Tag Archives: Weekend

Azores: Santa Maria Island

Our Starting Point

Woke Up At Dawn

We take the 6:30 am flight to Santa Maria, the smallest island of the Azores archipelago (16.6 km long by 9.1 km wide), located 81 km from São Miguel.

It is also the oldest island of the archipelago: its formation dates back to about ten million years. And the first discovered and populated island of the Azores.

It’s a too early for me (lol!). I’m absolutely not a morning person! Thirty minutes later, we landed. Waiting for the heavy rain to stop, Henrique, our tour guide drives us to the only one opened café in Vila do Porto (the main city). 

Then we head in 4X4 to the Fort of  São Brás (video below). The landscape and wind make me think of Ireland (picture above).

 

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.. 

Crossing fields

Movie Set

We take a path in the fields to cross the center of the island. Awesome landscape! My first favorite scenery in Santa Maria! 

 

The Red Desert

  

Barreiro da Faneca

Totally unexpected! After the fields and sheeps, the Red Desert. This arid zone of clay is unique in the Azores archipelago. Leaving Bareiro da Faneca, we find very green landscapes with here and there lovely traditional houses (photos below).

 

Poço da Pedreira

  

North Of The Island

An impressive landscape shaped by man: Poço da Pedreira is an ancient quarry located in Santa Barbara. The stone was used to built the traditional houses and parish of Santa Barbara.

Then we head towards São Lourenço (pictured below). Superb view of the bay and the village from the Mirador of Espigão!

 

The Lunch

  

Happiness!

Finally, I can see the ocean up close. The sound and power of the waves! The black sand beach that contrasts with the foam of the waves under a strong light. The color of the water changes from ultramarine blue to emerald. Magic! And the grilled fish is delicious.

 

Cascata do Aveiro

  

110 mètres de haut!

Regardez bien dans le bord droit de la photo (de droite ci-dessus), la taille de l’humain : insignifiante! A nouveau, nous reprenons le 4X4 pour longer la côte. L’Océan…

 

Ribeira do Maloás

Spectacular!

Wow! The only place I saw this kind of volcanic roc was in Porto Santo (small island off Madeira). We walked on a narrow footpath along the cliff (first picture below).

What a surprise by discovering the wide verdant plateau split in two parts with this huge wall! Outstanding!

Back to the 4X4 to go to Pico Alto, the highest point of the island at 586.64 meters above sea level (second photo below). Great a panoramic view.   

 

Back To São Miguel

In the early evening, we flight back to São Miguel. We are exhausted! I think the dinner will be pretty funny (lol). 

I will go back to Santa Maria!

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Visit AzoresVisit PortugalTAPBootlá

Related posts : HOTEL REVIEWS & DESTINATIONS

Many thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this superb invitation. Thanks also to our great guide in Santa Maria, Henrique Simões. As always, these are my opinions.

Azores: My Addresses In Ponta Delgada

24 Hours in Ponta Delgada

A Walk in The Historical Center

First day of my trip to the Azores, where I will discover two islands of this beautiful Atlantic Ocean archipelago, São Miguel and Santa Maria. I am super excited, cause I’ve wanted visiting the Azores for a long time!

Départ aux aurores de Bruxelles vers Ponta  Delgada (capitale des Açores sur l’île de São Miguel), via Lisbonne avec la TAP. Nous arrivons en milieu de journée. Le temps est changeant, couvert avec des éclaircies. Mais ça fait partie du charme de l’archipel, les 4 saisons en un jour. 

In the old city, time seems to be stopped, with imposing monuments (Portas da Cidade de Ponta Delgada, 1783) and churches (Igreja Matriz de São Miguel) dating from the sixteenth century. Cobbled streets, green squares, some brightly colored facades (photos below) … 

  

Where To Sip A Tea From The Azores

Louvre Michaelense

Take time to get lost in the city! Take time to get lost. That’s how I found my address: where to sip a tea from the Azores!  

Louvre Michaelense is both a shop (photo 3 above), a tea room (2) and a delicatessen (1). It offers a selection of rare objects and sought local products, with regressive packaging in an ancient framework. The concept reminded me of A Vida Portuguese (in Lisbon). A friendly trendy spot.

Where To Sleep

  

La Casa das Palmeiras

I first saw from a distance the roof of the house that contrasted with the local architecture. Built in 1901, La Casa das Palmeiras is more like one of these Art Nouveau villas on the French Riviera. Recently renovated, this small hotel with 10 rooms is a gem. Perfect for an elegant weekend.

Awesome adress, less is more!   

    

What’s up?

Discovering Street art

What a fantastic surprise! I am a creative (photographer, former art director). So imagine my happiness walking and seeing these amazing Street art works in Ponta Delgada! Oups, I really apology, I lost my notes with the titles of the art works and names of the artists.

 

Where To Drink & Dinner

The Panoramic Terrace of The Azor Hotel

It is always a great pleasure for me to stay or dinner in a hotel decorated by Nini Andrade Silva! I love her work and personality. She has this ability to dramatize space and create unique universes in which we feel good.

After a long time on the relaxing terrace of the Azor Hotel, we dine at the restaurant A Terra Fornaria. The food (promoting local ingredients) and service are great. Definitely my chic address from Ponta Delgada!

 

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Visit AzoresVisit Portugal, TAPLouvre Michaelense, Street art with Walk & Talk AzoresCasa das Palmeiras – Charming House, Azor Hotel

Related articles : HOTEL REVIEWS & DESTINATIONS

Many Thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this beautiful invitation. As always these are my opinions.

Switzerland, Graubünden: Skiing & Scenery (Days 3 & 4)

Skiing From Lenzerheide To Arosa

 

A Very Changing Weather

After an evening skiing until 11 pm, this morning the alarm clock is a beat too “harsh”! Back with my instructor on Lenzerheide‘s slopes in the direction of Arosa … if the weather allows us! I really like in Switzerland the bus stops at ski lifts scattered in nature! Everything is thought for skiing, the mountain is a real lifestyle!

I begin the crossing by the discovery of the T-bar tow! It is for two persons and you have to place a T-shaped bar under the buttocks. You don’t sit, but legs are slightly bent and skis must remain parallel. Pretty impressive, but very nice too! And you really can enjoy the beautiful scenery!

On arrival, we are in front of with this small structure (photo 1 below), where a friendly man checks our ski pass. Then we take this track surrounded by giant pines (2) which leads us to more difficult tracks. Later, we are supposed to take a cable car to cross the pass that allows to reach Arosa.

Too much wind, the cable car is temporarily closed: we have to wait in a restaurant of altitude (3) … in vain. The weather gets worse and we have to go down back to the foot of the slopes. We will have lunch with the rest of our small group! The issue, we are at the top of the slopes for experienced skiers (when I am a beginner!). Imagine the incline and worse, I’m tired! Finally (!) we arrive at the restaurant and I order a salad (4).

The hope: the weather improves and this time we go up with different cable cars to be sure to be able to cross the pass for Arosa. At the top, the weather changes again between blue skies, clouds and violent wind (photos above and below).

 

 

Arosa, Here We Are!

Awesome Views In Late Afternoon

I took the cable car with two British friends, to get down to the Arosa station. While the other three decided to arrive in ski and snowboard. Once all together, we head to the hotel, where our luggage (transported by taxi) await us. Great organization and  panoramic view from my room (the last two photos below).

On the picture montage: 1, selfie in the kitsch corridors of the Sunstar Alpine Hotel, before a very lively dinner where we laughed a lot! 2, the next morning, fantastic view of the Alps from Mount Weisshorn. 3, Mural painting of the Weisshorngipfelrestaurant. And 4. On the train to Zurich airport.

Buure Z’Morga At Mount Weisshorn

Woke Up At Dawn

We take the first cable car at 8:20 am for a delicious Buure Z’Morga (huge “farmer breakfast”) in the panoramic restaurant Weisshorngipfelrestaurant at 2653 meters above sea level! We are the first customers in the nice minimalist interior design. The brunch is excellent with local specialties (including cheeses and breads). The view of the Alps at dawn is breathtaking (photos above and below)! 

  

 

Back To Zurich By Train

 

It snows

Yes it is, as every time I leave a ski resort (like a magical ritual, lol)! After a quick stop at the hotel to change us and retrieve our luggage, we take the famous red train from Arosa to Chur. Then another kind of trains from Chur to Zurich airport. The mood is contemplative, gorgeous landscapes! Bye bye intimate Graubünden, I will be back!

 

 

 

 

Photos & Vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Graubünden FerienFerienregion Lenzerheide, Arosa TourismSWISSSwiss Travel System (STS)Switzerland TourismBiathlon Arena Lenzerheide, SnowNights

Related posts : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to the Graubünden Ferien, Lenzerhaide, Arosa, Switzerland Tourism, SWISS and Swiss Travel System (STS) for this beautiful invitation. As always, these are my opinions.