Often Viking River Cruises include cities not along a waterway. While on their “Portugal’s River of Gold” cruise, I visited Lisbon and Coimbra before arriving in Porto. Porto is where I boarded the ship for the cruise along the Douro River.
The folks at Viking Cruises know how to make their passengers happy. Instead of traveling straight from Lisbon to Porto, they make a stop in Coimbra, one of Portugal’s most beautiful medieval cities.
We stopped first in the heart of the old city for photos and shopping. Then we head for University of Coimbra, the country’s oldest and most prestigious university. Established in 1290 in Lisbon, it was moved permanently to Coimbra in 1537.
Surrounded by beautiful educational and religious buildings, we heard from our guide its storied history and tradition. Students in long black robes go about their day in this remarkable educational institution.
All too soon, we were back on the motor coach and headed north to Porto. I, for one, appreciate these bonus stops. When I can visit yet another beautiful and historic site, I am a happy traveler.