(A few days after the fact:)
We are in the ancient college town of Coimbra tonight, aka the Oxford of Portugal, staying in a four-bedroom guesthouse, Quebra Luz, in the old part of the city just below the old cathedral. We are amazed we found this tiny place. Somehow we drove up a very narrow stone road, turned a few corners and we were in the right place. That doesn’t happen every day. The town feels much smaller and less touristy than Lisbon and lots of students around, wearing their serious black capes.
It was an easy drive, about two hours, from the Lisbon airport where we said a sad goodbye to our pals Francine and Russ, who returned to London after spending the morning exploring the cute little shops north and west of our hotel, around Principle Real (north of Barrio Alton) visiting the charming house of the great Fado singer Amalia Rodriguez. Last night we ate at one of our hotel’s two restaurants, the Decadente, which was jam-packed with a young interesting crowd. The food was very good too.
Tonight we went to a very different place for dinner, Restaurant ze Manuel de Ossos, a six-table restaurant tucked away in a narrow alley. It specializes in traditional Portuguese food. The place had a line by 7:15 p.m., even before opening. We sat in a little alcove covered with handwritten notes taped to the wall by customers singing he restaurants praises’. We had the famous Ossos (pork bones) and pork belly in a special sauce. Excellent.