Monday, July 25, 2016

Azores - Amazing! Flores June 20-22nd

The Azores Islands are composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 850 mi west of continental Portugal, and are part of Portugal.  They enjoy a mild, subtropical marine climate and seem especially suited to raising livestock and other agriculture.  And they are about the cleanest, most orderly place we've ever seen.  People were very friendly and easygoing.  The language is Portuguese, although some speak English.  We learned a few words of Portuguese and got along fine.

The islands have been populated by Spanish or Portuguese for 600 years, and like Bermuda, there were no indigenous peoples present when the Europeans arrived.  So there's a single modern culture, unlike the islands in the Pacific and the west coast of north America. The food and wine are wonderful and moderately priced.  So provisioning and eating out were good.

Flores is a rugged, lush island that seems like a remote outpost in the Atlantic.  It's a steep volcanic island, covered with thick forests, vegetation and flowers, hence the name.  They are especially blessed with hydrangeas.   Sometimes, while walking on a country road , the only sound would be birdsong.

[Unfortunately, I didn't get any good photos of the vegetation on Flores.  But there will be some from the other islands in later posts.]

There are several small towns on the island and a modern airport.  
Jarana in the marina
The marina holds about a dozen yachts, from all over Europe. We saw just a few American and Canadian boats. 

We arrived a couple days before Alan's flight out.   The day before Alan's flight, there was a short weather window to sail 150 miles to the island of Faial. So we left him at the bus stop and he stayed in a hotel by the airport on his last night.  Alan was such a help and good company on the two legs from Florida to Bermuda to Flores.  We were sorry to see him go.

Leaving Flores for Faial

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