Loitering in Coimbra

We fell in love with the beautiful medieval town of Coimbra. We could have left after seeing the old university and the old cathedral, but the three days we spent walking around the old town brought us to the same places repeatedly, each time from a different route. Each new view revealed charms and beauty… Continue reading Loitering in Coimbra

Heart on my sleeve

We’d noticed spectacular graffiti in Lisbon. Portugal has been through a painful period of economic contraction for about 5 years, and has just started recovering in the last year or so. The unemployment rate was about 16% in 2013, and is even now unable to drop to 10%. Could the profusion of street art in… Continue reading Heart on my sleeve

Fado of Coimbra

Before leaving for Portugal I’d read that you can hear Fado on the road. Maybe you have to have some familiarity with the music in order to hear it this way. In Lisbon we sat through an expensive but very enjoyable Fado dinner, and then walked into a couple of Fado performances at bars and… Continue reading Fado of Coimbra

A wedding in the cathedral

The old cathedral, Se Velha, was built soon after Coimbra became the capital of Portugal in 1143 CE. Since the Portuguese state of that time saw itself in terms of a militant Christianity fighting the Moors, we’d expected the cathedral to be grand. In Coimbra the cathedral does not seem to be a very important… Continue reading A wedding in the cathedral

The university of Coimbra

I’d booked our flat in Coimbra by the map: it was close to the railway station and very close to the university and the cathedral. What I hadn’t realized that the distance was mostly steep uphill. The other thing that we realized only after reaching Coimbra is that the most important thing in the town… Continue reading The university of Coimbra