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[Sticky] AS REQUESTED: The Coimbra-specific forum/group (-:

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(@carlm)
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@kkcwalton @luise - you asked, and here it is! All yours, please get posting and sharing 😎 

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(@livinginusa)
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Great to see this Group get started. Thanks @carlm for making it happen!

My Wife and I will be visiting PT from the US in September.  Coimbra will be one of the three Cities we will be visiting in hopes of finding a place for retirement.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this Group in the meantime.

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(@kkcwalton)
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@livinginusa Hi Eric, Great to see you here and welcome to the group.  We're also considering Coimbra for retirement from the US, but our exploratory trip won't be until next year.  We'd love to hear about your thoughts and experience while there -- and on PT in general.  Glad you're joined us.  Best, KK

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@livinginusa let me know if you need any help about Coimbra and the region in general. I take the chance to invite you to watch my YouTube videos on the matter (GO! Walks Portugal) so that you can feel inspired and learn a few interesting things before coming here. All the best!

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(@livinginusa)
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@saracruz Thanks Sara...we'll likely schedule some time with you as time grows closer.

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@livinginusa will be here when you need me 🙂

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(@kkcwalton)
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Thanks Sara.  We look forward to meeting you next year.

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(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton 🙂 I can't wait too!

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(@luise)
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Sara is defiantly the expert on Coimbra. 

 

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@luise 🙂 thanks!

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(@terrell)
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Thanks for starting this group! Would living near(ish) to Góis be close enough to be part of this party? 

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(@kkcwalton)
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@terrell Hey Terrell, why not?? 😀  We'd be happy to have you join us.  It doesn't seem that far to me looking at the map.  If you're interested in Coimbra, you're in!  Do you live there already?  What's Gois like?

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@kkcwalton it's not far but it takes a while getting there (approx 50min) as it is more to the east, so... countryside, mountains!

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(@terrell)
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Thanks @saracruz and @kkcwalton. Gois is a little ways out, but if luck holds and the house purchase works out, Gois will just be the nearest town! I'll actually be *really* out in the countryside, in one of the little Xisto mountain villages; check out, e.g.,

I haven't moved yet, but hope to do so by the time you visit, so contact me if you would like to stop by to check out the countryside or go for a hike. The night sky should also be excellent for star-gazing for your husband -- one of the links at the site above is to their Dark Sky certification!

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(@kkcwalton)
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@terrell Terrell, you have just made our day.  We are so excited to find dark sky communities closer to Coimbra than the Alqueva. My husband jumped up from his computer (which he rarely does) to run to mine to see the site.  Thanks so much for sending the link.

Before your note, we thought we would have to travel to Alqueva every time Bob wants serious stargazing.  This community makes Coimbra an even more attractive location to us and just about seals the deal.  Although now my husband will probably want to move to your area instead of Coimbra.  You have no idea how much he loves astronomy.  We'll see how that works out...

Thanks so much for the offer to meet you while we're there.  We would absolutely love to visit with you.  It's always so much better to see an area with someone who knows it.  Would you like to connect?  I'll send you a connection request in a minute.

Best of luck with your move.  We are very grateful for the information.

 

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(@terrell)
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@kkcwalton, I am so glad this was helpful! As @saracruz notes below, these locations are "out a ways", so not for everyone. I DM'd you separately, and look forward to keeping in touch.

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(@kkcwalton)
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@saracruz Thanks Sara.  It sounds beautiful and remote.  With Terrell's note about the Dark Sky designation there, I'm sure we'll visit regularly for stargazing trips.  My husband regularly drives for hours to go stargazing and to find this so close to Coimbra is a huge benefit to us.  Can't wait to get there!

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(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton stargazing is really easy near Coimbra. My grandmother's village is just 20min drive from here and I would do that from her bedroom balcony. There are plenty of Schist Villages in Lousã (closer than Góis) and I know them quite well as I guide tours and hikes around these villages. If you're searching for a secluded place to live, then you should consider them but keep in mind that there is really nothing in those villages and you have to drive everywhere (groceries included but also doctors etc). I understand the pros but also the cons when it comes to living in these villages, that's why they slowly lost their population, so make sure to know about them really well before you make such a decision. I never left Coimbra because we have everything here, and are still close to those places for when we need that off the grid location for a few days or just one night.

Alright and with this being said, you know I'll be available for more detailed information when you need me 🙂 all the best!

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(@terrell)
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@saracruz, I also appreciate all the info you are sharing! I hope in the future to be on one of your tours and hikes, as a participant, or because you are stopping by to visit, too. 😉

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(@saracruz)
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@terrell I would love that!

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(@luise)
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@terrell I don't live in Coimbra anymore either. Still haven't decided where to settle and within the Coimbra radius is still an option. So gatecrashing the group too. 🙂

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(@terrell)
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@luise, thanks all the more for setting it up, then, and keep us posted on your search!

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(@luise)
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@terrell I keep a vlog so will show any new areas I'm exploring.

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(@kkcwalton)
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@luise Hi Luise, we'd be interested in hearing why you decided not to settle in Coimbra.  Anything you care to share about your experiences there?  It's good for us to hear the pros and cons to know what to watch for.  The rising damp in the buildings is something that has me concerned.  Is it as bad in Coimbra as other places?  Thank you

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(@luise)
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@kkcwalton Hello ? Sorry I don't know your name. I haven't settled in Coimbra. I'm no where near finding my happy place 🙂

Coimbra is good for a base camp (nice and central) to start exploring. I'm in the Silver Coast at the moment, this is temporary. 

The damp has been bad everywhere I have been so far (except for the Algarve where I first landed).

"Anything you care to share about your experiences there?" I shared my Coimbra experience in a Youtube video...

 

Hope that helps 🙂 

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(@kkcwalton)
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@luise Thanks for the response!  Really looking forward to viewing your video.  We'll subscribe and watch it today.  We've heard great things about the Silver Coast as well, and would be our first choice except for access to the university.

We plan to be in PT next year mid-Feb - mid-May to explore the country top to bottom and decide where to move, visas and pandemic allowing.  It's a bit fast for a full country tour, but we're limited by the 90 day Schengen requirement for US citizens.  Bummer.

I'm Karen BTW.  Nice to meet you!

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@kkcwalton about the damp in the buildings... that happens because people don't have the money to remodel the houses AND the knowledge to use a proper ventilation system. It took me 2 years for me and my husband to figure that out for our apartment, some bad experiences with people and lots of consultations to different companies etc... anyway with a good architect and plan you'll be able to solve it wherever you want to live in Portugal.

There are certain parts of Coimbra (and Portugal) that suffer more with humidity (this has to be with the geomorphology of the territory and how/where the city halls allowed to construct, so you need to be aware of that). I'll be more than happy to let you know all about that in more detail when you're ready.

All the best!

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Posted by: @saracruz

@kkcwalton about the damp in the buildings... that happens because people don't have the money to remodel the houses AND the knowledge to use a proper ventilation system. Well I would risk saying 98% of the houses in Portugal don't even have any ventilation system (even those with interior bathrooms). Most construction in Portugal is made without an architect on sight and obviously that affects the overall quality of living in the buildings. It took me 2 years for me and my husband (who studied architecture) to figure that out for our apartment, some bad experiences with people and lots of consultations to different companies etc... anyway with with proper information and a plan you'll be able to solve it wherever you want to live in Portugal. We have no problems with damp anymore (why should we, our country has MUCH better weather than Central and Northern Europe and they have better construction for a reason!).

There are certain parts of Coimbra (and Portugal) that suffer more with humidity (this has to be with the geomorphology of the territory and how/where the city halls allowed to construct, so you need to be aware of that). I'll be more than happy to let you know all about that in more detail when you're ready.

All the best!

 

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(@kkcwalton)
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@saracruz Hi Sara, thank you for the thoughtful response and offer to advise us on areas to live that can minimize problems.  I really want to live in the old city for the old world charm, but as you say, modern construction has it's benefits!  It's good to know the problem can be solved as well.

When we have dates for when we'll be in Coimbra, we'll schedule a day with you at your convenience for the real insider's tour.  We both look forward to meeting you and are very grateful for your time in answering our questions.

Best wishes, Karen

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(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton thanks, I am always happy to help out! see you then!

 

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(@luise)
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@saracruz I think Gary is planning to cover this subject for one of the webinars. I for one CAN'T WAIT! 🙂 

It will be very popular I'm sure. 

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(@kkcwalton)
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@luise What a good idea!  @carlm We're looking forward to your episode on how to deal with the rising damp!

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@luise that's good!

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(@kkcwalton)
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Does anyone know whether the university in Coimbra allows non-degree students to take classes at the university and / or participate in university activities like arts, museums, concerts, theatre, etc.?  My husband is a semi-pro astronomer, retired from NASA & DLR's SOFIA mission, and we're wondering if or how he can connect with the astronomy department at the university.

We plan to sign up for their "Portuguese for Foreign Students" class this fall to connect with the university and (hopefully!) to acquire a little Portuguese language skills.  Wish us luck!

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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton hi! Yes the University of Coimbra has opened activities for non-students. Contact DRI (Divisão de Relações Internacionais) for more information

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(@kkcwalton)
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@saracruz Sara, you are already making this so much better for us.  Thank you very much for the info.  We look forward to meeting you when in Coimbra.

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(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton glad to help 🙂 all the best!

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(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton there's also the Academic Association... I'm leaving their contacts here too:

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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@saracruz)
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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton if you have any problems after using these tips let me know, I have some professional contacts inside the University and maybe they'll be able to help if needed.

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(@kkcwalton)
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@saracruz Sara, this information is more than we ever expected from this forum.  You are incredible and we so appreciate your support.  We're reading all the websites now and are thrilled with what we're finding.  

We currently live near Greenville, South Carolina in the US and my husband was hired (part-time) to work in the major science observatory (Roper Mountain Science Center) here that provides education for students in almost 70 counties.  He loves it but of course the pandemic has shut things down.  Who knows?  Perhaps his experience here may be of some use to the local community.

Thank you so much for the information.  Best wishes and we hope to meet you soon.

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(@saracruz)
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@kkcwalton great! I am sure he'll be busy when here!

Thanks 🙂 see you soon!

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