“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Proust”
For the most part I agree with this quote, but with all due respect to Mr. Proust, sometimes, you go someplace so beautiful, and it kind of is all about the landscape. After a month in the Canary Islands, we decided to go explore. Ezra came up with seeing the Azores. I knew very little about these islands, but was excited to see them – and what a gem they were! This post has way too many pictures, but really, like I said, it really was all about the landscape.We landed on the island of São Miguel and decided to stay in the capital of Ponte Delgada for about a week. With the time difference Ezra often started work in the early afternoon. So the mornings were spent exploring. During the rest of the day Indra and I did our usual. Which means we looked for playgrounds and parks and shopped for groceries. Only the setting was significantly more beautiful than what we were used to.Our first outing was to Vila Franca do Campo. I don’t really remember why we picked here, but it was a quaint little town. I’m not sure how many people visit the Azores, but it can’t be many. We had a difficult time finding a good guidebook, so we piecemealed this trip together through little snippets online and blogs. Anyway, the most important find in this town was a bakery that was known for their queijadas – which are basically little custard cakes. And they’re damn delicious.
Besides the landscape, the people here are also quite incredible. They were so welcoming and kind. When was the last time you walked into a bakery, had your child stolen away, passed around and given a private tour? Indra was a little unsure of all the attention.Gorgeous countryside and rows of tea.View from our rental. Not too shabby.
Almost no one else was around at Lagoa do Fogo. We took a little walk down to the caldera before huffing it back up. At least I was huffing with all the new weight.There was the most amazing park by our apartment, but the pictures I took turned out really poorly. Here Indra is harassing a cat. This was after she harassed a duck for quite some time.On to the town of Furnas which was known for its hotsprings and thermal baths. It was also known for another incredible park called Parque Terra Nostra, where we whiled away quite a few hours.And where we took way too many pictures….Hot springs at Furnas lake.Just some more landscape porn.After a week we headed to the island of Pico. We had gorgeous sunsets every night looking at the island of Faial.View from our apartment. I also think its worth mentioning how every host in the Azores left you local treats. Special breads, cheese, jam and a bottle of wine. The hospitality was really quite extraordinary.About 19 weeks.Pico is known for a few things. But probably the most memorable are Mt. Pico which is the highest peak in Portugal. And also these incredibly strange vineyards. These are walls made of lava to protect the vines from the wind and salt. They’re actually a Unesco world heritage sight. I’ve never seen anything like it.Ez must have been on a call, so we’d be up top kicking a ball, drying laundry or watching the ferry go back-and-forth between the islands.When we were inside, Indra could usually be found near this bag which housed her toys.None other than Mt. Pico making an appearance.Call me strange, but I found this little house charming. It’s sort of what I want some day – maybe a little more modern, but someplace small, in a beautiful setting and quiet.Practicing her midwifery skills. I just recently heard the heartbeat for the first time! At about 19.5 weeks, so exciting!!Now off to Faial for one full day before our flight. Finally getting to ride the ferry we’d been watching all week.But hoping we don’t end up like that boat in the background!Arriving in to Horta and excited to explore!Mt. Pico from the other side.Needing a little caffeine and sustenance after a super early morning.More calderas and tunnels that look like hobbit holes.Trying to get a sweet picture. These turned out pretty good I’d say!See, gorgeous landscapes everywhere!It just keeps getting better.Even though we were only on Faial one day, it really stood out. We made the most of it and I was feeling sad we would be leaving the following morning. I will always treasure our time here. We were so inspired, it had been awhile since we had that zest for exploring again. We were talking a lot about our future and excited for what it held. And I will treasure our mornings together as a family.These two bring me such feelings of bittersweet joy. I will always remember this moment. I was already missing it as I watched them together. Enjoying the harbor and reminiscing about our sailing days… and how we were so over it! But it was still fun to look out over the water with my beautiful daughter. Until next time Azores, I dearly hope there’s a next time.