Five Things I Didn’t Expect from the Azores: recollections from April


More cows than people. Twice as many, on Terceira, so named for being the third of nine islands claimed by Portugal in the 1400s. Poor Terceira: the only one that didn’t get an original name: the first is Saō Miguel; the second is Santa Maria. Like parents running out of imagination when their third kid is born, but then getting shamed into getting back to Real Names for the remaining six.

Mosaic sidewalks. In a little nothing pueblo on the volcanic cliffs.

Hydrangeas

But we were weeks too early to see these showy flowers burst from bushes so prolific on Saō Miguel that they are used like fences. So, imagine blue, pink, and purple bordering this lake in the crater of the Sete Ciudades volcano.

Emerald green fields. Like New Zealand only with cows instead of sheep.

Bullfighting. A bullring used for promotional exhibits which we lucked into. No stabbing and killing just young men with pluck .

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