A Night in Coimbra, Portugal

I’m a bit late writing this blog. I find myself lost in my thoughts more these days and writing becomes secondary when I’m busy.

I moved on to a town called Coimbra. How is it that no one told me about this place? What a beautiful town it is. I stayed in a fantastic hotel called Villa Gale and was upgraded to a room with a balcony view of the valley and the river. I stepped out into the street, I was accosted by Derina a chain smoking, wiry little English woman who needed to vent. She told me that now she is old, she needed to rest more and have luxury holidays rather than 2 days here and 2 days there. She rambled about her health and the weather (which is a typical conversation with a Pom), and finished with telling me that she and Peter are now nearing 60, and that he was upstairs taking a nap after their stressful train trip from Porto. What a shame they had left travel until they were so old! I wanted to interrupt Derina and tell her that I had to go. That even though I am older than her, I was keen to walk around and explore the town, but she wanted to tell me about her allergies, her flea bites that got infected, her infected toenail that was being aired by wearing sandals 🤢, and how she was hoping it wasn’t going to rain.🤦🏻‍♀️ I was stuck there for half an hour and now have clear thong (flip flop)marks from the blazing sun that was burning my feet. Sweat dripping from my head, I finally excused myself and said I hoped to see her later. I scuttled off down the alley way and escaped to the centre of town.

Bus stop

Stunning cathedral
They love their tiles
Spent an hour here

Cobbled street

Crochet street decorations

Everything made from cork
Coffee break
Street stalls

View from my room

The streets are cobbled of course, because it is Portugal, and the buildings quite ancient and reeking of history. All I could hear was Australian accents everywhere, so hungry for news from home and eager to talk to someone and call them a dag and be understood, I became the ‘accoster’. I had many random conversations and even met someone from Mornington. I was so chuffed. I took heaps of photos and went back to the hotel, slinking by the reception desk where Derina and Peter were getting directions and complaining about something inaudible.

I waited until the heat of the day had passed and filled in some time by dining at the buffet. My spirits lifted with the rise of each lid as steamed broccoli and carrots, roast potatoes and casseroles peered out at me, their steamy vapors inviting me to fill my plate. I even had roast turkey! I drank local wine and just savored every mouthful!

Luckily I was just finishing my meal when I spied Derina waving frantically, miming something like…can we join you. I hastily grabbed my room key, apologized and mumbled about having to make a phone call. I couldn’t bear it if she continued the saga about her infected toenail whilst I was trying to eat.🤢 it was like being trapped on a cruise ship where the only people acknowledging me were the annoying tourist couple dressed in Hawaiian shirts and straw hats (although Derina and Peter dressed with the English conservatism of the 1950’s)

So off I went again into town to take some evening photos. They tell their own story.

Welcome to Coimbra

Street art
Cobbled street by night
Back laneway
River view
Enormous meringues

12 Replies to “A Night in Coimbra, Portugal”

  1. Marg, have enjoyed following your adventures and there have been many! Beautiful photos. You’ve peeled back the layers of these amazing places, all the best, safe travels 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too travelled for a couple of weeks in Portugal after walking the Camino de Santiago last year. Loved it, and love reading your blog. Envious of your extended stay in Spain. Might meet you in person one day in Melbourne.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Margaret that is fabulous, but I am making my way back home in Port Stephens. Maybe my next trip to Melbourne. I am not sure where you are located.

        Like

  3. I found your blog as I researched the Portuguese Camino. I am now in Porto having completed the route from Porto to Santiago and then to Finesterre. We leave tomorrow for home in the Pacific Northwest of USA. I have loved following your photos and adventures, best wishes as you return home. And thank you for adding to my Camino experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Maggie, I was sad to read that you’d finished your Spanish lessons and leaving Santiago and then really excited to hear that you were in Portugal and in Coimbra!I do hope you were able to experience a night of Fado!

    Spain and Portugal are just in my veins, I think! I have lovely memories…

    I absolutely love your photographs, they are just so magical!

    Wishing you many more magical and illustrative adventures.

    Roberta x

    Liked by 2 people

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