Coimbra


Next stop was Coimbra. Rita’s current hometown, from her balcony she has quite a nice view towards the University of Coimbra, which was founded 1290 and is thus oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe.
At Rita’s home we were all welcomed by her mother and Napoleão, their/Rita’s dog. Her mother had cooked nice food, but we could have been 8 people and it would’ve been enough. And Napoleão didn’t seem as weird as Rita had described him at first.

Already at the first evening we saw parts of the university quarter of the town, when we drove to a bar on the riverside. But the next day we spent more time there, although nobody of us was really keen on going somewhere inside and spent some more money, already having visited tons of stuff the days before. But the weather was really nice, blue sky, temperatures which were more or less ok, we rather stayed outside and enjoyed the view down on the city and its river Mondego.

In the afternoon we left Gernot to recover for the evening behind, visited a nice park presenting itself in nice colors, everything just in walking distance from Rita’s place.

Behind the park which also provided some shadow, a little playground with simple but still nice experiments, the possibility for Andreu to make some music and …

… a cushioned cone where 2 people could go around at the same time, more or less controlled.

On the way back throught a botanic garden which was officially already being closed, somewhen in the late afternoon - as opposed to shopping malls as we saw later that evening.

Going down the stairs in front of the university to get some icecream. At a lot of places Rita was able to tell some stories, as here, about the big stony balls on top of the stairs of the leftovers from the last big student party hanging in some tree along the way. (Some of those stuff could have been already in her blog)

After eating icecream and waking up Gernot we ate this evening a bit outside the town ‘Spanferkel’ (leo translates it as sucking-pig. sounds weird. netmot doesn’t even know the german term for it …)

On the way back to town we stopped at a big mall which is situated at the border of the town, thus providing a nice view over the town from its terrace. The mall was opened until midnight, and a lot of people even used this late time for shopping.
And it was dark. Really dark. Two weeks before in Hki, it was still somehow not that dark. maybe also due to the city lights and some dust in the air – middle of august should’ve been already far enough away from Juhannus …

And yes, after this (I actually just checked the dates of the photos, that’s all so much, but yes, we did) we went to a small bar were Rita obviously knew the owner. Drinking something there and some time later we then continued through the town towards some bakery selling different food throught some backdoor. Very nice idea :)

In Coimbra we stayed at a 3rooms+kitchen+bath flat of Rita’s family, in the same building as her grandmother’s flat. A nice and quiet place.
Andreu, the tallest of all of us, insisted on throwing a coin on who had to use the couch – and he ended up sleeping there. In Germany there is a saying: ‘Stupidity has to be punished’ …

The next day we spent some time in the town and in the afternoon we went to Figueira da Foz, to the coast of the Atlantic. To go swimming. The weather looked first as if it would rain, but actually it didn’t.

But as Rita said, the air temperature of 24°C was already so cold that she felt stupid going to the beach. No real portuguese obviously would go to the beach at such temperatures …
I was the only one going swimming, the water was not really warm, but nice to swim and no problem to go in, at least it made the impression to me - but except me there havn’t been any people inside the water within sight at that time, so it was somehow weird, together with the big waves.
My parents said that we had also been in Figueira da Foz about 18-19 years ago for an afternoon, but I really cannot remember that big houses near to the beach … or we just had been some km north or south of it.
Due to the weather we had really nice and intersting light, wind and clouds.

After swimming and/or sitting at the beach and maybe putting some toes into the water we went to eat some grilled fish. We ordered 5 different sorts, we actually got 7 sorts and we payed half of the price you might pay in Germany for a normal meal in a restaurant.
Very nice fish, maybe except for that sort of ‘squid’, I think I don’t really need that again …

what was the name of this again ? definately stronger than 50% vodka or pillepalle ;)

Portuguese coffee. No finnish coffee. But I think portuguese coffee in the quantities that had been drunk in the acclab in Helsinki would have killed you. Even Helga’s first lab coffee was still far away from this.

And before going back to the train, some Caipirinha and for Rita the sweeter variant.

Back on the train, I had the stupid idea to write a postcard. But not the normal way, no. Everybody should write 3 words. It worked in finnish with Maria and Antonia, but never do this with drunk people – I should have known. But this way a former flatmate got 2 cards – this one and a normal one … It was funny anyway.

… and again a trainstation, this time waiting for the train to Lisboa.

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