Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Azores, Sete Cidades and Ponta Delgada, Thurs 24th April 2008

The island of Sao Miguel is very, very green. With little lanes and stone walls. Mist rolls in from the sea and the island being volcanic, makes the soil rich. The hedgerows are full of lilies, ferns and lichen. It is beautiful.

Sete Cidades (Seven Cities). These two volcanic crater lakes have a story which goes with them. One is blue and one is green. The story is the King's daughter met and fell in love with a shepherd boy. The King found out and held his daughter under house arrest, there was no hope for their union, tears were shed, hers blue and his green, forming the two lakes.

This is the little town that sits there today. There never was a King or seven cities, these are all tales. But the Azores have always held an exotic ora about them.
Beside the lake

I fell upon a copse of trees and walking into the middle came across a beautiful gardenia bush.

The gardenia bush.

An Azores house in Sete Cidades.

An old lady of the Azores doing her gardening.

The temperate climate lets them grow oranges, which was until one time their major trade, with Britain, until an epidemic wiped them out. Now they export dairy products from all the Frisian cattle, to Portugal and also grow pineapples.

At the pineapple plantation

A menorah. Jewish people came as slaves and later as refugees in times of persecution.

Mr cat, doing his rounds. They keep cats at the pineapple plantation to keep the rats down.

In the town of Ponta Delgada.

A guard at the old fort.

Leaving the port of Ponta Delgada, the tug boat seeing us off.

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