Around three years ago I got to know Portugal for the first time. I made a city trip with some friends to Lisbon and some places around. It was really lovely and I especially loved the food! But also the colorful buildings, the friendly people and the history. So when I got the opportunity to go back to Portugal and see more of the country, I was jumping around as a little kid. Thanks to Centro de Portugal we spent four amazing days in this country and our days were filled up with a lot of sunshine, lovely wines and tapas, colorful tiles and porcelain and amazing villages.
In four days we traveled roughly from Lisbon to Caldas da Rainha, Buçaco, Ilhavo, Válega, Aveiro, Coimbra, Óbidos, Peniche and back to Lisbon. All different cities with their own specialities but one thing they have in common: the amazing, traditional houses decorated with a lot of tiles. A typical Portugees specialty and we have seen lots of them. One of the places I liked the most was the city of Coimbra. Not a typical tile city, but a big student city where Harry Potter meets the 18th and 19th century. Here you can find one of the oldest universities around Europe. Oh, how I would have loved to study in a place like this when I was still a student!
We started with some amazing food! Don’t think you can ever get hungry in Portugal. The Portugees eat a lot of food. This was ‘just’ the side salad.
The science museum is definitely worth visiting. You can find a huge variety of old scientific tools used in the 18th and 19th century. All displayed in an historical part of the university. There are a lot of experiments you can do as well and the new part – the zoological part – is amazing and interesting to see. They showed us some tools which were used during lessons in chemical studies more then hundred years ago. I would like to follow a lesson in that century now! Visiting is pretty cheap. For € 4,- you can get a ticket and it’s even cheaper when you are a student.
No, I never had such a great view out of my class room. Or such nice decoration at the inside. And also from the outside my university never looked as fancy as these buildings. But maybe that has also something to do with the fact that my former school doesn’t exist from 1290 on, and didn’t had buildings built in different centuries. The university doesn’t exist just out of one building, but every faculty, from chemistry to sports, has his own buildings. So you can see it as a big complex built on top of the hill of Coimbra.
I can imagine that this library must be one of the most fanciest libraries around the world. It just looks stunning. And the interesting thing is: you are still aloud to read the books. Ok, you really need a good reason (saying that you want to read a book because they look so nice is not a valid reason unfortunately) and able to read Portugees. But well, seeing them is already joyful! The library is built in the 18th century and you need to pay to get inside, but it is so worth it.
Despite the fact that the university ‘feels’ really old, there must be a lot of creative students living around town. In the streets you can find lots of street art and decorated student houses. Fun to see! You can walk down the tiny streets, see the colorful and decorated houses, flowers and people before you and up in the main street of Coimbra, where you can do some shopping or find nice restaurants. Because we didn’t had much time I was only able to see the area around the university, but I am sure the rest of town is also pretty nice.