What’s Up With These “Azores” anyways?

So, if you’re following Becki and I on some of our social media, you may have noticed that we stopped in The Azores for a day. And you may have thought to yourself, “by golly, what the heck are The Azores, and where are they anyways?”. And after leaving Mayberry and “The Beave”, you maybe Googled them and found out they’re

Smack in the middle of the gawdamn ocean!

The island of Sao Miguel from the water

Sao Miguel of The Azores from the water

That’s right, out in the middle of humpbunny nowhere there’s a group of volcanic islands with some of the lushest and most beautiful scenery we’ve ever come across. Although, we might be a little biased since it was also the first day we didn’t need any Dramamine in almost a week.

Seriously though, here’s the dealio: I wish we could give you a ton of info on this place, but we can’t. I mean, truthfully, how much can you learn of any place, let alone someplace so unique, with only about 7 hours spent on the island?

Close to port in Ponta Delgada, The Azores

Close to port in Ponta Delgada, The Azores

Sure, we could put a lot of info in that we heard about while we were there, and bolster it with facts we learn from scouring the internet, but I’d rather not do that (okay, I might do it just a little bit in a future post ;)

Instead, we want to just show you what we saw, and what we got to experience while we were there.

View of Ponta Delgada from high on the hill

View of Ponta Delgada from high on the hill

There’s a LOT of cows on Sao Miguel

I mean, a lot. We landed in Ponta Delgada, which is not just the capital of the island of Sao Miguel – just one of the many islands that make up the group – but also the capital of the whole archipelago. In case you were wondering, Sao Miguel is the largest island and it’s still pretty small at only 287 square miles – smaller than New York City.

We heard a great story from our guide that the smallest island only has one road, and they were pretty late to the horseless-carriage party. But eventually, two cars worked their way onto the island, and not long after they arrived, they had an accident.

Only two cars on the island, and they crashed into each other.

Nowadays, the drivers alternate so that only one car is operating at any given time. Based on what we saw of their driving, I can believe it. They’re almost as crazy as the Italians.

Cows on the mountainside in Sao Miguel, The Azores, Portugal

Moooooooooooooooooooo!

Anyways, back to the cows; there are black & white Holsteins roaming all over the steep and craggy mountainsides. You might be wondering how the cows got there, and I’m very happy to tell you:

They swam.

That’s right, not many people are aware of this, but cows are actually very adept swimmers. I can just picture it now, a herd of brave bessie’s being tossed to and fro in the middle of the North Atlantic swell… or maybe they were shipped in. I’m certain it’s one of those two ;)

Mountain cows in The Azores, Portugal

“I’m a cow… I’m a cow… I’m a cow….

There are ceramic cows, woven cow hotpads, postcards of cows, and cows carved from whale-bone to buy all over town.

Sunset as we sail away from the Azores

Bye The Azores, can’t wait to see you again!

They truly love their cows in The Azores, and as we sailed away under the setting sun, Becki and I agreed it was a nice to see the cows and get a little reminder of home.

P.S. I’m pretty sure anytime you mention the The Azores, it’s always “The Azores” – always with a “the” at the front, and always capitalized… always.

P.P.S …always…

Comments

  1. When we visited Portugal it was common to hear the Portuguese say they vacation in The Azores. Now I can see why!

    • It’s a really unusual place; as if someone picked up Ireland and plunked it down in an eternal-spring climate. We’d definitely go back and spend more time there :)

  2. So nice to see a post about where I am from. :)
    I am from Terceira (another island out of the 9) Sao Miguel is actually the most modern so if you want nature and a little more “back in time” try out any other island.

    • We really liked our time in the Azores, although it was far too short. If we ever get back, we’ll definitely check out the other islands – thanks!

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