across the canal, at madalena, a huge sperm whale lies in the rocks, resting for many past miles in the atlantic and contemplating the horizon line intersected by faial, islanders and boats loaded with dreams of other times. cella bar, winner of 2016 hospitality architecture award, combines the pico’s tradition on whale watching, long days in the sea capturing whales on small boats and the dark basalt landscape on an exquisite design bar/restaurant. nice flavors with some unusual twists of local food and contemporary tendencies and nice local wines. for sure, a place to visit when on the island.
back in the island for a family gathering around one of the ancient religious traditions in azores – the cult of holy spirit – we took the opportunity to continue our journey (re)discovering são miguel. our main objective was to go around the northeast side of the island once last time it was impossible due the mist. and…yes we were lucky! we enjoyed a clear vision of the impressive cliffs and gardens of nordeste and the infinite blue of a silenced atlantic just for us… nordeste, where green meets blue we could live by the sea… all of the light eat being at são miguel is almost mandatory, for us, to have dinner at our favourite vegetarian restaurant, rotas. the food continued amazing. from the same group that got up rotas, louvre michaelense was born from recovering an old storehouse and offers us a lot of handcrafted and local products, while you can have a nice coffee by the window. stay the nook hostel at ponta delgada was a great choice for the weekend, providing all the comfort and amenities …
capelinhos volcano also known in the past as the mistery capelinhos woke up on september 27, 1957 and only a year later went asleep, changing the life of many people in the island. nowadays is an amazing manifestation of earth itself by its aridity and absence of life contrasting the abundant green of the rest of azores.
one of us was born in sao miguel, the other never been there. this was an obvious travel to enjoy together (and the first of many in azores). a popular song of azores is called “islands of brume” and we could testify that for the entire week being there. fortunately, at the very last day, the weather flipped (common in the archipelago weather) and for some hours we could experience some great light. nature itself we guess that everyone who visits são miguel gets mesmerized by its luxurious greens and unclassified lagoons. nowadays, the world is discovering the azores and we found lots of tourists all around the island. hope they can respect this environment and preserve the island beauty. there are so many things to explore that everyone can trace its own path on the island and find a perfect place to stop and find how small we are in earth. sete cidades and the view of a king hell’s spot or a forgotten paradise under the skin experience fire walk with us across the island terra nostra garden furnas valley or the belly of …
nordeste was during many years called the 10th island of the archipelago due its geographic and social isolation. nowadays things are changing, but it continues to be the most untouched area of the island where its impossible don’t be amazed by the intense meeting of the endless atlantic blue and the luxurious green of the island. s.miguel, azores | april 2016
arnel’s lighthouse is the oldest in the island and you can find it at the end of a small street with more than 30º of slope. keep your breath and effort to back over the main road, but the view is worth it – the atlantic is yours. s.miguel, azores | april 2016
louvre michaelense is a hip shop selling products “made in portugal”, as so many others that are popping at every corner these days – craftwork, gourmet products, exquisite drinks (or a simple coffee) and, of course, new interpretations of our childhood products. when we visited it for the first time, we were expecting only local products but we guess it would be a rather ambitious project. the place where it stands was opened in 1904 as a millinery, but later became an haberdashery and its a quite comfy memoir going there with my mom to buy buttons and zips to her homemade clothes. with time, and portuguese financial crisis, it bankrupted and was abandoned for many years. its transformation as louvre michaelense was nicely done and i’m happy that the place has a new life in ponta delgada’s downtown.
last edition of monocle’s the escapist features the azores as a unique place to get move on. nonetheless, it focus only on são miguel forgetting the unity and bursting exquisite of all the archipelago. despite that, the essay nicely captures the evolution of an island that is finally opening its mysteries to the world.
if anyone told us that from a room at an abandoned hotel at sete cidades, s.miguel (azores) you could almost see paradise, we hardly believe it. open your mind because stuff like this can happen in azores – nature surpasses us at every inch of itself. one of many azorean legends says that there was a forbidden love between a blue eyed princess and a green eyed prince from different kingdoms in the island. in despair, both cried incessantly filling the crater of extinct volcanos with their tears, in which today lays down the blue and green lagoons of sete cidades. in days like the one we got, with few clouds, the colors are as intense as our desire for an happy end for this love. s.miguel, azores | april 2016
how green was my valley?