Sunday, June 7, 2015
I'm so excited to show you guys the highlight of our Spain/Portugal trip: Azores! Hands down the most idyllic place I have ever visited: sparkling blue ocean, lush rolling hills, hydrangea-dotted bushes and so peaceful that you can hear the rustle of the leaves and chants of the birds. They say that the grass is always greener on somebody else's lawn but if you live in Azores, your grass is forever green (and dotted with cute cows)!
As soon as we got settled in our Airbnb, Adrienne and I marched to the tourist information center in downtown Ponta Delgada. The clerk provided us a bus schedule and with little directives, we hopped onto a bus to Furnas. I'm sure that if I took a nap on the bus and woke up all groggy, I would have thought that I had died and gone to heaven because this island is too beautiful! Furnas is well-known for its iron-filled hot springs and gorgeous gardens. We visited Poça da Dona Beija and dipped in their baths until our finger nails were stained orange.
Everything about this place is eerily beautiful. At one point, the clouds were so low that we walked straight into one. Adrienne whispering to me that it reminded her of Silent Hill.
The next day, Adrienne and I set out to visit the Lagoa das Sete Cidades, two lakes (one green and one blue) situated in the middle of a dormant volcanic crater. Legend has it that there lived a bad-tempered king with his beautiful daughter in a Kingdom in the Western Sea. The king was very strict and never allowed the princess to go outside the castle's confines. The princess longed for the outside world so when her father took his afternoon naps, she would sneak out into the local hills and valleys. One day, she heard a song that captured her attention. The princess followed the music which led her to a young shepherd playing his flute. From that point onward, she would always visit the hill and listen to the shepherd play his song. It wasn't long before she got caught by the shepherd who instantly fell in love with her. They would meet in secret every time and stare in each other's eyes lovingly. Eventually the shepherd couldn't bear to be separated from the Princess therefore he asked for her hand in marriage.
When the King found out, he was outraged and ordered the Princess to cut all ties with the boy. Distraught by her father's orders, the Princess met with the shepherd to say goodbye one last time. They held each other and cried all afternoon. They cried so much that their tears formed two lakes: one green (for the Princess's eyes were green) and one blue (for the shepherd's eyes were blue). AWWWW -MELTS AWAY-
What truly melted our hearts was the adorable free-spirited dog (we named him Natas) who spent a full afternoon following us. He was so playful and loved running after cars and sniffing tourists. Natas loved a good view and would lead us to the best viewing spots. We were so sad to leave Natas behind but that dog is an adventurer and belongs to the island.