From Coimbra Portugal – Day 1

With rain forecast north of us we headed south with an ambitious plan. Drive off the main roads to Souce, lunch at Dom Largo, drive on to Lourical, Viera De Leiria, Batalha Monastery, Alcobaca, then finish the day at the coast in Nazare where they surf huge waves.

We didn’t quite keep to plan. By the time we had gone to Aldi ( interesting) to grab some breakfast items and gathered together our things it was nearing noon when we got in the car. Our first stop, Soure, was flooded.

And I mean a large part of the town was literally under water. Which shouldn’t surprise me as our car was nearly flooded last night and we did come out to see police tape cordoning off the deep water outside our Airbnb her in Santa Clara.

Driving the streets and through the towns you begin to notice that everything is sort of utilitarian. he roads are narrow and windy and there are hills galore.

Here you can see the floods

We drove around in circles and eventually reached the old church in Source. A few walls were still standing and if we hadn’t been so amazed but he flooded out park and roads we might have really gotten into it.

I think it is all that there is to see in Souce, though we did come across camper hookups available for free in a parking lot. They seem also to encourage visitors by having a small playground, fire pit and picnic area.

When our stomachs start moving us along we wandered towards lunch with only one short stop at a cemetery I spotted out the window.

As we drove past these mausoleums were clearly visible through the open gate.

Once inside we noticed on the sides well tended graves, and oddly you could look in, actually go into the mausoleums. They were well decorated and all. completely individual, and inside the coffins were draped in cloth and many had shelves with flowers or photos and often religious objects.

Then onto Dom Largo for a late lunch which exceeded any expectations either of us may have had. Our waiter ordered a Bacalou and a steak for us to share and could not have been more pleasant and helpful.

The fish came first.. A bachalou, grilled, accompanied by the most flavorful potatoes and a warm salad.

then a gorgeous piece of meat with a lovely mild flavor. Perhaps a little tough, but still superb.

I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed our 40 Euro meal.

Next stop the Monastery at Bahalta. We had read it was the best to see so off we went, and we were not disappointed.

It was huge

there were at least 2 courtyards that we were able to see

There was a room dedicated to two unknown soldiers with guards standing over the space.

outside there was a horseman

We stayed on for over an hour, darkness fell, we wandered the town a bit.

I got a salami which I think is chorizo and a small butcher shop.

It is amazing to me how the streets and sidewalks are made of cobbled stones. All over, almost every place we walk.

Took a couple of selfies against the wall.

Turned back from the parking light to see it all in the dark…

Then back in the car towards home with a long list of places piling up. It’s only day one. We arrived back in Coimbra and rather than taking our chances we drove out to see where the ‘best’ chinese in Coimbra was and how it looked.

If it was just me, if we were taking out ( ordering) the Casa de Massa would have been fine. What a dive, like one of those NYC take out places. We took a pass, drove a bit through Coimbra to discover that we need a day here, and are back home searching out a dinner place.

A great day.

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