We were able to stop at Ponta Delgada in the Azores despite the high winds and rain we encountered on the way in. I’m glad we did. A part of me had thought it would be nice to go past and continue on our way back toward home, but that was before I saw just how beautiful the city is. I really wish we had more time and better weather to explore more of this place.
Even though the streets were dead due to the weather and the fact that it’s a Sunday in the off-season, we still got a good chance to walk through a big chunk of it. It felt kind of like a Disney resort with how clean and neatly, uniformly designed the buildings were. The place just oozed charm.
We were limited in the kinds of buildings we could explore, but we got breakfast at a local grocery/cafe, explored some gift shops including a specialty sardine store and had a few drinks at a local bar and grill. They had a special beer they apparently drink with currant syrup in it. I tried it and was a fan.
Aside from that, there’s not much else to say. It would be nice to come back sometime and explore the various islands and the hiking trails we didn’t get a chance to do today. There’s also natural hot springs all over and dolphin and whale watching in the summer, so if you are looking for an island experience different than Hawaii or the Caribbean, maybe give the Azores a shot.
We did have one small meltdown with Declan today. He wanted to ride a really cute little Christmas train that wasn’t open when we arrived. When we showed him that there was nothing we could do about it, he still got really upset and wanted to cause a scene. We had to distract him with a fun game of “guess which way our house is” that brought him out of it, thankfully. Didn’t want a repeat of Rome, so I am glad we figured out how to switch his mode.
A quick note about the ship’s specialty dining. Yesterday we ate at the steakhouse and today we did the French Bistro. The bistro was good. The steakhouse was exquisite and we ate a whole lot of food. Because of our dining package, we didn’t pay for anything but drinks and we threw on an additional tip each night. That was a great deal.
I won’t linger too long on the food. I will note, however, that the buffet for breakfast is a lost cause in trying to find a place to sit, so we will be simply eating in our rooms from now on for breakfast. Thankfully, it is a short walk.
We are now homebound. We are currently four hours ahead of Eastern time, and we will cross over about one time zone each two days on our way back. This is also the “soft end” of my vacation as I start work again tomorrow. The time zone difference will be rough tomorrow, but I don’t mind. It’s amazing that technology has gotten where it has so I can do that, and that my company is willing to let me do this. Still, this will probably be my last daily update to the blog for the trip, unless something outstanding happens over the next week. I might add a few more posts here and there to sum up the rest of the trip, but over all, this is probably the end of the truly interesting part of the vacation.
Thanks for reading along!