Saturday, November 9, 2013

PONTA DELGADA AZORES, PORTUGAL ....Different and WONDERFUL!!!

Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island, the largest of Portugal's Islands in the Azores is absolutely WONDERFUL!  This port was a pleasant change from some of the other ports I have been in.  The Azores form an Archipelago of nine beautiful mountainous islands located well out in the Atlantic Ocean.  Discovered in the 15th Century by Flemish and Portuguese sailors.  The City Population is 45,000 with 20,000 residing in the countryside.  Known for Spectacular scenery as a result of volcanic activity.  I was not on a tour to see the crater rims that looked down into the blue green lakes, but some day I might like to do that.
This was what I saw when I ventured out on Deck to check the weather & see the town from the ship.  I took it as an omen for a wonderful day.  Waking up this morning it had been raining, but after breakfast....this was the view.  What was amazing was that this rainbow continued to be viewable for well over an hour once I was in the City.
Sorry, I had to add another....it was just so awesome!
Once off the ship it was a short walk to this main road that led to the City Gates!
And here is the gate.  This square was paved in white stone & black lava rock mosaics!  The architecture was such a contrast to all the ancient walled cities I have been visiting this entire journey!  As you will see in the pictures, most of the buildings are white with black volcanic rock trim. 
A clock tower at the City Gates.
Once inside the City Central the views were incredible.  It was such a nice change and for this reason it will always stand out in my mind.  I do not recall seeing such a unique collection of streets & buildings.
I had no map in this City.....as before, I just walked and explored.  I did run into Caroline & Marley, they sit at a table next to me in the Dining Room on Board.  They were in the City earlier, so she gave me some tips on shopping!
Okay, I admit it.....I am a FOODIE!  I just love seeing the displays of fruits, vegetables, meats....these open fruit & vegetable markets are everywhere in the Cities of Europe....always reminds me of Farmer's Markets at home!
After walking up a VERY steep street....I would guess at least a 1/2 mile....I found a park....a large park with incredible flowers, trees, statuary and even a Casa....which I think may have been a get away for someone important....more to come on that! 
While walking through the park....this appeared to be a garden house of some sort.  It was roped off and there were what appeared to be servants working on the property!
This was the sign on the main "Casa" and again it was roped off from the public....I believe it was called "Casa de Jardin".
This was the front entrance to the Casa.
Then, thankfully, walking down hill....I strolled through a more contemporary section of the City.  This building appeared to be either condos or apartments.  It was a relatively new building and there were signs that translated to "vacancy".
Still on my way down from the park....I turned a corner and saw this!
Of course, by now you know me, my adventure in town always includes a search for a Restaurant for lunch.  This time I decided to go into a little place in a residential area.  "O Corisco" Restaurant.  As it says on their card "Ambiente de agradavel convivio"....and Ambient it was.  This was my table!
This was my meal.....It was grilled fish (I believe the waiter said Silverfish), with steamed vegetables & potatoes.  I had a quick learning experience in fileting the fish....there were a lot of bones, but MAN, once you got the flesh is was Super!
This picture is out of order, but it was in the area of the Restaurant.  Actually, it is a dentist's office.  This street had this building as well as a realtor & a lawyers office.
This is another view of the O Corisco Restaurant.
 And, this is HAPPY me.....it was such a great meal.....and....being indoors, it had super fast WIFI!  Tip to writers out there.....if you want internet service much faster and don't mind giving up some of the views I have had in other places.....it is best to eat indoors.  Fortunately, this Restaurant did not have outdoor space.  And what I loved so much about eating here....it was local.  Everyone, patrons included, just spoke Portuguese!  It so reminded me of Brazil....and believe it or not, some of my Portuguese came back to me!

Well, now, except for fixing the Cyprus Post.....all the many ports I visited are now in this Blog.  I have been working on my future posts which will deal with my personal experiences, people I met, my observations.  My next post will be called "Reflections on Being Alone".  Stay tuned and thanks for following me on this journey!