Saturday, 31 October 2015

A Stop in Coimbra - Portugal

Coimbra was the halfway break between Aveiro and Lisbon for me. I heard it was a nice charming old town full of history. What I did not hear was that the hostel was a long hike uphill from the train station. The terrain of the city was a bit ridicules to me, like a city cutting though a valley yet as a tourist other than the winded lungs and strain legs plus physiological effect that keeps making me go downhill further away from any destination I want to go just so I can avoid going uphill; it made a wonderful place for exploration.

One of the oldest University in the world is in Coimbra and in a way it is like a university town. I was there during either the enrolment period or graduation but either way as I stroll into the old university compound students with fliers were approaching me to take up courses. One of them told me a blatant lie …. “It’s the oldest University in the World” …. Even without google …. I sensed something wrong …. But I could see the pride and confident she had of her university.

Viewing Tower in University of Coimbra
The university sits on the top peak of Coimbra and has a viewing tower that is absolutely breath-taking. It literary takes your breath away as you climb the narrow spiral staircase up all the way to the top. Best view of the city is from this tower.

View of Coimbra from University Tower

Monday, 19 October 2015

Small Town Aveiro, Portugal– Bad things happens in threes

I got on the bus easily from Toledo to Madrid and took the local train to the long distance bus station. I had not book any hostel in Aveiro nor a bus ticket nor a train ticket. Getting to the bus station I used the self-service machine and bought myself a ticket to Aveiro which was easy enough for 54 euro. Playing around with the machine later on to get more information for future reference and I realized something. There was a promotion button which if click will list discounted rate if available. The Aveiro route had one and a discount of 21 euro. I just wasted 21 euro for nothing.

Night bus and quite comfortable I slept all the way to Aveiro reaching there at 530 am in the morning. Woke up groggy and hurried down the bus only to forget my water bottle in the bus. Fuck. That was a good water bottle which I liked and cost a bit of money. Guess I was bound to lose it sooner or later during the travels. Then I lit a cig and forgot my lighter on the bus stop. I was sitting and went looking for the hostel in the wee early in the morning which was a bad idea.

I did not realized that there was a time difference between Spain and Portugal. 530 am was actually 430 am so I was super duper early. Buzzer the hostel and the reception refuse to open the door for me for they thought I was some crazy guy lurking around 430 am trying to cause trouble. No bed they said and shoo me away. I walk around and found City Lodge …. The lady was also weary of me keeping the glassed door locked while attempting to understand me who do not speak a word of Portuguese. In the end she determined that I was harmless and let me in to check in.

35 euro a night …. What ??? I think I was not in a hostel but a motel really. So I got two night for 70 euro the best accommodation I have had in this entire trip. A double bed in a room all to myself with a TV and a private bathroom. Can’t complain I guess since I am relaxing like crazy in Aveiro
Aveiro is pretty small and I guess I could have done it in half a day. Lovely place, some colourful boats and tiled old buildings and a slow life. I had a lovely room so I guess I spend most of my time lazing away …. Its really really small … 2 hours would have been enough to see it but when on a long holiday 2 days of pure boredom can be blissful joy

On to Coimbra next .
Traditional Boat in Aveiro - Portugal