Monday, 2 April 2018

Another Sunshine Island - Sao Miguel, Azores.

"On the map, they appear to be dark and mysterious, very small blobs in the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean and seemingly inaccessible all those years ago. 

Map showing islands off the coast of Portugal and Africa.The Portuguese islands of the Azores lie in the North Atlantic Ocean on a parallel line between Lisbon and New York, about one thousand three hundred kilometres west of mainland Portugal. They are volcanic islands and, lying in the path of the Gulf Stream, winters are generally mild. Of the nine islands that make up the archipelago, São Miguel to the east is the largest with the city of Ponta Delgada being the capital of the region."

Ponta Delgada at Christmas.

"We flew in the setting sun to land at Ponta Delgada. I filmed the wing flaps opening as we came to land being entranced by everything – like a small child. A Saga representative met us at the airport which was re-assuring for us. The transfer by coach to our hotel in Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel was seamless with porterage of luggage taking the hassle out of everything. Our hotel had a lovely location with rooms and balconies overlooking the sea. They were well appointed, spacious and came with the special touch of fruit and bottled water in the room. This was welcome after a long journey."

Coloured map of the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores.Later . . .

"On his return to the hotel from his guided walk in the north of the island, my husband related to me how he saw dramatic coastlines and a farmer riding on a donkey collecting milk in milk churns in the fields, leaving dogs to guard the cattle. By contrast, the workday life in the south is more as we know it, with mobile phones in popular use in the city. He [my husband] surmised that the man on the donkey probably had a mobile phone in his pocket as well.
Later that day we walked into the city to explore. From modern cars tooting their horns to three-wheeled trucks noisily revving their engines, from cobbled streets and smart shops found in the unspoilt square, to solid buildings at every turn, everything was a bustling, thrusting, thriving mixture of sights and sounds as cars, bikes and people vied for space.
The contrast was amazing. It was Christmas – locals rushed about in shirt sleeves in the warm air and yet, in the square, there stood Santa’s Sleigh. An enormous display of lights like ribbons flowed from the centre of a maypole as the city prepared for Christmas which was only a few days away. Outside the fort, military guards paced up and down, swinging their swords. Overhead, the sky was blue. What a contrast."

Excerpt from Island Interludes: Just Us Two Escape to the Sun
You Tube video trailer 

Photograph copyright Rosalie Marsh. Maps by kind permission.

Rosalie xx

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