From Ponta Delgada To Furnas
Yesterday I was in the small island (and gem) Santa Maria. Today, we discover the largest island of the Azores archipelago São Miguel with an area of 744.7 km ². Same team and awakening to dawns! We drive to the tea plantations.
After the tea of the Seychelles, the one of the Azores! So we visit of the Chá Gorreana family factory which produces organic tea. In the photos above and videos below: some key steps in the manufacture of tea (from leaf to tea bag).
If you have trouble watching the videos, refresh the page and move the cursor a bit forwad on the timeline. And if it doesn’t work, do not hesitate to leave me a comment..
Poça da Dona Beija
Arriving at Furnas, we head towards the Poça da Dona Beija thermal baths with ferruginous spring water (photos above). I really enjoy the setting: the garden at the entrance of the complex reminded me of Kyoto. I guess I miss Japan.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to test the water’s benefits. Our timing is tight. We are on our way to the geysers in another area of Furnas (picture below).
A lunar landscape with boiling water wells and smoke. It’s fascinating and mostly because these geysers are so close to homes (photos and videos below).
At Furnas Lake
End Of Cooking The Lunch
A short drive to Furnas Lake to attend the last step of cooking the Cozido das Furnas, a traditional dish cooked in the earth (quite similar to the French Pot au feu). The attraction is very touristy, but it is not annoying as the landscape around is beautiful!
Each restaurant has a dedicated “oven” (a deep hole in the earth), where the meal has cooked for several hours. A reduced team of men digs up to take the dish out of the earth. Then loaded in a van trunk, it will be delivered to the corresponding restaurant. For us: the restaurant of the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel.
The Terra Nostra Garden Hotel
A Smart Art Deco Hotel
We have lunch at the cosy Terra Nostra Garden Restaurant. The art Deco interior evokes the felted world of Hercule Poirot (the super star detective of Agatha Christie)!
Our main dish, the Cozido das Furnas is made up of different meats and vegetables cooked “à l’étouffée” (sort of a steamed stew). I defenitly like the local bread, its texture is close to the pancake, so delicious!
Then a long walk in the Terra Nostra Botanical Park with the huge 35-40 ° ferruginous thermal pool and superb gardens with over 2000 species of trees and a magnificent collection of camellias (video and photos below ). Yes, I love camellias!
Before Leaving Furnas
Third photo below (and video): the wide swimming pool of the Pedras Do Mar Resort & Spa where we tasted some Gins of the Azores in late afternoon! More original than an umpteenth cocktail! And nice minimalist contemporary interior design.
Dinner At The Caloura Bar In Lagoa
In A Small Creek
Close to fishing boats, we dinner at the Caloura Bar in a friendly genuine atmosphere. The grilled fish is really fresh and tasty!
The Next Day
Before The Plane
Already our last morning in the Azores! Early departure to the Ponta Delgada market where I buy cheeses to offer (the “scent” in the suitcase, lololol!). Then we arrive at the soothing Lake Fogo, located in a nature reserve (photos and latest video below).
And we are lucky, nobody’s on the site! Short walk to one of the peaks around the lake. I am super happy (I need to exercise). But quickly, we have to go down and to rush to the airport! We’re almost late!
Bye Bye Awesome Azores!
A last view of the Green and Blue Lakes, which according to legend have been formed by the tears of a pastor and a princess having a forbidden love.
Question (from a former student in Anthropology): why are lakes and waterfalls often the results of forbidden love in different cultures? If you have any explanation, you’re welcome to leave a comment below!
Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.
Many thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this superb invitation. As always, these are my opinions.