Travel Diary June 2023: Coimbra #Portugal #Coimbra #city #travel #botanicalgardens #University #trees #bambooforest

We travelled to Coimbra on 2nd June, a Portuguese city on our bucket list for some time. It is a lovely city with a traditional and friendly feel. Not too big and not too small! 😊

Here are some photos…

What a sunset!

There are a lot of stairs and steep paths! The photo below doesn’t give a true perspective of the steepness. You just have to trust me that it was mega steep. Escadas de Quinchorro. Phew! That poor unsuspecting chap just happened to be climbing the stairs when I took his photograph.

It left me breathless too!

Sunday 4th June 2023 we went to the University and the Botanical Gardens which are located high up! So don’t forget your walking shoes. There is a bus though…

Here I am at the entrance to the gardens, looking happy as I do love to visit botanical gardens!

One of the first things I spotted was a green parrot-like bird 🦜 eating a fruit. Sadly, he was so camouflaged, it was impossible to see him in the photo below. He was eating a small red fruit!

I love trees and nature, so this was a real treat for me. There are trees galore, some extraordinary ones! This Jacaranda is reaching up to the skies via an escape hatch in the cafe.

This Cedrus Deodara had a plaque in remembrance to poet and novelist Rui Costa: ‘He combined his interest in Literature with a taste for Law, graduating in this area from the University of Coimbra (1996) and practicing law for six years, in Lisbon and London.’
My favourite trees were the Australian Bayan which were simply stunning!
Australian Bayan

Their roots are something else! Spectacular.

And the bamboo forest is huge too… that’s my hubby and he is 6ft 1…

The chapel… São Bento, nature has been allowed to create a kind of neglected, camaflagued look.

There’s a lot we didn’t see but I’m sure we will be back. If you are a huge tree lover, like I am you will love it!

Ticket Price

Free, but I think there is a charge for the glasshouses.

Opening Hour

Winter: 9am-17:30 Summer: 9am-20:00

Recommended Visit Duration

Around 1 hour or more


Next up a day trip to Aveiro, Portugal…


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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – my #Tanka – Calm & Wild

I’ve been scarce on social media of late as it was my daughter Natasha’s graduation this week and we had several days in Brighton enjoying the seaside and celebrating her success.


It’s been a time tinged with a touch of sadness and oodles of happiness too. Sadness that she is leaving Brighton and her much-loved university – Sussex – but happiness and promise to come. I can’t believe that it has been three years. It seems like yesterday that we dropped her off at her student accommodation. Her time at Sussex University has had its up and its downs – her first year was tough, especially as she fractured her ankle early on (just before Valentine’s day!) and she lived in a third floor flat on campus, (not a good idea on crutches) at what seemed like the furthest point from her seminar and lecture theatres. More about that here: An Unusual Valentine’s Adventure!

But, she didn’t come home; she carried on, braved it out and showed great character. I admire her resilience greatly, and couldn’t be a prouder mum!

I’m so glad she studied in Brighton, as this has meant several wonderful visits there! I have a great affinity to the sea, I’m always happiest when I can walk on a beach – even the squawking sea gulls don’t faze me!

So my Tanka this week is with that in mind, and the promising future that awaits my daughter and graduates this year. Seize those opportunities guys before the seagulls snatch ’em up!

I was particularly struck by an inspiring speech that Sussex University’s chancellor, the well-known comedian Sanjeev Baskar gave. He said that he took ten long, difficult years of struggle before he became successful. More about that here:

So don’t be disheartened if you are back home living with your parents, have a pile of debt or are not successful straight away.  To begin with Sanjeev Baskar @TVSanjeev wasn’t even accepted as a student at Sussex University, but look at him now. Such inspiring food for thought.

Do comment, has your son or daughter graduated recently? Do you love the sea too?

Bye for now… much love,

My social media links:

Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time




Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

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#MondayBlogs: A New Term Begins: The New Term Blues


A new term begins, a bit like the branches of this beautiful tree it proposes many opportunities but also separates too.  We are now back to our little group of three and I expect it will take some getting used to again.

The journey to Brighton on Saturday luckily wasn’t fraught with too many issues. We arrived on the seafront, but found that we couldn’t locate the venue to pick up my daughter’s keys!  We asked a local taxi driver but she didn’t seem to have a clue so we turned the car around and managed to work it out ourselves. The weather was so blustery, as I left the car, my hair was blown all over the place, and somehow the force of the wind managed to undo my necklace! Luckily I noticed and saved it from being stolen by the wind. I walked in with my daughter and she presented her form only to be told that she needed ID to pick up her keys! Back out into the wind again, no sign of my husband or our car, he’d gone to do a loop around as this area is strictly double yellow lines, no parking allowed. So we waited, and waited, and waited. By this time I was needing the toilet! At last he reappeared, we went back armed with her ID. Problem solved. Or was it? The door wouldn’t open. UGH. Luckily we spied one of the housing advisors and she opened it for us. At last my daughter was presented with a key! Success. Off we went.

Now this is when events became even more entertaining, remember we are in Brighton and in Brighton all sorts of funny things happen, I kid you not. On the way up the hill to her new abode, which by the way is a cute terraced house, with a garden, we saw a bunch of students pushing an enormous wheeled crate up the hill, full of a truck load of moving in stuff, there even happened to be a TV in there! This made me laugh, typical students!  I remember once my other half and his then student pals lifted a cooker through the streets of Edinburgh up to their flat too! How times have changed, nowadays students are much more sophisticated, and inventive, none of this brawn, just brain, a wheeled crate is much more enterprising. Anyway, I do hope that they managed to get up the hill okay! After saying our goodbyes, wonder of wonders, an even stranger sight caught my eye. We were stuck at a junction waiting to turn right, the bus on the road ahead stopped, a man hobbled out on his crutches and popped into the off licence for his weekly supply of alcohol, the bus waited patiently and he hobbled back on with his stash at the ready! I’ve never seen that anywhere else in the world, that’s for sure. A Brighton speciality bus service, methinks….

So back to this tree, I sat underneath it in a pub in Blackheath, in London, with my youngest daughter and as I looked up I stared at its magnificent splendour. It must be one of the most striking trees I’ve ever seen. It was lit up with fairy lights, and its branches curved and twisted, in a dramatic fashion, as if it was saying look at me.  If it could speak I’m sure it would say, “Aren’t I the most poetic tree you’ve ever seen?”

That tree summed up how I feel about my daughter going into her second year at University, and my youngest starting her GCSE’s. This is going to be some year! They will have so many opportunities, and diverse paths that they might follow which will lead them in many directions, and if they work hard the sky’s the limit for what they might achieve. I do hope my eldest daughter has a bundle of fun, makes lots of new friends, and embraces each and every opportunity with a happy heart, and that my youngest daughter will have a wonderful year with much success, happiness, and fun too. There is the prom to look forward to, I know she will love this! A new dress, shoes, makeup and hair, that will put a smile on her face after all that hard work. As for me, I may have a touch of the new term blues but I’ll be okay, the leaves of that wise old tree whispered and told me so!


Are you suffering from the new term blues too? Do you have a child who has just left the nest to go to University? Do feel free to comment and share I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now.

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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Photography: The Cutty Sark London


I just found this in my draft folder, seem to have forgotten to post this, the powers of my memory are obviously declining. So here goes…..

I took this photograph of the Cutty Sark the evening we picked up my eldest daughter and all her possessions from her University at the end of term, she needed to vacate her flat.

Her first year gone already, how did that happen? Eek, time is flying past too fast. Slow down, dearest, I can’t keep up with you. Anyway getting back to her vacating the flat when I say all her possessions I mean all her possessions! All apart from her crutches no we left those behind, (she broke her ankle this term, poor girl,) hope those crutches don’t come in handy to the next person renting her room! No more broken ankles me hopes.

Luckily we just had enough room in the car for the rest of us and no more, we couldn’t have squeezed another tiny person in there believe me. Girls and our belongings! I tell you half of our car boot was filled with her university books, well this she could be forgiven for, she is a English Literature student after all! My husband commented that when he went to university all he had was a large rucksack! Nowadays an oversized rucksack would just about do for her books, and you wouldn’t want to carry those on your back and that’s a fact!

We travelled back to London from Brighton and had a fantastic night out in Greenwich, and stayed overnight at my sister in law’s house. It was a truly memorable night, we had a lovely meal and ended up in a pub singing along to a band.

There must have been some kind of event on at The Greenwich Observatory as there were several classic cars on display as you can see, very posh!


Here’s a couple of photos of this fantastic evening view, I couldn’t quite do it justice, I need a better camera, I just took these on my mobile phone. But still, I think it gives you an indication of what a beautiful night it was.



On the way to the pub a young man ran by us and threw lots of pound coins on the ground! I don’t know if he was drunk, or just wanting to share his money with passing strangers! A kind contribution for next year’s rent for my daughter? Perhaps!  Given how much her annual rent costs all donations even pound coins gratefully received!

Oh, I do attract these kind of uncanny happenings, I wonder what it is about me?

Mustn’t complain it does give me lots of ideas for stories!

Such a funny and memorable night, I’ve been intending to share this with you for ages. It’s taken me a while to get around to it.

I hope you enjoyed my photos, all comments gratefully received in lieu of pound coins! Next year’s rent is looming…….


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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