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Azores Love

The Azores (VickiSP/Shutterstock [1])

Hey, a travel note: I’ll be in the Azores all next week traveling with friends, so posting will be spotty. Any readers of this blog live there? Any of you been there, and can give this newcomer some advice? One of the friends I’ll be with has been there before, and will be taking our group to his favorite places. But I’m always eager for more input.

You’ll be shocked to know that this middle-aged fatso bought some actual hiking shoes yesterday, as the weather there is pleasant and there are lots of places to walk. So there.

18 Comments (Open | Close)

18 Comments To "Azores Love"

#1 Comment By jxk On June 13, 2018 @ 3:08 pm

Yes! I was an exchange student on Sta Maria summer of ’85. Seems much more touristy and diverse now than it did then (farmers, fishermen and air traffic controllers….). You’ll do fine there: Portugal’s best asset is the people and their friendliness. You’ll fit right in!

My sister was an exchange student in Iceland (Insert story of eating the eyeballs of buried sheep’s head here.)

My dad used to joke he couldn’t get us across the Atlantic Ocean.

#2 Comment By Dennis On June 13, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

Is that a photograph rather than an imaginative artist’s rendering? Wow.

#3 Comment By Noah172 On June 13, 2018 @ 3:40 pm

That’s a stock photo? Looks like something James C. would have sent you (minus food).

#4 Comment By mrscracker On June 13, 2018 @ 3:52 pm

That sounds wonderful. Hope you have a safe journey!

#5 Comment By Jason On June 13, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

Be sure to stretch properly before walking (if you do that sort of thing), drink lots of water (not soda or wine), get some vegetables in you, etc. Sorry, Jewish mother.

#6 Comment By Stephen Hoffmann On June 13, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

Watch out for the post-hike repast(s)!

#7 Comment By John Mark On June 13, 2018 @ 4:40 pm

One of the few places outside the continental US I’ve been privileged to visit. There was some political tension happening when I was there. We were warned not to linger out after dark. It was lovely, though. I never felt any sense of danger. I don’t know if the warnings had any merit or were just signs of prejudice.
I recall hitchhiking a ride with a young American airman who had a pretty local girl and an old Chevy Biscayne he was very proud of. He was enjoying life there, to be sure.
I hope you have a marvelous time.

#8 Comment By Ali Murphy On June 13, 2018 @ 5:06 pm

Yay Rod! Happy to hear you go hiking boots and I hope you have a tremendous time breaking them in.

#9 Comment By Dana Ames On June 13, 2018 @ 5:17 pm

In the ’50s and ’60s, many immigrants from the Azores came to the small coastal town in northern CA where I grew up, because of the strong fishing industry at the time. I had lots of Portuguese friends going through school. I’ve never been there, but all the Azorean Portuguese I knew were pious Catholics, and hospitable and hardworking people.

Eat the local tuna, even if it’s canned – it’s really tasty. Take the canned tuna and some fresh bread with you for lunch on a hike, along with whatever else you like that’s available. They really know how to put fish up this way.


#10 Comment By James C. On June 13, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

That’s a stock photo? Looks like something James C. would have sent you (minus food).

Alas I have never been!

I will, however, be expecting VFYTs of the absolute highest quality from Our Walking Boy.

[NFR: For some reason, the quality of my iPhone photos seems to be declining. It’s probably because everybody’s Android phones (and newer iPhones) are so much better. I wish I had a small digital 35mm camera. — RD]

#11 Comment By John Farrier On June 13, 2018 @ 5:47 pm

My grandfather was in the Azores during World War II. I remember one of his anecdotes: his driver, who was an Italian-American from New York City, listened to some of the Azoreans conversing. “Major, these people are speaking Italian!” My grandfather said, “Well, talk to them.” He did so and learned that Italian and Azorean (as it was used at the time) were mutually intelligible.

#12 Comment By Liam On June 13, 2018 @ 5:48 pm

While Boston is probably the best situated place in North America whence to travel to the Azores (which straddle the MId-Atlantic Ridge – the archipelago spans about the same distance as from St Francisville to Austin TX or the boot of MIssouri), I’ve not been, though friends who have commended if for its gentle people and pace and beauty. And that in the summer it’s only 4 hours ahead the Eastern Time zone (sunset is after 9PM, while sunrise is only a quarter hour later than Baton Rouge….).

#13 Comment By Rombald On June 13, 2018 @ 7:25 pm

Together with the Canaries and Madeira, they were settled by Iberians in the early 15th century – sort of practising for the Americas!

I’ve only been to the Canaries – for British people they have a tacky reputation, but I found the landscape amazing. Ditto the botany – weird – like all oceanic islands. Have fun!

#14 Comment By Justin Wilson On June 14, 2018 @ 7:44 am

I was just there for my honeymoon! Recommend going whale watching, have the specialty steak at restaurante associação agrícola, visit hot springs or baths, go to Furnas and eat the local specialty food at Restaurante Vale das Furnas, and be sure to relax on some beaches like Água d’Alto. Best to remember diesel fuel is gasoleo and gasolina is gasoline. Have a great trip.

#15 Comment By Jon On June 14, 2018 @ 8:41 am

I’m jealous as I was planning to visit two years ago. Unfortunately my plans fell through. Have a great time!

#16 Comment By Julia Duin On June 14, 2018 @ 11:38 am

Rod – A local parents web site ran this ( [2]) about the Azores being the “next Iceland” in terms of popularity.
And may I suggest packing a certain book along to read on the plane? This is “homecoming” season (and the best time to visit) for serpent-handling Appalachian churches starting this month through September.

#17 Comment By Matt Machado On June 15, 2018 @ 12:20 am

Check out Europe’s only tea and coffee plantations if you have time! You can also find many exotic tropical/subtropical fruits and vegetables that cannot be found in mainland Europe. They’re particularly known for the pineapple. They’re delicious. Also, enjoy a queijada of any type.

#18 Comment By Noe Digiacomo On July 5, 2018 @ 10:46 am

June is a great time to travel to the Azores, explore its captivating landscapes, fishing villages, tea plantations, and vineyards. I bet you’ve enjoyed your trip.