Figueira da Foz

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Sun 18 Jun 2006 18:12

Weekend of the 17/18th June.


What an action packed Saturday! Once Carl had said his farewells, it was aboard the coach to take us to Coimbra. This is one of the largest cities in Portugal and possibly the oldest. It is most certainly the cultural capital. The university was founded in the 12th Century and the Chapel and the Library are absolutely stunning. The library holds some 300,000 books. All of these are written in Latin and cover all the various subjects for the different Faculties at the University. It is also claimed that the resident Bats, eat all the mites that could destroy the books. Hmmm.


This was followed by a trip to the Cathedral. More gold leaf than you can shake a stick at!! It was then onto a complementary lunch at the Observatory, courtesy of the local tourist office.


The next stop was a trip to Montemor –o-Velho. This is a stunning hill top castle that rises above the surrounding area which is most cultivated, largely with Paddy Fields!. Inside the castle walls are Frangipani trees with livid blue flowers. There is also another church, this time dating from the 11th Century. After a tour and a walk around the battlements, it was time for a delicious ice cream in the castle café. The weather was sunny and warm, with a gentle breeze. Ideal.


We returned back to the marina for around 1800 hours and then time for a quick beer, and diner.


At 2230, we presented ourselves at the local Casino, for a cabaret evening hosted by the town’s tourist department. This was a dramatic show, of dancing and high wire artists all to an impressively high standard. After the show we repaired to the bar where there was a live music and dancing. There were around 20 of the crowd from the Rally still in there when it closed at 3 o’clock in the morning. At the suggestion of the local tourist officer we then tottered of to a nearby Mexican themed bar. This bar pours then most deadly G&T’s known to man. A six inch high tumbler full of gin with, (if you are lucky), 5ml of tonic. We finally got back to the boat at around 5 o’clock this morning. Needless to say our start today was somewhat delayed and very slow……….


Despite a raging hangover, I was denied a “neurophen omelette” by the crew and had to go the local market to buy fresh fish, meat and vegetables. This is a large covered area in the centre of the town, near the coast, and was a scintillating mixture of colours, noises and aromas. Just what I needed in my delicate condition. What was particularily striking were the prices. For example we bought a fresh Sea Bass weighing 0.8 of a kilo and it cost just 8 Euros!! 


Once back at the boat Jennie made a full brunch (1300 by now). Fresh warm peaches, local cherry’s and the usual cereals and the last of the bacon and eggs. All washed down with three large tumblers of fruit juices.


Spent the rest of the day doing boat maintenance and enjoying a quiet Fathers day in the sun.


Tomorrow morning we are off to Peniche. This is the largest fishing port in Portugal and apparently you can smell the fish from 5 miles away. It is a 55nm sail so it will be a good days sail all being well.



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