Following a great nights sleep we enjoyed a hearty breakfast in the hotel dining room then hit the streets. Having wandered the night before, we had a sense of where things were and our objective was to find the Casa Fado Ao Centro to make a reservation for the fado concert later in the evening…..and with that in mind, and the rain falling heavily from time to time, off we headed. It’s a gorgeous old city, mostly UP or DOWN, not a lot of flat. Great for the cardio!!
During our touring of the University area the evening prior, we had determined that we might like to go back and actually tour the buildings that were accessible. Given the rain, it was a no brainer…….get inside!!!
Photos were not permitted in the library and the visit was timed. It was amazing, the detail and the books…….WOW. We enjoyed the time very much, spent probably about two hours or so and with our earlier wanderings……..lunch was on our minds.
From lunch, more wandering. We had determined that there wasn’t any point in heading back to the hotel……..the concert was at 18h00 so why not simply keep going until then!!!
The fado concert was excellent. Coimbra Fado was created spontaneously among student groups who, when settling in the city to attend university, took their Portuguese guitars with them. The tradition has been kept until today; Coimbrão Fado is sung exclusively by men, either previous or current students of the university and demands a strict dress code. Music groups and singers wear the academic dress which is composed of trousers, cassock and a black cape. This makes it a very solemn event. We three loved the evening, which ended with a complimentary glass of porto.
From there we had determined we would eat at a lovely Portuguese Petiscos restaurant…. The Portuguese equivalent of tapas. What a feast.
From this we headed home….full and tired. We had left the hotel at 9h45 and it was now 22h00!!!! We clocked over 20 kms on our fitbits and once our tired carcasses hit the bed, we knew it. With a promise of waking when we wake and leaving when we are ready to leave…..we snuggled into our beds and smiled ourselves to sleep from a day well spent in a city that we hope to come back to another time.