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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Getting to Know Coimbra, Meeting Joana, Maria and Rita

Aloha Everyone,

Coimbra was the capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1385. The city’s social, political and economical importance in the past are reflected through its Impressive churches, monasteries and government buildings. The city is also proud to inform visitors that 6 monarchs from the Portuguese’s 1st Dynasty were born here. A population of 460,000 live in its 19 municipalities.

J.J. and I met Joana, Maria and Rita. They are graduate students at the University of Coimbra studying medicine. This is Freshmen’s week and the three, along with their fellow students, are dressed in their school uniform that includes a woolen cloak with a hood. The reason is to welcome new, incoming students.

Recalling Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and her connection to Portugal, these cloaks may have inspired the school uniforms of Hogwarts. It was very interesting to see them and even try one on.

Coimbra is located on hills, and without prior intention, J.J. and I ended up climbing one by following ever winding streets.

A typical Portuguese dinner at a nearby restaurant concluded our first full day in Coimbra.

Aloha -- Cathi