During my many winter stays in Portugal I have always managed to squeeze in a wonderful road trip to someplace I have never been. They are always one of the highlights of being here and this year was no exception.
Earlier on this trip Pat, Gary, Marc and myself headed off to the Azores for a fabulous 4 days. This past week Marc, Laurie and I headed off for another road trip. Five days discovering Coimbra, Tomar, Fatima, Batalha, Nazare, and Obidos. We stayed off the toll roads and took only the “back roads”, which made it a magical experience as we passed through huge cork forests, saw loads of vineyards, farmland, medieval towns etc..
Our first destination was Coimbra. Coimbra is a riverfront city in central Portugal and the country’s former capital. It is home to a preserved medieval old town and the historic University of Coimbra, which is the oldest university in the Portuguese speaking world. The theme of our two days there was…….rain/up/down/rain! What a workout the gluts had!!!!
A beautiful door in Evora, we stopped for a couple of hours to walk about and eventually enjoy lunch.
Stopped into this gallery/workshop. The fellow does amazing and somewhat whimsical work. He told us that most of what he does is commission and he makes one for the requester and one for himself.
Love the expressions and the characters he has created.
OK, so I wonder who commissioned this one???
Great rendition of the last supper
Lovely marble tiles for the banos (bathrooms)
And the other!
We went into the local Pousada for a bit of exploration. Sadly the dining room was closed.
Laurie at the Roman Temple of Évora (also called the Temple of Diana).
Hand painted tiles set into the wall in a private garden.
These boots were made for walking on cobblestone streets. I kept expecting her to fall over.
Gorgeous design in the door.
Marc and Laurie on the main square at Evora.
Laurie and myself……..we had a great lunch here.
We passed this garden on our way back to the car as we were leaving town.
Detail of the fountain.
The drive to Evora had been just about three hours since leaving home and then our wanderings another two. From there, another three to Coimbra……….we arrived, found our hotel without much effort, put our things away then hit the streets. It was raining but none of us worried about melting and so off we headed to explore and get our bearings.
This park was about 10 minutes from our hotel. We were able to walk from the top of the park to the main square through beautiful gardens and avoid most of the street traffic.
A close-up of the fountain area.
This tree was starting to bloom all over town……I’m not certain what it is.
Laurie and Marc, happy to be out of the car and stretching their legs.
Some of the building details
More building details.
And yet more…….
We stumbled on the University from the back end and spent quite a bit of time wandering the campus. Our plan was to return the next day and take in some of the tours available.
The main Palace entrance of the University.
Just above the main university doorway.
Detail on one of the buildings that caught my eye.
Despite being in the car all day we somehow managed to get in over 15 kms of walking!!!!! That will tell you a little of our wanderings. We were very excited to be in Coimbra and anxious to continue our wanderings after a good nights sleep. And with that in mind, we found a place to eat…….devoured our food and then headed back to the hotel to recharge and dream of tomorrow.