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Azores: 15 Top Recommendations (plus Bonus for Doughheads)

Hyd Hedges 3

  You really cannot go wrong visiting The Azores. Aside from these top recommendations, the Azores is one of the most genial, pastoral, relaxing, beautiful countries we have ever visited. The closest to it might be New Zealand. Here are just a few tips for getting the most out of your adventure in the little known Azores Islands.   DRESS: If you go to the Azores in our North American winter, dress for fall, not for summer. Although it is a warm winter compared to ours, with temperatures ranging from 14-18 C, you will look completely out of place in … More…

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New Year’s Eve in the Streets of Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel

  There was considerable contrast between the smaller islands and the island of Sao Miguel, especially in the main town of Ponta Delgada. Suddenly we were in a bustling metropolis! Whoa! The noise, the horn-honking, so many people. We weren’t used to this after the quiet peaceful Azores countryside.   The town of Ponta Delgada has been developed for the tourist and while we appreciated the shopping and availability of conveniences, some of the charm was inevitably lost. The people of other islands refer to Sao Miguel with a mixture of envy and resentment because Sao Miguel is one of … More…

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Azores: A Guide Like No Other

Pousada De Angra Heroismo Overview (1) 635725516386510190

  Before we met our guide for the island of Faial, and during a three hour wait between island flights, we went for a long walk and ended up at a snack bar where a table of 10 or 12 robust working men were having a year-end dinner. When I asked if I could interview them, they giggled like school girls, and became quite flustered. I chose the best-looking man. They all laughed nervously.     “What type of work do you do?”     “We’re construction workers.” Big smile.     “Do you have a good boss?”     “He’ll be a `good boss’ if he pays … More…

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Flores: The End Of The World

  I became quite ill after the rough flight to to the tiny island of Flores (The Azores). In a wild storm, and after several aborted landing attempts and a rugged one-wheel landing, I could barely stand up when getting off the plane. There was dark magic in the roaring winds that sent wild waves crashing onto jagged rocks and a fearful wind that tore the leaves and branches of every tree on Flores. It sent waterfalls flying backwards into the air and onto the highway. Yes, backwards! Photo Credit http://www.thisiscolossal.com   Flights were cancelled indefinitely. It seemed that the earlier … More…

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The Shortest Runway In The World

Flores Air Strip 2

  Given our preference for little known and quieter places, we headed to the smaller islands of the Azores. The smaller islands also have the most rich green countryside, and the most genuine people. Of the nine islands of the Azores, Sao Miguel, Terceira and Faial are the three islands with the most amenities. Six of the nine islands – Sao Jorge, Pico, Santa Maria, Graciosa, Corvo and Flores are the smaller, least-commercialized islands.   We chose tiny Flores with its many lakes and waterfalls, and its abundance of flowers; it is known as The Flower Island. Flores and Corvu are also the … More…

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A Pig Butchering in Pico

Pigs

  As people kept referring to farms in the Azores – often right in the centre of towns and villages, we would look around expecting to see an expanse of field, and never find it! All we could see were houses, and trying to be polite (and not wanting to look foolish that we did not see something that was perfectly obvious to them), we refrained from exclaiming “Where? Where?!”.   Later we discovered that everywhere, in town and countryside, there were tiny stone-fenced corrals about five to ten feet square. Apparently these little corrals behind the houses made up … More…

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The Azores Diet Plan

FishandEelAzores

  The problem, you see, was that almost every restaurant we went to in the Azores served only fish dishes.  At first we thought we had accidentally chosen “fish-only” or “seafood-only” restaurants, but after the 4th or 5th restaurant, it finally dawned on us that perhaps, just perhaps, people in the Azores ate mostly fish because fish were abundantly available in the ocean around every island!   Now maybe that is not a problem at all for you “fish-lovers”.  And maybe you’re healthier than all get-out, but I cannot stand fish. I wish I liked it; I really do, but … More…

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10 Reasons Why “I Love My Island”

Azores AAT40F

  “I love my island” the guide said, gazing across the majestic vista of land and sea.   She fell silent for a few moments, then, when she turned toward me, I saw that her face was flushed with emotion.   “Every time I come up here, it seems to catch me anew.”   She was referring to Terceira, one of the islands of the Azores, and then she continued to point out and explain various historical sites and points of interest. Her love of the island was not difficult to understand. Dreamy panoramas of ocean, hills and sky caused … More…

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History Is Boring

History Repeats Itself. Which May Explain Why It's So Boring.

  Some people find history fascinating; others find it completely boring. I used to be the latter, finding all those dates absolutely meaningless (stop scowling). Random dates and events seemed like completely useless knowledge. I wanted to know what was happening today! Not 500 years ago.     In high school, I hated history. Memorizing lists of pointless dates was excruciatingly dull, and I barely scraped through Grade 9, 10, and 11 History courses with marks like 51% and 53%. Then in Grade 12, the principal, Mr. Warick taught Grade 12 History. All he did was wander around the front … More…

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Close Your Eyes & Spin The Globe

Globe Rotating GIF

  We couldn’t decide where to go so we just closed our eyes and spun the globe. Crazy way to choose a place, but exciting none the less. Wherever the finger landed was where we would go. We landed on some little dots in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. What the heck is that, we wondered? Closer inspection revealed that it was a group of islands called The Azores. We knew absolutely nothing about them, but that’s where we were going.    The lost islands, the flower islands, the lonely islands, the forgotten islands, the pastoral isles – these … More…

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