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Porto: Douro Cruise and More

Today we took a long cruise up the Douro River. It carried us all the way from Porto to the “village” of Pinão. I’ll explain why “village” is in quotes later. We left the dock in Porto at about 9:00 a.m., after an 8:00 a.m. pickup at our hotel. We didn’t arrive in Pinão until after 5:30 in the…

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Porto: Palácia da Bolsa, Trolley, Church

We didn’t pack a lot of activities into today. We visited one of the top-ranked sights of Porto, the Palácio da Bolsa, took a trolley ride to the ocean, walked back, sat out on the deck on the top floor of our hotel, and then went down to the hotel bar for an aperitif. I then took a peek…

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Porto: Day trip to Braga and Guimarães

Today, I took a small-bus tour from Porto that included sights in the nearby cities of Braga and Guimarães. I found both cities to be charming and well worth the visits. In fact, I wish I had considerably more time in each. The tour guide said there is a rivalry between the two cities. Both claim to be the…

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Coimbra: Old and New Cathedrals and a Museum

A view of Coimbra from my hotel’s rooftop deck Coimbra greeted me with light rain. I’m sure the rain is not an omen of unpleasant things to come. Kind of sure. Sort of. Well, who knows? Maybe. I’ve experienced just a few short periods of rain this trip. And there have been only a couple of days of just…

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Coimbra: Conímbriga Ruins and Coimbra University

A journal entry is born My activities today included visits to the Conímbriga Roman Ruins and the University of Coimbra. You’d think if I spent a couple of hours wandering around the university, and paid it €15 for the privilege of going into some of its buildings, they’d have the common decency to confer an honorary doctorate on me….

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Coimbra: Church, Market, Riverfront Walk

As I explained in my first entry on Coimbra, today I had a half day in Coimbra that was not in my original plans. I made good use of it by visiting a church and a market, and by taking a short walk along the Mondego River. Church of Santa Cruz Exterior of the Church of Santa Cruz The…

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Évora: Walking, Cathedral, Church, Gardens

An Évora street The walking around referred to in the title of this entry took place before, after, and between the visits to the sights I describe in the sections below. I’ll go into what I saw on the walks in more detail after I talk about those sites. But just a quick note here. I, without reservation, completely…

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Évora: Monsaraz, Baths, Wandering

An Évora street Today was a relaxing day. I took a tour to Monsaraz and then came back to Évora, where I visited the town hall and did some more wandering around. I had planned to visit a couple of other sights: another church and an attached palace that serves as a museum. The guidebook I’m using said both…

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