9/14 – Happy birthday to Eliese and Tiare and Eva! Hugs and much love to you!
Today we walked 12 miles into our next big city, Coimbra. The morning walk started out on level ground, so we made great time for the first few hours. Here is our 7am sunrise:
My salute to a Nice Person of Portugal came as we stood at a crossroads with conflicting Caminho arrows; a spray painted one pointing to the left fork, and the more official looking but less reliable municipal sign pointing to the right. A driver pulled up and pointed to the left, assuring us that the hand painted sign was the one to follow. Obrigado to you, sir!
We stopped for an espresso mid-morning, and were delighted and mystified to hear a bagpipe and drums bleating out a lively tune and coming our way. I love a parade! Never did find out what the occasion was, but they stood in front of us and played a merry tune while we clapped encouragement. Then off they went down the street. Do you think all Pilgrims get this reception?
We passed three churches in three towns on this Sunday morning, none of which were open or holding a service. Don’t know what to think about that…
The love put into flower gardens spilling out over walls and fences continues to amaze me. Today I saw lots of purple.
…and a waterfall.
Before we knew it we were looking down the city of Coimbra:
Here a Roman aqueduct had to be partially destroyed to allow the highway to be built. Thankfully, much of the aqueduct was spared:
At the entrance to the city is the Convento Santa Isabel, erected in honor of the beautiful and kind hearted young queen who gave her riches away to the poor. When her jealous husband tried to catch her in the act, her basket of coins miraculously turned into roses. She is buried here.
Then the rain came down and we hoofed it over to our residencial (with a balcony!) where we will rest our weary feet and see what the city has to offer for the next few days.