São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

Wednesday morning we retrieved our car from the hotel parking and set out to explore the west part of São Miguel. Lucky for us it was a sunny day and the visibility was good. We did a bit of hiking.

São Miguel is a volcanic island. We stopped at an overlook to see the Sete Cidades lakes in the volcanic crater. The volcano last erupted in the 1400s.

From Sete Cidades we drove down to the north coast.

We stopped in the village of Mosteiros to have the local specialty, octopus.

WE drove back along the coast to Ponta Delgada

Island of São Miguel, Azores

Today was a bit of a rest day. We didn’t get started exploring the east part of the island until afternoon. And then it was foggy and rainy. These pictures are at the lookout over Lago das Furnas. All we could see was fog.

In the village of Furnas we saw the upside down house.

Nearby we had a bit of traffic.

Finally we did see Lagoa das Furnas and decided to call it a day

Our hotel in Ponta Delgada overlook the harbor. We have had fun “directing” harbor traffic.

Duke did inquire at the tourist information office and at the front desk what this ship from the Ivory Coast was unloading. The people all looked at him like that was a crazy question. I guess not everyone feels harbor traffic control is a necessary task!

For dinner we had another familiar meal.

São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

This morning as we were eating breakfast in our hotel in Ponta Delgado a Brazilian three mast tall ship was entering the harbor. It tied up at the dock in front of our hotel.

Across from the Brazilian ship a Portuguese Navy search and rescue ship was tied up. They were giving tours so we got to go aboard and the chief engineer gave us a tour.

This afternoon we drove up into the mountains to see Lagos do Fogo.

Then we stopped to see the hot springs at Caldeira Velma.

For dinner we found a top rated hamburger place on a narrow street away from the harbor. My first hamburger in two months tasted wonderful.

Madrid to Lisbon to Ponta Delgada

This morning we parted ways with Roger and Gayle who we have been traveling with and having fun with for the past two weeks. They flew home and we flew to Lisbon. We had a several hour layover there so we caught the Metro into central Lisbon.

We ate the Portuguese treat Pastel de Nata and coffee

We walked around a bit. Then we sat on the main square and had some lunch.

About 4:00 pm we headed back to the airport and caught an evening plane to Ponta Delgada in the Azores where we will be exploring until next Thursday.

Lerma to Madrid

It’s hard to believe but last nights blog post was my 1000th post on this blog!!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I anointed the Parador de Lerma since it was the last Parador of our trip. As I was walking into the lobby I dropped our food bag on the marble floor of the lobby. The bottle of wine in the bag broke and soon there was as a large pool of red wine in the middle of the lobby!

The Parador of Lerma was beautiful and we woke up there this morning to a beautiful view and a beautiful day.

We drove to Madrid, turned in our car, and checked into our hotel. Then we headed out to have a couple iconic Madrid experiences. We ate jamon and cheese at the Museo de Jamon restaurant near our hotel.

And we went to Chocolateria San Gines for churros and chocolate.

After a rest at the hotel we went out for tapas. The streets were packed with people.

We have had a wonderful time in Spain. It’s hard to believe that we leave tomorrow.

Gijon to Lerma

It is Friday and we are on our way back to Madrid and the end of the Spanish portion of our trip. We drove almost five hours today, our longest driving day of the trip.

About an hour and a half into our drive we stopped to see the Altamira Cave Museum. In the 1800’s prehistoric cave art was found here. Because of the damage caused to the art by too many visitors the actual Altamira Cave is closed and the museum allows you to visit a Information display with artifacts and a reproduction of the original Cave.

The paintings are much larger than I expected them to be. They are colorful, realistic and beautiful. They were obviously created by very talented artists.

Our Parador tonight is one of the best of the trip. It is built in a former ducal palace. Our room is in one of the towers.

The central lounge is where we had our welcome drinks and played cards.

In the center of the lounge is a big loom with a partly finished tapestry on it. On one side you can see the thirty or so spindles with different colored thread being worked. On the other side the rich picture is emerging.

Before dinner we went for a walk around Lerma.

We ate dinner in the Parador. This is my stuffed artichoke starter.

Duke’s duck.

My pineapple and lime desert.