Posted on Wednesday, 13 September 2006 at 02:31.

The university organised an introduction day today. At 9:30 we were all in the “amphitheater B”. Of course, since this is Portugal, it took about 45 minutes for the talks to actually start. :-) First the vice rector of the university spoke a bit. Then he wanted to know why some of us chose to study in Braga. And of course, of all 150 people in the room, he pointed at me (“you, with the Epica shirt”) to answer first. Go figure.

Then Adriana, the head of the internation relations office, did the rest, alternating between English and Portuguese, talking mostly about practical things. After two or three hours the university offered us lunch, which was very good, and a little too much: soup, bread, rice, meat, bright-orange-colored watery-tasting lemonade (an initially surprising combination), and some chocolate pudding. Then they took us to Bom Jesus, by bus, which I had already been to, but this time it was guided, which was interesting. She explained how Bom Jesus used to be a very important place for pilgrims, starting at the bottom of the valley, climbing their way up, symbolically cleansing themselves of sins, until they reached the top of the hill and arrived at the church.

Then the buses took us past the stadium, then to the city center and the cathedral. When that was over I went back to my dorm, then at 19h I went to the university’s restaurant near my dorm (they have 3 in Braga). Again, good food and quite a lot for 1.90 euros. I’m sorry for mentioning the prizes so often; I’m still not used to things being to cheap. Another example: during dinner some people joined me, and later we went downtown to find a bar. Again 1.90 euros for a Heineken and a cola. Incredibly.

At around midnight I walked back home; at 1 I went to sleep.

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