After two days in Lisbon, we hopped a train to Coimbra, a university town northeast of Lisbon. Lots of history, Portuga oldest university. About two hours by train from Lisbon Oriente, nineteen euros on second class with assigned seats. Nice trains! We arrived at Coimbra B and got a taxi to town, though we could have waited for the local train. We needed lunch! So we dropped our bags at Hotel Vitoria (very nice) and had some small plates in Praca do Comercio. I even bought a three euro sardine-printed tablecloth, which I may regret. But after mackerel and beer it seemed like an excellent idea.
More cakes and convent pastries, many with almonds or egg custard. And pumpkin. We sampled quite a few, including pastel de Santa Clara. Coimbra is lovely but very hilly, so there were many opportunities to stop for a drink, a view, a pastry shop….
At the University of Coimbra. Amazing library (Biblioteca Joanina) and wonderful buildings. We saw students in black robes, with colored ribbons to indicate their faculty.
Doorway. Lots of interesting wall paintings as we wandered down steep little roads back to the lower part of Coimbra.
Being tourists, we also went to dado. In Coimbra, fado is only sung by men, unlike in Lisbon. We enjoyed this, and will have to try again in Lisbon to compare and learn more.
Also learn more, olive oil tasting at Passeite, Taverna do Azeite. Very enjoyable, I never knew much about Portuguese olive oil. Lovely food too, even vegan! Definitely recommended.
But onwards we go, and Porto is the next destination. It is lovely being in Europe (window shopping! No chickens in the street! Public transport!) So Portugal being so pleasant for travelling is just a huge bonus. Ten days is not enough but we will come back. It is also much cheaper than expected, we are having nice lunches and dinners for 15 euro or less a head. Fabulous food so far.