May 4, 2014
We had a wonderful day on São Miguel Island, in the Azores Islands. The Azores are a series of nine islands and a cluster of islets in the Atlantic Ocean, located about 1360 km. (850 mi.) west of Continental Portugal. Our port was in Ponta Delgada, the largest city in the islands.
We arrived in port early in the morning. It looked like it was going to a grey and gloomy day, but the weather did improve throughout the day.
The five of us were up early and ready to board the bus at 8 a.m. to visit the Furnas Crater Lake and Terra Nostra Gardens.
Along the route, we stopped in the small community of Ribeira Grande, a picturesque little town.
These are a few of the photos from our stopover.
Frankly, the cobblestone streets were in better condition than our local roads here at home!
The flowers were in bloom in the gardens, mostly pansies, azaleas, and these hydrangeas.
So pretty and so different from the continuing winter landscape at home (it snowed after I left!)
The current village of Furnas below, was relocated after the latest volcanic eruption (1630 AD) which flooded the original village, killing the occupants, and creating the Furnas Crater lake.
|Lagoa das Furnas (Lake Furnas) a volcanic crater lake|
The fields, (so green) were edged by stone. The major agricultural activity is dairy used in the production of cheese and butter products.
From Furnas, we travelled to the nearby Terra Nostra gardens. I`ll simply let the photos speak for themselves.
This is a camellia, a flower I don`t believe I`ve ever seen before.
As the petals, they created a blanket of rose petals under the trees. So beautiful!
The weather steadily improved through the day and by the time we reached Ponta Delgada, the skies were clear and the sun was warm.
We chose to be dropped off in the city, and did some walking through the nearby streets. As it was Sunday (and Mother`s Day) most of the shops were closed.
It was a good thing the shops were closed, otherwise I suspect these shoes would have been going home with me!
Back at the ship, we had a lovely evening for sail away. We were treated to a marching band playing on the docks below as the tug boat pulled us away.
What an incredibly beautiful place! São Miguel Island is known locally as the Green Island and it certainly lived up to it.
Not only is it beautiful but the weather is temperate, with lows of only 11C (57F) and highs of 24C (75F). Given the opportunity, I`d return to see more the island and possibly visit some of the other islands. It may never happen, but I`ll always have the memories of an incredible day.
Tomorrow - Southampton, England