Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012 Portugal Coimbra day 2

 breakfast in the art deco dining room of Hotel Astoria - she doesn't look too tired...
 waiting for the bus to Conimbriga (site of Roman ruins)
 ruins everywhere - from the 1st century BC on
 wall built over a wall - they got scared in the 3rd century AD and built a huge defensive wall over everything
 ruins of beautiful house - nice garden with irises too
 mosaic floors
 waiting in the shade for the bus home
 once home, a walk along the river
 passing the giant venue for the midnight music show - multi-stage, multi-drinking tents!!
back across the river to our hotel - the one with the turret - we are on the 1st floor of that turret

Last night we went to bed relatively early (about 10) planning to get up early in the mornning and catch the bus to the famous Roman ruins in Conimbrega - outside of Coimbra. The only problem was that this is the week (May 4-11) when the university students have one huge noisy party all night long. We had heard a bit of music from across the river during the afternoon - but at midnight they turned it up full blast. We discovered that there are several open air sound stages in the park across the river with vast areas dedicated to selling and drinking beer. Plus there is a bar in the side street below our bathroom window - serving drinks all night long to screaming drunk students. It really was awful! It was hard to appreciate the nice warm dry room, the clean beds and the original art deco decor - with all that racket going on. The worst thing is that we know it's going to happen again tonight. We remembered sleeping through a Mexican wedding in the trailer but realized we could drown out the noise by turning on the fan - not an option here. We tried to find some white noise on the computer to cover the pending noise - but we need to be on wireless all night - otherwise the it will only run for a max of 60 minutes - so no use. We know it will be bad because the desk clerk only shook his head when we mentioned the noise and two lovely young ladies in the smart black suits that the students wear were sitting on the sidewalk under our window drinking wine straight out of a large bottle when we came home from dinner. 

Anyway - we did make it to Conimbrega this morning and had a very interesting day looking at the ruins of an early Roman town with its accompanying museum. It was wonderfully set up and included a nice restaurant. So we spent most of the day there. Once we got back to Coimbra we walked to the station and bought our train tickets to Lisbon for tomorrow.  We had an interesting dinner at an Italian restaurant where our pizza turned out to be folded over like a pie. Quite tasty. The tiramisu was just what we hoped for. So goodnight and we'll make our next post from Lisbon.

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