The colors of Ponta Delgada - day 45

Ponta Delgada Travel Blog

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Heavy fog made sightseeing difficult

The Azores are part of Portugal but are about 1,000 miles out into the Atlantic from the mainland of Europe so they are almost autonomous.  These nine islands were formed by volcanoes rising at the intersection of the European and Atlantic plates.  They were discovered in 1427 and began to be settled in 1452 by the Portuguese.  Now about 250,000 people live on these far-flung islands.

We visited Ponta Delgada today; it’s on Sao Miguel, the most populated (125,000 people) and probably the most visited of these remote islands.  It and parts of New Zealand have very similar landscapes – volcanoes, lots of rain and lush isolation – so its not surprising that this is a very agricultural island.

Green everywhere
  Supposedly there are 3 ½ cows for every person on Sao Miguel and about half of the population is involved in agriculture (all of the cows are).  One quarter is in fishing and the remainder are in manufacturing, support services or tourism.  The airport, by the way, has a huge runway and a tour guide told us that there are regular flights to 56 other airports.  Now there is no excuse not to visit the Azores.

There are three predominant colors here –lush greens in many shades for all the vegetation, black from the volcanic stone and whitewash.  If you’ve been exposed to the Portuguese, then you know they love ornamentation and they love a neat, clean whitewashed appearance.   They have had a lot of time to practice this approach to decoration since 1452.
Just in case you couldn't find the general store, there was a cow outside for a landmark. I can't tell you how many conversations started with "go to the cow and turn right."


We went to see two lakes on the west side of the island that are in a volcano’s caldera.  Due to the minerals, one lake is supposed to be green and the other blue.  That sounded spectacular and I took my camera, ignoring the rain forecasts because it was sort of sunny when I left the ship.  Well, the lakes are much higher than the port and west of the port, so they are exposed to the prevailing winds off the ocean.  That means humidity and rain.  The bus windows began to fog up before we got halfway to the vantage point (King’s View) over the lakes.  By the time we got off we were in such thick fog we couldn’t see anything and this fog cleared only when we went down to the lakes themselves and a little nearby town called Sete Ciades.  I can’t begin to tell you how pretty it was, even through a little fog; you’ll just have to look at the photos.

Back in Ponta Delgada we did a little shopping, visited the town market, and of course had lunch.  I had grilled wreckfish and I have no idea what it was but it may be the best fish I’ve ever had.  It had a texture like eel but the bones were more fishlike.  It was marvelous and I’ve now got another mission – finding wreckfish again.

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Heavy fog made sightseeing difficu…
Heavy fog made sightseeing diffic…
Green everywhere
Green everywhere
Just in case you couldnt find the…
Just in case you couldn't find th…
Entering into Ponta Delgada harbor
Entering into Ponta Delgada harbor
Rough seas and rocky coast
Rough seas and rocky coast
Green landscape with rounded hills
Green landscape with rounded hills
The blue lake of the green lake/ b…
The blue lake of the green lake/ …
The changing light through the clo…
The changing light through the cl…
This is Hanna.  A nice young woman…
This is Hanna. A nice young woma…
The many shades of green, the fog …
The many shades of green, the fog…
And I obliged by taking photos eve…
And I obliged by taking photos ev…
I love this version - same scene a…
I love this version - same scene …
Even the roofs turned green from m…
Even the roofs turned green from …
Inside the church - no green
Inside the church - no green
Lichen on the pines
Lichen on the pines
Moss
Moss
The church in the farming village.
The church in the farming village.
Changing light through the mist
Changing light through the mist
And again
And again
The colors, the light - I was a ve…
The colors, the light - I was a v…
A few of the many cows
A few of the many cows
The farmers market had fresh pinea…
The farmers market had fresh pine…
Many flowers with lots of green an…
Many flowers with lots of green a…
Some of the variety of vegetables
Some of the variety of vegetables
And fish
And fish
Strange fish
Strange fish
The sidewalks were paved by hand l…
The sidewalks were paved by hand …
A stray chicken costume?
A stray chicken costume?
This was where we had lunch.
This was where we had lunch.
Ponta Delgada
photo by: eefab