Destinations and Travel

Making New Friends

In Póvoa de Varzim, we met another cruising couple in the same Marina.

They started their journey in England and have made their way across the English Channel and over to the coast of Portugal.

We had a great day with them traveling through the Douro Valley sampling various Port Wines.

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Is it a boat or a building?

This building from the 1500s bears a strong resemblance to an upturned hull! The architect actually designed it to purposefully work like the frames in a boat to better support the expansive ceiling in this palace.

Marine grade construction really does stand the test of time!

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Coimbra by the River

Coimbra is an ancient town in Portugal, built up around the ancient university and library at the top of its hill.

While walking up the steep streets, one has to wonder how they hauled the massive stones up the hill to build the town.

All these thoughts vanish when you see the town from across the river. The lights glistening over the calm water, washing away any concerns you might have had.

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Biblioteca Joaninha

Imagine standing before a library that has been in use for half a millennium.

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This library in Coimbra, Portugal is the oldest library in Portugal, and (according to the Portuguese) the oldest library that has been in constant use in the world!

How does a library get to be over 500 years old and never be forgotten? By being part of the oldest university in Portugal!

In 1290, this university started in Lisbon. In 1536, the university moved to Coimbra and the library was built. The university has had a class every semester of every year for the past 729 years!

This is just mind blowing to me being from the United States, where our continent was discovered by Europeans only 527 years ago, and the United States came to exist only 243 years ago. Our ancient history is their recent past. I guess it’s all relative!