Day 17: Coimbramelia

We woke up and decided to spend a couple more hours wandering Evora. We checked out the skull church, but after our expedition in Czech, this one was pretty underwhelming. You may call us Bone Church snobs, apparently. It was neat because it had a full skeleton unlike the other, but it was a small room within the church, and just a mosaic of skulls along the wall vs the one in Czech being a giant church with all sorts of crests, shrines, sculptures, and chandeliers all made out of skulls. 

skeleton church

We grabbed some more pastries from the same cafe as the night before, people watched for a little while, and made our way down to the aquaducts before leaving town. It was super neat, as the Romans had built a 9km aquaduct into the town across various terrain from valleys, hills, rivers, etc. They are super impressive to witness and are considered some of the greatest in Portugal. The coolest part, though, is modern Portugal ended up building the town INTO the aquaducts, so as you walk to the end of it and see the arches getting smaller and smaller, some are garages and others are the structure holding up the little town homes. 


On our way out of Evora, we detoured to check out The Cromlech of the Almendres, a megalith complex. Basically, the Stonehenge of Portugal. Things were not looking so great for me at this point and although there weren't any bushes or bathrooms in the middle of nowhere, I was lucky that the only person within the vicinity, disappeared pretty quickly, so I pulled out some of my skills I picked up in Kazakhstan.... I will forever be one with this ancient site. But we did manage to grab some pretty kickass photos (although I just noticed most of our photos have been uploading out of focus...) before we moved on to Coimbra.

megalith baby

megalith family

Coimbra is a university town and is a popular tourist town as it's considered the sweet spot for Harry Potter fans. The riverfront town is essentially revolved around one of the oldest universities built within palace. In fact, this is a sweet spot for tourists since it's actually J. K. Rowling's inspiration for her creation of Hogwarts. If you stuck around long enough on any day, you will see fraternities wandering the streets or hallways in the infamous "Hogwarts" cloaks, chanting, fooling around, or marching to class... minus the brooms. We were not let down and witnessed, what we think, was a fraternity initiation.

The university is on a hill looking over the entire town, and we managed to catch the sunset looking over the medieval town. Despite what Chubz's face says in this photo, she was a trooper and enjoyed the sites of this extravagant site.

coimbra sunset

coimbra university

university of coimbra

This university also has one of the most spectacular and oldest libraries in the world and is one of two in existence to host bats to protect the ancient relics from insects. The library itself is priceless, and literally does not have a monetary value according to the tour guide from the decor to the actual artifacts within the book (you had to pay to get in, and no photos were allowed, so please enjoy these stolen photos from Google images, which by the way, do not convey the sheer magnitude of the library).

joanina ceiling

We finished the night off in the old town square listening to some live Fado. I will add that Coimbra is so ridiculously hill-y and steep, for which we weren't prepared and it had caused a few hiccups as we were beginning to get pretty wiped between me being sick, heat, and the sheer amount of one night stops we've been making. This is where we decided no more one night stops, and were now looking to plop our bums down for a few nights at a time. 

coimbra fado

Luckily, this was our one night stop to get ourselves north to the national park so we were to have a few days for down time ahead of us in the mountains followed by a week in Porto which we have been really really looking forward to!

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment