Tag Archives: Condeixa

Condeixa-a-Nova to Coimbra

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. image

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. image




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.

Rabacal to Conimbriga to Condeixa-a-Nova

9/13 – Ave Maria got us out of bed and back on the road. There was no kitchen in the hostel or cafe in town, so we got a sluggish start, but we don’t have far to go today.

We came upon a little hamlet that claimed to have the actual road where St. James had trod, and there we met a lady out walking her three goats. She graciously allowed me to take her picture, and is my Nice Person of Portugal today.

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A Belgian pilgrim named Jacques caught up with us, and he and Jim talked economics and politics for a while. This was his second Caminho, having walked through Belgium, France and Spain two years ago.

We parted ways as we approached the town of Coimbriga, where we detoured to see the oldest Roman ruins in Portugal, where objects have been found dating from the 9th centurny BCE.




I especially liked the intricate mosaic floors of the homes, which were intact and still beautiful after so many years.



One house had patterned swastikas on the floor. I wonder what the symbol signified back then? The excavations began in 1898, and are ongoing.



From Coimbriga it was just a few kilometers to Condeixa, where we are spending the night at Residencial Ruinas. There we saw an artist’s rendering of the House of a Fountains ruin we had just visited, where the fountains still worked. I’m happy to report that it was a very nice place, not the ruin implied by the name!



For supper we found a restaurant that served pasta, and I had fettuccine with Parmesan and chicken – what a treat! We’ve had enough pork and fried potatoes to last us a lifetime…