It was time to move on and head north to Porto.
Our first stop was at Fatima which is nowadays a place of Pilgrims. On 13th May 1917 three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins saw a vision of a Lady dressed in white while guarding their sheep. The Lady visited the children on the 13th of each month from May to October. On 13th October, the children and 70,000 pilgrims witnessed the “Miracle of the Sun”. Don Santos became a nun and entered a convent. The two cousins died as a result of the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1919 and 20.
Thousands of Pilgrims attend the sire each year. Many make the last part of the journey on their knees to visit the Chapel of the Apparitions.
The Basilica Statue of Pope Paulo VI
The new church.
Our short visit to Fatima could be described as just a coffee break and comfort stop because we were soon on the move and heading for Coimbra.
We stopped in the town and after a quick bite to eat headed for the Praca de Maio and the Monastery of Santa Cruz.
However our main interest was our visit to the University. It is one of the oldest universities in the world and was established in Lisbon in 1290. It moved to its current location in 1537. We had an excellent tour of the University including the chapel, examination room and the famous library. Unfortunately no pictures as photography was not allowed.
We were more interested in the students dressed inn their uniform of gown or cape.
It was “fresher’s week and they were busy trying to decide which societies to join. We were told that as regards the “uniform” it was “all or nothing”. You wore the full outfit, or you could wear Jeans and a T-shirt, but not mix and match.
I know that J K Rowling lived close to Porto for several years and I am sure that this is where she obtained the idea of “Hogwarts”. Even the Examination Room reminded me of the Dining room in the film.
Many of the young female students seems to be imitating Hermione but were enjoying themselves.
It was almost 6.00 pm when we arrived in Porto, time for a rest.