Portugal Day One

I’ve just returned from 10 wonderful days in Portugal exploring Porto, Lisbon and a few towns in between. Departed from JFK airport at 8pm and arrived in Lisbon at 7am (local time) which was actually 2am NY time 😦 Becki and I had planned on taking the train from Lisbon to Porto but because the Portugal train system was on strike we hired a driver. As it turned out, the driver was a great idea because we got to make 2 stops before we arrived in Porto. BTW, should you visit Portugal here is the company that we hired to drive us “Daytrip“, our driver was wonderful, she knew so much history and the secret little spots to visit, including a tiny restaurant in Coimbra with the most delicious food!!!

Our first stop was at the Castle of Almourol. It is a medieval castle atop the islet of Almourol in the middle of the Tagus River.

After hours of traveling by train, plane and automobile it was so nice to walk around and enjoy the scenery, the quiet, and the sound of chirping birds.

Next stop was Vila Nova da Barquinha, a small town a few kilometers from the castle. Walking the narrow streets every time we turned a corner there was a surprise, one more beautiful then the next!

Our next stop was Coimbra, where we had the most delicious lunch (I had octopus that melted in my mouth)…more to come on the food! Coimbra is home to the University that has been classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013.

Standing in the plaza viewing a few building of the University
The library was being renovated so unfortunately we couldn’t get a “pretty” shot nor could we visit inside.
This is a student of history studying at the University

We walked the streets of Coimbra and again at every turn another beautiful image appeared. Being a native New Yorker, the tile roofs and colorfully painted homes are so unique to me, not to mention the cobblestone streets.

Nine more days to share with you…Stay tuned

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