Posted by: Leap of Faith | September 24, 2010

People, Places and (Bits &) Pieces of Portugal

From the medieval walled cities of Avilon and Salamanca, we then proceeded to have a short visit to the small university town of Coimbra in Portugal, which is where the first university in the country (and one of the oldest in Europe) was established many centuries ago.

This place, which incidentally reminded me so much of (the once Portugese colony of) Macau, looked very eerie since majority of the establishments were closed that Sunday morning and most of the people walking on the streets were  tourists who did not know where to go or what to do.

Even the church where we decided to hear mass in (Mosteiro de Santa Cruz) looked quite depressing since there was a visible lack of attendees that day and most of the parishioners were senior citizens – a definite sign of the changing influence of the Catholic faith (or any form of religion, for that matter) in this part of the world.

So being the tourists “adventurous folk” (?) that we were, we didn’t let the ambience of the place bring us down. What to do? Explore some more! 😆  Check out one of our finds that day – a lone brass statue of a lady holding a basket sitting patiently in a deserted alley. Nice!

This souvenir shop seemed to be one of the few establishments open that morning.

Of course, not even a sleepy town like this could stop a photo-obssessed Filipino family, like ours, from taking more than enough souvenir photographs of our trip…

…  even if the shot is as wacky as the one above! 🙄

For posterity’s sake, we also had a group shot with our Spanish tour director, Julian.

From the sleepy town of Coimbra, we then proceeded to our next stop – the miraculous city of Fatima, arguably one of the highlights of our trip, if you ask me.

This is the apparition chapel and actual tree where the Virgin Mary appeared to the three shepherd kids, Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco in 1917. 


We were all overwhelmed by the large crowd of Marian devotees who were there for various personal reasons – some to attend the Sunday services… 


 … while most were there to pray for healing and/or thanksgiving.

When the mass was over, the image of the Virgin Mary was paraded…

…and everyone waved their meaningful, and sometimes, emotional, goodbyes. 

Definitely a fitting way to bid adieu to two of the more atmospheric places in Portugal.  Until we see you again!










  1. i wonder if mrs. pinky felt right at home in portugal. nong una ko kasi syang makita in your pics sa soul kitchen, i thought she was a european with her features and fair skin. 🙂

    and you? just a lucky pinoy who duped a western gal to marriage! hahahah… (joke lang po wag mo ako i-ban dito ha)

    • Dante, naku if you can only see how much you made Pinky smile with your comment. Super haba ng buhok niya ngayon… he he he!

      Of course, you’re always welcome here… kahit binastos mo ako in my own site… he he he! Anyway, lucky din naman ako for marrying my wife – whether European features siya or not – naks!

  2. Ikaw talaga… wag nang kontrahin si Dante at nagsasabi lang naman ng totoo yung tao – hahaha! 😎

    Portugal was made memorable for me mostly because of Fatima. We were blessed to have been there to see with our own eyes what the saintly shepherd children experienced almost a century ago. God is good!

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