Last weekend part 2: the Thomsons come to Coimbra

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November 25, 2013 by mariannat92

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After spending a couple of days in Lisbon, we caught the evening train to Coimbra so I could show Mum and Dad round my new city. We caught a high speed train, which was just luxury (including remote control blinds!), so after a very panicked couple of minutes at Coimbra-B (be aware, on portuguese trains they don’t necessarily announce the name of the station until you are actually IN IT) we made it into the city just in time for dinner.

First stop was Mum & Dad’s apartment. We found it through Oslo Hotel and it was SO nice. They had a little loft apartment, with the bedroom in a balcony above the rest of the room – so 70s and so cool. It was also just a two minute walk back to mine – absolutely perfect!

That night we had planned to go to Ze Manel dos Ossos, an apparently incredible Portuguese restaurant that my friends keep going to and I have never managed to go. Unfortunately I STILL haven’t managed to go because we walked around the Baixa for half an hour looking for it before deciding to go to Guiseppe & Joaquim, an amazing Portuguese/Italian place where there may or may not have been a famous Portuguese guy on another table (either that or the kids near us were playing a very strange autograph-hunting-from-strangers game. Who knows). After that we went for some drinks, made friends with one of Coimbra’s many and diverse characters who hang out in the tascinhas, and then to bed ready for sightseeing the next morning.

One day I’ll go to Ze Manel, one day…

The next morning we met up for breakfast and then got straight on the sightseeing. First stop, the University (this is Coimbra after all…)

P1060166I had been telling Mum and Dad about the University Tunas the night before, and, lo and behold, there was one playing outside Quimicas when we arrived. Lovely jubbly

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My faculty (Letras 4 lyfe)

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The law faculty. Absolutely stunning in the autumn, and you can’t even see the HUGE American tour group who joined us just afterwards in the Biblioteca Joanina (where photos are banned, pah)

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We went up inside the law faculty for some stunning views – Dom Pedro watching over the city from the Palco de Estudos

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View over the Baixa and the Mondego

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Mum is scared of heights… teehee

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Sé Nova and the Museum from the law faculty

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Sé Nova up close

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Mum and Dad at Sé Nova

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Inside Sé Velha

After a couple of hours looking around the Alta we went down to Largo de Portagem for lunch and then went for a walk along both sides of the river. We wanted to go to the fancy ice cream place in the Parque Verde but it’s closed for winter (travesty) so we went back into town instead.

P1060236 Newsflash: autumn has finally arrived in Coimbra (about time!)

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In heaven!

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After a bit wandering around souvenir shops we went to the Casa de Chá in the Jardim de Seraia. YUM. Also the Jardim is really beautiful, I don’t know why I had never been in there before!

Our family have got a bit of a thing about music so I decided to take them to a fado show at Fado ao Centro on the Quebra Costa. I didn’t know what to expect from the show as it does look quiiiite touristy and commercial but it was really good! The band was really talented and they did a proper round up of the main types of Coimbra fado with explanations in Portuguese and English – perfect. I would really recommend it, it only costs a tenner and you even get free port, how can you say no??

That evening we went for drinks and dinner again and then we were all knackered and so cold (damn you everybody who thinks Portugal is a hot country) so we went back to Mum and Dad’s for the evening and then I went back to bed early for Latin class early early early on Monday.

It was a really nice weekend, and actually very refreshing and fun to see Coimbra from another perspective – it is definitely very different if you’re a tourist compared to a student!! It was also lovely to see my family again, even if it is only 4 weeks until the holidays… Which also means…. four… weeks… until… CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSS!

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