quinta-feira, setembro 13, 2007
cosy, not cosy
São Miguel
Half the population of 242,000 lives here on the biggest island, so this is where you land after a three hour 40 minute flight from Gatwick. First impressions are pleasing: cosy airport and an empty road leading swiftly into the heart of this 40-mile-long island. Second impressions, however, might seem harsher if you're staying in the main town, Ponta Delgada It is not "cosy" at all.

It should be. There are cobbled streets, harbour views, quaint shops and decent hotels. But the traffic is loud and overbearing.
Once out of town, however, the lush charm stirs the heart. A twisting, coastal road leads by way of occasional black-sand beaches to the lonely eastern quarter, where you find Lagoa das Furnas, a tree-shrouded lake that provides an eerie reminder of the Azores' volcanic origins. Steam spews from subterranean vents, mud boils and the soil is so hot locals cook you lunch by burying stewpots in the ground. Here, too, you find some of the walks that are being waymarked across the island chain.
São Miguel is for hiking, sight-seeing, touring by car or taking jeep safaris down rough tracks. The best views lie west, in the vast volcanic rim of Sete Cidades, a sunken landscape drawn almost from science fiction. Here a village sits snug in the centre of a huge caldera three miles across and 1,300 ft deep, together with lakes, fields, and woods - an entire community encircled by towering green cliffs. It's almost unbelievable, as are the endless blue hydrangeas on every verge.
São Miguel also boasts Europe's only tea plantation, while pineapples grown under glass (pricey in the shops). Its only problem, common to all these islands, is poor restaurant food. Easily the best we tried was at the Hotel do Colegio in Ponta Delgada.
Postado por nuno mendes em 9/13/2007 |


  • 13 setembro, 2007 10:57, Blogger Luísa Silva

    "It should be. There are cobbled streets, harbour views, quaint shops and decent hotels. But the traffic is loud and overbearing."

    Should there be a solution? Well, the following "O novo parque de estacionamento subterrâneo na Cidade de Ponta Delgada é uma necessidade imperiosa" could be translated from portuguese (or shall I say from the corico language?) to english.

    Who knows turist guides may use it as information?

  • 13 setembro, 2007 11:09, Anonymous Anónimo

    E a Madeleine!? Não a trouxeram na bagagem? Então falam mal da comida?! E desde quando os british percebem alguma coisa de food? Eles nem cozinha têm!?!?!?

    Robert Murat