Today is the second port of call in the Azore Islands. After departing Horta last night, we travelled a reasonably short distance to the island of São Miguel. The port of call today is the city of Ponta Delgada. I have arranged a tour with the ship again today so that I can see a little of the countryside.
Sete Cidades Crater
Like yesterday on the island of Fiail, São Miguel is a volcanic island. The profile of the island shows this in the rough and jagged profile, the result of many volcanoes. The Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) is, in fact, seven craters with a single town inside. Originally the Pele wanted to establish seven villages in the craters. However, in the end, only one village end up being properly developed.
The village of Sete Cidades is located on the bank of a crater lake which shared its name. The lake to some seems like two lakes separated by the bridge. The two lakes in the correct weather appear to be two different colours. On one side the smaller shallower lake has a green colour, which is a reflection of the surrounding trees. While the large lake has a blue colour, which is a reflection of the sky. The conditions today though were not good to see this phenomenon due to the cloud cover.
The village itself appears to be a beautiful place if you can imagine living in the crater of an extinct volcano. Many people have lived with knowing this for some time and the village does have some rather stunning features.
Another Crater Lake
After departing Sete Cidades there was a stop to view the village from above, but the cloud cover restricted the view considerably. There was a stop at another crater lake nearby as well, which was a little more visible.
The final stop on the tour is a rather interesting one especially for an island that is not in the tropics. The stop was a pineapple plantation that has devised a system to grow pineapples in greenhouses. While the system does work well, it also takes a longer time to produce fruit.
The tour today was a short one, around three hours long. As such, I had almost half a day to wander around the town of Ponta Delgada itself. There are some different areas I got to visit. The first was the main town square with the old town gates still standing here.
Ponta Delgada has some churches that are quite nice. The outside of the churches here though is nothing much to look at. But once you get inside they are quite beautiful. There is a lot of ornate carvings and interesting features inside the couple I visited. Unfortunately, photography inside the churches here is not permitted.
After departing from Ponta Delgada this afternoon, the ship will be heading towards Lisbon, Portugal. There is a full day and a half at sea before arriving in Lisbon. I have quite enjoyed my time in the Azores and would look to return at some point in the future.