The ruins of Conimbriga

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
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Trip End Oct 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Camping Combria

Flag of Portugal  , Beiras,
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the road again, time to say bye to Lisbon and travel further north. Yesterday we met a couple of Kiwis on the ferry. Of course we started chatting and it seemed they were parked only a couple of sites away from us in the park. Henry and Emma are a couple of wayward lawyers , worked in London for 3 or more years and have visited as many places as possible during their time in the UK. Now they are reluctantly returning to New Zealnd after travelling around Europe for a few months. Good luck to them, enjoy yourselves guys.
Our aim for the day was to drive to Coimbra and have a look at the Conimbriga Ruins, situated 16km south of Combria. Left the park at about 8.30am forgetting all about peak our traffic in Lisbon. Yes we did get a little stuck in it but as soon as we crossed the bridge and passed the city all was good. At least we did not come to a standstill which is good. The rest of the trip was easy, freeways only.
The Conimbriga Roman Ruins are unbelievable. So much of it, beautiful mosaic flooring, still in good condition and lovely patterns. The site is very big and what amazed us is that only 15% of the original site has been uncovered. Though Conimbriga owes its celebrity to the Romans, the site dates back to Celtic times. When the Romans settled there in the 1st Century AD it became a major city on the route to Lisbon. They built well to do mansions floored with eleborate mosaics and scattered with fountains. A wall was build right through the city centre. in order to avoid invasion by other tribes, however in 468 the Suevi tribe seized the town. Most of the inhabitants fled the city therefor saving it from destruction.A very interesting story and so ancient as well. It took us about 2 hours to view all of the sight. I felt such an honour to be able to touch something that was nearly 2000 years old. The mosaic floors are everywhere and must have been in vogue in those days. The colour has faded a little but well preserved for its age. It is hard to describe the site and once again photos do not do it justice. Stu you would have been in paradise there and would love it.  Even if you are not into that sort of thing it is still great to be able to view how things were than, and how the people lived. Loved every bit of it.
Time to park Charlie for the night, she was getting restless, so drove to the campsite. A nice park, nobody here once again, where is everybody?
A very interesting day today thanks to the Romans.
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Comments

Emma & Henry on

Gypsies?! You guys are the ones who have made a life out of living on the road! Haha. Great to meet you both and safe travels. Currently having a 'chill out' day in Cordoba.

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