, guess what, she wants a snack. There I play my super-mummy card, having bought crackers and wafers at a supermarket, earlier that day.
“Sweet or savoury?” I ask with the same aplombe as an air hostess. Once the lil’ Gremlin is fed, everything’s better and we can keep on with the visit of the University.
Here is Coimbra University, so fascinating and full of athmosphere. I can’t but envy those who are lucky enough to study here, surrounded by history. The University walls are full of amazing azulejos picturing saints, battles and sea adventures. And the library, oh the library. Looks like it came out of a fairytale book:
We have a pit-stop at our hostel, Serenata Hostel, you know, just to test the bed 😀
The hostel is inside an old building formerly used as a birth ward. The walls are completely decorated with murals who try to teach women something more about their babies needs, or how to be a good mother. The kids, here, are called criança, which to me has a pretty funny sound so I start to piss off my daughter calling her ‘a criança‘ (the kid) all the time 😀
A criança decides to change her outfit and she chooses the only pretty dress I put in a luggage full of H&M and Primark sporty stuff: a girlish Stella McCartney blue dress. We both love it:
We have a walk in the last moments of light before sunset. Coimbra is beautifully golden.
Of course I can’t stop my huger for new food, so as I saw these little wraps in a bakery window I HAD to try them. They were soft and warm, filled with a thick cream. Really nice.
Strangely enough, by dinner time Coimbra has turned into a ghost city. No people around and no nice restaurants on our sight (the only one that looked nice was fully booked, and they were also pretty rude while telling it). We had a quick bite in a desert restaurant and went straight to bed.
Next time I wake up with a sore throat and a flu coming – dammit! Luckily Portuguese pharmacists are very helpful, and after a trip to the nearest pharmacy I have tons of helpful medicines.
Our next stop is Alcobaça.
It appears like a sleepy, uninteresting little town until you get to the majestic Monastery. Alcobaça Monastery is one of the most beautiful and interesting I’ve ever seen. Moreover, it is the first Gothic building of all Portugal. In 1989 it has been declared World Heritage from UNESCO. Huge, perfectly kept and mirror of everyday life of priests in the Middle Age.
In the Monastry lies the secret of the passionate love story between king Pietro I and Inés de Castro, that you can read here.
Another stop before our final destination: Nazaré, a long, white sandy beach where Portuguese people go for holiday or weekends. Pretty windy, but beautiful.
And then we finally arrive in Obidos, which is so amazing it deserves a post on its own…. 🙂
La nostra prossima tappa è la splendida Obidos, ma di questo vi racconterò domani… 🙂