SAMI'S COLOURFULWORLD

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Azores - Ponta Delgada and a tearful Legend

With a shopping (Parque Atlantico) within walking distance to the hotel, part of the morning was spent looking around the shops and part was spent going into the city centre as well. We bought souvenirs as well as a few of pieces of clothing and returned to the hotel around lunchtime to meet up with our brother in law and young niece and have lunch together.

The hotel where we stayed - Sao Miguel Park Hotel - was very comfortable, had an indoor pool, sauna and gym, as well as an outdoor pool which wasn't being used at this time of year.
The staff was also very friendly and attentive and the breakfast buffet was very good. 
The  Sao Miguel Park Hotel

The hotel bedroom



Views from the hotel balcony
Views from the hotel


Sunset view from the hotel 
Murals on a garage door near the Hotel



Traditionally all the buildings in the Azores islands are painted white with the volcanic basalt stone surrounding window and door frames. 
Churches and other important older buildings show off intricate designs around their doors, windows and gates.


Basalt door surround
Basalt columns support the gates
A pale blue building in the city centre  with a city park


Portas da Cidade -  The city "doors" (photo from net)

Portas da Cidade (Doors of the city), built in 1783 origby the old city harbour were later transferred to this area in 1952. They are an architectural landmark in the city, in the middle of a cobbled plaza made with basalt from the region and white marble from Portugal. 

                                                                        The city doors at night, and a church

After lunch, we drove about 26km to Lagoa das Sete Cidades  (Seven cities Lagoon) on the western side of the island.
This lagoon in a volcano crater, the biggest lake in the island, is made up of 2 lakes narrowly connected, and crossed by a bridge, with the particularity that one side appears to be green and the other blue. The width of the lakes is 4,2km and the depth reaches up to 33mt.

Legend has it that in this local, a blue eyed Princess fell in love with a green eyed goat herder. The King who wished for his daughter to marry a Prince, when he heard about his daughter's love interest, he prohibited their relationship. The Princess asked for a last meeting with her love and while they both talked about their sad destiny, they both cried so much, that from her blue eyes the Blue Lagoon was formed, and from his green eyes the Green Lagoon was formed. Both were separated, but their tears were forever united side by side in the Seven Cities Lagoon. Isn't this beautiful?

From the top of the crater, 250mt above sea level, there is a scenic viewpoint called - Vista do Rei (King's View) - so called, because this was the place where in 1901, the Portuguese King D. Carlos and Queen D. Amelia, were dazzled by this view, when they visited the island.

Seven cities Lagoon in the crater of a volcano






The lakes with the bridge across them and the Sete Cidades town on the other side
At Kings View - The family with the lagoons behind.
Left to Right (back) - my husband, his brother, my brother in law, our daughter/ L to R (front) - my sister, our niece and me.
Panel made with tiles showing the lagoon
A half finished and abandoned Hotel looks a bit lost in the scenery















We drove down the twisting roads to the village of Sete Cidades, and on the way stopped to photograph some cows  freely grazing in the green fields.

The Azores produce one of the best meats, very tender and tasty, and this is all due to the fact that their cows roam around eating grass. They are also producers of good quality milk, butter and various cheeses - one of my favourites being - Sao Jorge cheese, with a peppery taste. We even bought some to bring to Australia!

Cows grazing in grassy fields in Sete Cidades

By the water's edge there was a complex being developed that will include restaurants and Cafes, but at the moment, only one Cafe was in operation. We sat down for a while drinking coffees and teas, at the same time taking cover from the drizzle that was falling.

Although we mainly got sunny days at this time of the year, being the end of winter, it was still slightly cool. The island also gets a lot of rainfall, but most times it's just a drizzle, not enough to warrant opening an umbrella! 

Rainbow over the lake

I took some photos that showed the beautiful blend of colours around the lake, and managed to catch a rainbow too.

We drove back to the hotel and while the men played pool, my sister and I enjoyed some relaxing time in the sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool before getting ready for dinner.

After dinner we had a drink at the hotel bar and I remembered my cake and went to fetch it from our bedroom.
As soon as I walked in the bar with the cake box, the lady behind the bar quickly came over to our corner and handed us plates and cake forks and a knife!
Wow, I was surprised with the good service, we hadn't even asked for those things and she anticipated what we needed!
So once again the staff at the Sao Miguel Park Hotel deserve a big THANK YOU!
As there was still enough cake after we all had a slice I gave her a slice as well as a slice each for the two American couples at the bar.

Another day in Paradise!!
Hope you are enjoying the Island, there's more to come soon.


Tuesday 3 March 2015

4 comments:

  1. I sure do like the blue building! Though white and basalt looks great, too.
    Aww, nice, sad story behind the lagoon.
    You have a great family, love the pic!
    LOL, your description about the meat, cheese and milk sure is right, but, awww, aren´t those very young, cute cows actually? ;-)
    Beautiful pics, looking forward to see more!

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    1. Thanks Iris, it was great most of the family could get together.

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  2. Love the natural beauties of the island, as well as the old architecture of Ponta Delgada!

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    1. The Azores islands are beautiful and still quite natural, which is great. I wonder for how long?

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