Thursday, February 20, 2014

2/12/14 Day 27 Coimbra

After our first two nights in Coimbra it was time to move to Joao's place to stay with him and his three college roommates, all students of the university but of business and engineering degrees. They insisted on picking us up in the car, a welcome change from walking with our packs. We got to their apartment and they were so excited to host us as their very first couch surfers. They cooked pork steak and rice for dinner for us, it was delicious and better yet Joao brought us a few local wines that we shared as we enjoyed some conversation, a great evening ending with a few of us going out while some of the boys stayed in to study for their final exams in the morning. It was a good chance to scope out some of the local bars and see their favorite spots before everyone one was off exams and the area was completely packed with people. 

The next day we all went to the botanical gardens and visited the university of Coimbra a beautiful campus. The magnolias were just beginning to bloom and filled the trees with hundreds of pink bulbs. 
We like trees
Vines gripping the fence with all their might
Citrus Maximus indeed! so sour!
Our whole group
After we finished our walk in the botanical gardens we explored the drinks of the city, beer and wine! Not only were all the boys out of finals it was also a birthday celebration night for one of the boys, Kiko, so tonight we were in for a real celebration. 
João gifted Kevin a pink lighter that shall travel with us throughout Europe, making it clear that we continue taking photos with it for as long as we can. (Keep a look out for those pics boys)
Here's the lineup in front of the club...wayyyyyy to many people so we went back to the bars
If you can't tell by the name this was a bar specializing in "shots" the boys ordered us a few different rounds of their favorites, all pretty different from what we are used to when it comes to shots, but all were yummy and we gladly toasted and drank! 
After a bit we headed back to the club and waited in the ridiculous line to get in. The music was mostly straight from eighth grade dances mixed with some Portuguese music and of course the top 40's and they packed the place out way beyond what a club in the U.S. would ever allow. The mind blowing part though is the way you pay; you get a card when you get in that is a stamp card with a value you need to buy in drinks. I had 3 euros, Kevin had 5 when you buy a drink they mark the value, but no money is exchanged, when you finally go to leave the club they charge you the full amount even if you didn't spend that much in drinks. Oh and to get to the register you pretty much have to struggle the whole way in and out of the "line," I don't think I have had to move through a more ridiculous group before, and usually I'm trying to get to the stage not get out of the club. I just have never thought about how efficient our system of paying upon entry is until I've seen how inefficient their system is after a forty minute struggle to get out of the club. At least we got to see the sunrise as we walked home tired and ready for a nap. It was a great few days with the boys as they had promised upon airrival and we hope to see them in the USA to show them a good time in the future!

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