Day 14 – Coimbra & Porto

It was a quick morning in Coimbra.  A run by the river, breakfast and pastries and we were off to the train station.  Coimbra was a delightful little city with such welcoming people.  I was taken aback by how open, friendly and helpful people were during our stay.  If I ever return to Portugal, I will make a stop here again.  I think it would be a perfect environment to learn the language.

My first impression of Porto – hills, very steep hills.  I guess this has been the case in the other Portuguese cities, but the moment we stepped out of the train station we were going up. And up. And up.  We arrived in the early afternoon, regrouped, and we were out the door.  We first walked up to the Torre dos Clegico, a church and tower, just in time for a tour before it closed.  We climbed to the top of the tower for a breath-taking view of the city.  In the church was a unique altar with a series of steps in the center.  Rick Steves’ described it as a tiered wedding cake.  Geometrically speaking it was like a stack of rectangular prisms with each one about 2/3 the size of the one below.  This type of altar piece was first used in Portugal and is now strongly represented in Brazil. I will be able to work this into the 3D unit with a strong connection to my Brazilian students.

Our second stop was at the Palacio da Bolsa just in time for the last tour of the day.  It used to act as the location of the Portugal stock exchange but now is used as the ministry of culture (I need to double check that).  It was built to impress investors from other countries, so it is grandiose and elaborately decorated. We went on a guided tour there, but unfortunately were not allowed to take any photos. Our evening ended with a leisurely walk along the Douro River in an area called the Riberia. It was a lovely way to end a lovely day.

Side note – These photos are on my other camera, which I can’t connect to the computer at this time.  Check in later.

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