Our stopover in Coimbra is on the banks of the Mondego river and just 5 minutes walk from town. Coimbra is another wonderful hilly/hilltop city. First impressions are bad – the stopover is messy and the nearby boat club buildings are all looking very dishevelled. But we discover that the recent coastal storms affected Coimbra quite heavily and there are many trees down and the missing cladding from the boat clubs is all due to the recent weather. In fact this may explain the vast numbers of bonfires that we have seen since we entered Portugal – all cleanup after the storms maybe.
Anyway – at the camperstop we have a loo that’s open during the day and we have free fresh water and blackwater drop off, so that’s not bad. The camperstop noted that there is free wifi but this turned out not to be, so the photos and write-up of Coimbra will have to wait until later in the week.
Coimbra used to be the capital of Portugal and so has some famous tombs for example the first and second kings of Portugal are buried in the Santa Cruz Monastery in the city. Also famous is the university which is around 700 years old.
We spent a day wandering round the city markets and visiting the monastery. The monastery was great. The only odd thing was the amount of human relics on display. Morbidly fascinating.
We spent a further day just visiting the many university buildings. The university library (the old library not the new one!) is amazing – it vies with Arundel castle for the top spot on our list, but photos are not allowed in the library so we can’t show you ;-(