|April 10 – Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores
Ponta Delgade is the capital city (since 1546) of St. Michael island, the largest & most densely populated of the 9 Azore islands. It is 740 miles from Portugal's mainland. The city (pop. of 125,000) is quite cosmopolitan with lots of stores and hotels. As in Horta, the sidewalks of mosaics are striking, the streets narrow and winding, and there are lots of plazas and old churches. The traffic seemed to unnervingly whiz by us as we walked the narrow sidewalks for about 3 hours. Shops closed for siesta at 1:00 even though there were 2 large cruise ships in port. (We were told that there are spectacular lakes on the island but we only saw lush green hills beyond and above the city as we did a city walking tour on our own.
Once again we were fortunate with the weather – cloudy but no rain and quite pleasant with a light coat. The 3 town gates in the main city plaza was a pretty spot. Carriage rides originated nearby. (This was the first time we saw 3 horses pulling carriages.) The sanctuary of Our Lady of Hope Convent was beautifully ornate with a special area holding the statue of Christ of Miracles, adorned with gold and precious stones.
After lunch back on the ship we took our computer to a cafe in the terminal area to take advantage of free WiFi. We read our e-mails and I updated our travel blog as best I could. It took 30 min. just to upload 16 photos to add to an earlier blog entry! I got them captioned and entered 3 more messages before the computer battery was down to 10%.
Another enjoyable day in the Azores! (also, our last as we sail on to Lisbon next)