Arriving at the Coimbra Students International hostel (CSI) was a special experience. Both Alvaro and Rafael were nowhere to be seen, but they have their business well organised.
At first, I parked my car in front of the gate, at the parking reserved for the neighbours. Please note that you can enter immediately; Just open the 3 parts of the gate from the inside and park your car inside the garden court, behind the wall. Please leave space for other cars to park and pass, even if your car is the only one. Alvaro and Rafael appreciate social behaviour. :-)
After parking in backwards, paying attention not to burn my clutch on the steep slope, I walked into the hostel through the wrong door, so I did feel lost at first. I just asked one of the other students and they showed me the entrance where the keys were. After I had found my room and unloaded my car, I could appreciate the architecture of this former convent. The room itself has yellow walls, a colour I happen to like. The house and room look rather basic, but anything you might need can be found in the house. I booked through AirBNB, for only 14 Euros - normally €16.
When taking a shower, please don't give up on hot water: it may take 3 full minutes, but hot water will arrive in your shower cabin. Please note that Portuguese often mix up red and blue, for hot and cold. In Coimbra, it's even harder: F is for frio (cold) en Q is for quente (hot), painted on the water tap in a monumental writing hard to decipher.
I did not see Alvaro nor Rafael throughout the whole weekend, but I did see the university of Coimbra, which is Portugal's oldest university and a must-see, even with the chapel being in the process of restauration.
During the weekends the bus service is not very frequent. It took me about half an hour to walk to town. Since the hostel is up the hill and Coimbra is, just like many other cities in Portugal, a city where streets are paved with cobblestones and rarely lay flat, you really need to buy a decent pair of hiking shoes before you go to Portugal! Oh, start walking in your hiking shoes some weeks before you leave, to get used to your shoes, or otherwise your feet maight develop painfull blisters.
On the day I left, Alvaro and Rafael were very friendly and helpfull. They helped me carry some luggage (I think I should carry it all myself, as a matter of assuming my responsability, but help is of course welcome and makes life easier). Alvaro and Rafael also came up with a possible solution for another night, but in the end I did not need to use their special offer.
If you consider yourself old enough to look after yourself, then I would recommend you to stay at this hostel and enjoy visiting Coimbra.