9/15 – Coimbra is a university town, and the tourist attractions are all on the university grounds, way up at the top of the hill. Students in Coimbra don’t have to worry about the Freshman 15 if they walk up and down these hills every day!
Our day to see the city happened to be the first day of the fall semester, and the campus teemed with students from the different college majors congregating in the square and trying to outshout and outsing one another. As best we could tell, the poor freshman were being indoctrinated into their respective houses by having to wear bibs or signs around their necks proclaiming their unworthiness, being made to run around the square shouting “I am an Idiot”, and other fun things that will remind you of pledge week at the frat house.
The upperclassmen and women all wore long black gowns a la Hogwarts, and we were told that this is the daily dress expectation, not just because it was the first day of class.
… and the historic campus library, where there were books over 600 years old. The library is home to a family of bats, who fly around every night and eat the bugs, so that the bugs don’t eat the books. The furniture is covered every evening against the guano, and the place cleaned every morning…
I liked the fancy ceilings:
We ambled around the city, and stopped for lunch at a place that advertised Cheeseburguers. Now that’s something we haven’t had in a while! We ordered two, and should not have been surprised when they were served, no bun, with a slice of ham and a fried egg on top. We asked for ketchup, and were given a tiny packet with not enough ketchup for three French fries. We are citizens of the world and loved these cheeseburgers! Viva Portugal!