Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day 5 - Azores


We are opting for a leisurely day today. We contemplated whether to go to church but since we neither understand the language and are also not allowed to take communion we think it better to have our own private devotions. May be on top of the "Jardim Publico", the gardens?

After breakfast we walk into town. I think I have mentioned before that everywhere are cobblestones. Larger ones on the streets, smaller ones one the sidewalks. The sidewalks and plazas often have patterns. Sometimes even some form of advertising in front of shops. This was in front of the gate to the gardens.






The gardens were lovely with so many interesting plants, flowers, trees which had arrived over the many years from different countries since the Azores were a needed stop for sailing ships to the wider world.







The gardens were on a steep hill and the paths curved upwards from level to level.






Of course on the top it was breathtaking in all directions.




We walked down again, seeing different things this time, and sitting quite a while in a flat formal garden watching the pigeons.

When we walked on we came to the plaza with City Hall, which was closed.



Walking towards the harbor, this must have been the first street when Terceira was discovered and then settled, leading directly from the docks to the town center.




A cafe at the harbor, we deserve refreshments. James got homemade chocolate mouss.



I had cheesecake in a jar on a slate plate.



And these hopped out of the water and came right to our table. Sorry, guys. But a few tables further somebody had too many fries.



Still time, so we wander back to see the Museum (in a former convent) which was next to the gardens.






The chapel of course.




The museum was very interesting and besides the permanent exhibitions there were special ones too like this about "Time" which just had opened.





When we were in the upper floor we were also shown how to get into the choir area of the chapel.





There had been a great big earthquake in 1980 where a lot had been destroyed which had to be rebuilt. This section is a bit more modern. The sculpture of these 6 life-size horses pulling the gun carriage is incredible. I had trouble catching it in a photo though.






Totally overloaded with information (in a good way) we thought it was time to go back to the hotel. But then we heard a band ...


We followed the band to this church.

Another VIDEO!

The two bands and the choir left before the service but I asked somebody who spoke a little English. This procession happens every year in the beginning of Lent. Statues of Jesus with the cross and Mary are carried from one church to another followed by a service. It is to show the suffering Jesus is going to do for us. On Good Friday they will have another procession carrying Jesus in a casket. The service was packed full with standing room only. I took a look (but no picture) from the open door.




Back refreshing in the hotel. The reception person had recommended a restaurant for dinner and had made reservations for us. So off we went again. Past the cathedral.




We were seated upstairs. I took this pictures of James to show that those guests' steaks were cooked at the table way in the back. Didn't want to be too obvious.



There is never salt and pepper on the table. The salad needed pepper though and we got a mill no problem.



Papa Figos is a rare migrating bird on the mainland (it said so on the back label).



Our Chateaubriand for 2 ...




... melted in your mouth.



... topped our meal off with a little icecream. Forgot what it was but very unusual and delicious.




Bye-bye and good night.

Oh, did I mention this day's 20,123 steps and 72 floors?



  1. This was so interesting since my mother (as a child)lived in the Azores for awhile. She would tell me stories but really didn't tell me much about the beauty of the country. Thank you!

  2. This was so interesting since my mother (as a child)lived in the Azores for awhile. She would tell me stories but really didn't tell me much about the beauty of the country. Thank you!

  3. Really amazing. That video was spectacular, as was the garden. The ducks reminded me of when we were in Lower Slaughter in England and joined by a couple of them at lunch.