We spent Christmas break in three wonderful, historic towns in Portugal, with a final stop in that country in Lisbon. Pictured below are Evora, Coimbra, and Geamareas.
The top photo is of Rossio plaza, Lisbon, from tourazores.com. The next is of the town of Evora, below that of the University at Coimbra, both photos from myportugalholiday.com, and below that is the town of Guimaraes (our hotel was in the building with the arches).
I planned this trip and our trip to Switzerland last May, before we happened to read Night Train to Lisbon in which the protagonist gives up his teaching life in Bern and takes the train to Lisbon. How unlikely that when we had trips scheduled to both Switzerland and Portugal, we happened to stumble upon a book set in both countries.
The night train, the Sud Express, operates between Hendaye, France and Lisbon. Todd and I rode it in 1992 and rode it again this January. It no longer has the dining car, in which the protagonist meets a man who figures in his new Lisbon life, but it has a bar car with some food service. I slept all night like a baby, as I do on moving trains.