The Azores

In my home office, I have a huge map of the world covering half of one wall. Much of the map is covered with small pictures of places I want to go. I love poring over travel magazines and brochures, dreaming about my next trip and, when a picture catches my eye, I cut it out, and on my travel wall it goes. It’s a great place to visit on a rainy day because it’s full of memories and dreams.

While I love to travel, the sad truth is that I’ve been able to visit only a very small portion of our great planet. I know that I can’t afford to go everywhere I want to go, nor do I have enough years left to see it all. Having my life placed on hold by Covid has been tough but I know I am one of the fortunate ones. My heart breaks for all those whose lives have been devastated by this nasty disease.

I wonder where, and when, I’ll go next? When I plan a trip, I almost always pick a place I’ve never been to before. There is one exception, however. I absolutely love The Azores and I’d go every year if I could. What’s not to love about a group of islands where the daytime temperature stays between 61 and 77 degrees and they have flowers blooming year round?

Flowers in January!

The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands located off the coast of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean. There are thermal pools to soak in, hiking trails to wheeze on, bird watching, whale watching, cow watching, and plenty of laid back opportunities to chat with the locals. Cow watching, while not really a tourist selling point, is unavoidable because there are two cows for every person on the islands. The food was pretty awesome, too, including the hamburgers!

Clockwise from top left: Octopus, Barnacles, Limpets, and Tiger fish, cooked on heated lava stone.

I’ve visited five of the nine islands and I’d really like to see the others. Maybe someday. Until then, I will dream a few steps beyond normal, and keep sticking pictures on my map.

I hiked to the top at Sete Cidades on São Miguel Island. If you look up pictures of The Azores, there is always one of this trail and viewpoint. I was so happy to be there!
On a perfect day, one lake is green and the other is blue.
The dormant volcano on Pico Island is the highest point in Portugal.
The black lava stone is used for houses and fences.
The coastline of Terceira Island.

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