Above is the ticket to Queima das Fitas “Burning ribbons” a traditional festivity of the students of some Portuguese universities, organized originally by the students of the University of Coimbra. A heck of a party. We arrived in Coimbra and caught the last day of the festival switch started with fireworks at midnight. There was a main stage for bands to play and 3 large tents for dj’s. The food is worth mentioning, vendors spit roasting entire pigs and for dessert there was a candy trolly providing a variety to choose from. Apparently this festival beat Octoberfest in beer consumed, the locals made sure we know this impressive fact. In a blurry combination of music genres and mini plastic beer cups covering the ground, 6 am rolled in so we rolled out. Heck of a party indeed.
The gallery above is pictures from Coimbra; from around town and the university.
The students carry on a long tradition of capes and outfits seen above, the badges are earned and hidden from sight in times of mourning. You’ll probably assume Harry Potter’ish about the look and you’d be right. In fact J.K. Rowling drafted a few of her novels in Porto. The very busy library below was also an inspiration for some scenes in the movies. I managed to snap one picture without anyone in the image, great success!
In Porto our free morning walking tour was well worth the time and tip at the end. Our tour was provided by Porto Walkers who were enthusiastic and well informed. Here are some shots from the walk:
Stoked from the walk we decided to continue by signing up to the port wine tasting tour, which is a must for Porto as it is the birthplace of port wine. (Fun facts: Portugal’s two main exports are 2 – Port wine and 1 – Corks and cork material.) Venturing to a port wine museum and celler we had our first taste, anticipating it to be sickly sweet I was delightfully surprised to find a rich and full body experience. Not too sweet.
Nearly 20% alcohol content left us glowing as we continued on to two more spots. One with a female Porto style Fado singer which compared to Coimbra Fado sounded much more up beat and that a women was the singer. By the way, Fado is a type of music home to Portugal infused with melancholy emotion and usually serious content. Saudade is a Portuguese word that doesn’t translate easily to english and is used to describe Fado. I was told it is best compared to the heavy saturating emotion one can experience when something is loved and then lost. Back to the third spot which was a more contemporary joint, challenging traditional methods of port production and taking heat for it.
After checking out from the Garden House hostel we strolled out to cross the popular bridge Ponte de D. Luis. The day provided a hot sunny and picturesque scene to snap some pictures shown below.
Sowing in the time…
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