A Travellerspoint blog

Family history is always difficult

searching the azores for home, but finding a jurrasic park.

sunny 18 °C
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Here is the first day that I was in the azores. I was on Faial, in Horta. Very beautiful island with nice houses with red roofs and small streets.

The Azores were a mix of bad and good. It was so beautiful, but sometimes so slow and boring and hard to get around (only two busses a day). Walking was wonderful, but the islands were bigger than one might think! and i didnt get very far.

I would like to come back with more time, a tent, and camp out in the ¨wilderness¨. That would be really fun.

This was the view from my airplane window as we flew into horta. It is the peak of Pico mountain. It was a bit breathtaking.

Welcome to the Azores!

The little car I rented, the Ford Fiesta!! It drove so easily. Way easier than the truck. Reminded me of JRs car. I only rented it for the one first day in Horta.

When I first went driving into Horta I stopped by some tide pools.

And the fish in the tide pool!

This was the port in horta. People would paint messages about their journeys by boat for good luck or to say that they had be there. and there were thousands!

Here is one view of the beach next to Horta. Very nice and clean and blue water.

Another view of the same beach.

I started to climb up the hill you see in the first picture, and there were some ruins of a house which were very interesting.

When i was walking around, there were lizards scurrying everywhere. I felt like i was in Jurrasic park.

The water was great. Everywhere here the water was so blue.

Me climbing the hill.

This is the view over the beach that you could see from where i hiked.

This was me driving around, and this is a happy cow grazing by the side of the road.

My house :) Nice grassy hills and a horse.

Also driving around on Faial. A nice old church.

A cafe. My relatives perhaps? the Jacintos?

I drove up to the volcanos peak, the caldeira. Its a crater now. I assume it exploded. Its also a refuge area for wildlife.

Some of the wildlife.

Chicharros. Little fried whole fishes. I had a very hard time eating them, but i did. and here is the picture to prove it!

So that was my first day in Horta. Pretty eventful, but somewhat lonely. And i slept in the car. Yikes. But pico was much less lonely and I didnt have to sleep in any cars!

Posted by therook 13:52 Archived in Portugal Tagged luxury_travel Comments (4)

Lagos and Salema

a reflection

sunny 18 °C
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Here is a late entry on Lagos and Salema, Portugal. I finally can upload photos and not pay a fortune to do it! Lagos and Salema were very nice. Salema was extremely relaxing and all there was was the beach! but there were still two tastey restaurants. one with calamari that i miss greaty....

So here was my first stop into Lagos on the way to Salema. The sky was great and the water clear. I didnt know that portugal was one hour behind spain so i showed up for the bus an hour early! oops!

By the way, im going to change my caption style to underneith the photos. so beware. photo, then description.

The boats in the harbor.

And the boats up close...

This is the street where i stayed, a look to the right. I rented a room from a family. It was very nice. but kind of odd because i would walk in from going to the beach or whatever, and they would be having dinner or cooking! and neither of us spoke the other´s language!

And to the left.

And walking to the beach which was ...pretty much right there. I stayed on the beach in a way!

View from the window in my room. I could hear the waves at night which was really awesome!

The beach.

This pretty much describes what i did for two days!

My feet were very happy to be in the sand and not in shoes.

Salema is a fishing town. and the boats come in and out of the water all day, pulled by a tractor.

The Salema Vista.

My painting of the boats.

My other painting that isnt so good.

I walked around salema the next day and went up some random road. Most of the time all i could hear were the birds. And then, I heard this enchanting ringing or chiming, and i realized it was the cows walking with bells tied around their necks in the valley. below. how often does one realize that?

One view from my walk.

Another view.

And the future site of my vacation home.. haha

View of the overall beach at Salema.

My breakfast.

What Portugal REALLY thinks about the United States. please STOP US.

A Mural at the Lagos Post office. The first half. I love europe, its full of art.

And the second half of the mural.

So I had a great time in Salema and had some great calamari and wines and sun. It was like a vacation from the vacation! Very awesome indeed. So, until next time.... I have TONS of pictures from the azores. So beautiful there!

Posted by therook 11:14 Archived in Portugal Tagged photography Comments (0)

The Azores, here i am!

all seasons in one day 17 °C
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The azores are an amazing place. A mix of good and bad qualities. I have tons of pictures, but I cant post any of them because either internet here is $1.50 for 15 minutes, or you arent allowed to upload anything (us a USB cable). I have a few things to say to lead up to when i do post my pictures...

The guidebooks LIE. you need a car to see the good stuff. The are only 2 busses a day.

If the ferry doesnt make you sea sick, the local driving will.

restaurant? where?

Hitchhiking is the only way to make it from one side of the island to the other... north to south.

The water is amazingly clear and blue, and the sky is huge with great cloud formations. And the lava rock beds are very interesting!

You can actually SEE stars at night!

chicharros are not calamari.

The bananas are locally grown and luckily not genetically engineered.

Cows moo at me when i walk by.

So...thats the azores so far. Tomorrow I go back to Horta (where I flew into) to search for my ancestors birth records, and hopefully maybe of their parents and such. wish me luck! hope everything is well in the homelands. Much love.

Posted by therook 12:50 Archived in Portugal Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Jerez de la everything was closed Frontera

catching up... this is my last entry of spain! :(

semi-overcast 15 °C
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I went to Jerez de la Frontera as a day trip from Sevilla. I picked the wrong day. I wanted to go see the royal equestrian school, and taste some sherry. But the school wasnt open, not even to wander around in, and all the sherry tasting places were closed. All i got were a few pictures, overcharged for some tapas, locked in a park (see a trend?), and dirt in my eyes.

Im sure it would have been a grand town if i had seen the horses, then got to taste sherry in the ´noon!

Here was a giant man statue by the bus station.


Here were the only horses I saw... the first on the main street, the second in the alcazar.



This was the catherdral in Jerez, next to the alcazar. and following is a typical street in Jerez.



I did see what had to have been the biggest wine TREE?? ever


And, on the way out, i had to laugh... did you ever wonder how they got concrete to the top of a building?


So, that was my day in Jerez. I should have gone to tarifa for sure. Or picked a different day. but i didnt have an alarm clock. How have i made it this far? I woke up at 7 today to catch a bus with no alarm.. and from seville i woke up at like... 5:45 to get my bus to lagos. yes i AM crazy. and hardcore. maybe. just a little.

Posted by therook 11:43 Archived in Spain Tagged tourist_sites Comments (2)

Seville is badass part 2

I´m a little behind on posting pictures ...

semi-overcast 17 °C
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OKAY, here is the other half of Seville. I went to the plaza de españa..which supposedly they used to film parts of the the first starwars...anyone? so, here it is, a beautifully painted and ornate plaza...


and another view;


My favorite thing though was that along the arc of the actual building, were tile representations of all the provinces in spain. and they were all amazing!

and you can kind of see Valencia... since it was my first love, and there was no sevilla, my favorite.


And the up close parts;


Here is an upclose of Toledo.. I didnt go there, but The detail on the tile was to my liking...


Everything was painted and very detailed like i said. here is one of the railings on the upstairs.


Here is me admiring the stairwell banister


And view of the stairwell


Here was the center of the plaza... horses and carriages could go through it, and in the very center was a fountain. note the ground, how elaborate it is!



And here were two random things I found in Seville... Louie and Camu!



And thus concludes my travels in the most badass city ever. Hope you join me there next time.

Posted by therook 11:03 Archived in Spain Tagged photography Comments (0)

Seville is badass part 1

There is so much in Seville I have to divide the pictures into 2 or 3 segments.

semi-overcast 20 °C
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Here is the first. The Cathedral. And some stuff around there.

So, on the way to the cathedral, very nice colorful buildings.


One of the large doors to the cathedral.


Through the courtyard.


The main door in.


A window above the door.


The woman in front of the door.


In the first rooms I went in was like a museum more or less. With artifacts and paintings and such.



Then, I found a stained glass of the same women!


Brian, remember the organ in the Mezquita? This place topped even that. It had like, dueling organs. facing each other. all the way to the ceiling. amazing!



Another stained glass.


The main attraction of this church was the tomb of Christopher Columbus! really! Here it is....



And on the way out... the door knob. I guess its hardly a KNOB.


This was a little of the Alcazar. I didnt go in because the line was around the block.


And Okay, I decided that Seville is the most badass city in spain. This is the door to the Alcazar. Tell me thats not sweet.


Then me meandering around the other day... some sights.



And finally, at the days end, this was my dinner! It had whole shrimps in it. Legs, eyes, little unhappy faces. But it was good.


Posted by therook 09:21 Archived in Spain Tagged tourist_sites Comments (3)

A few shoutouts.

To grace, heather, and michela... you would have a heart attack at spanish fashion. there are so many shoes, and dresses, and polka dots and bright beautiful things. its incredibly overwhelming yet alluring.

someone tell kris... i ran into a pane of glass at the madrid train station, and a guy laughed at me. they shouldnt use glass for walls when im around.

brian would be proud.. ive been drinking a lot of water. everyone knows how i dont drink any. except the two last days. and i only drank wine. and i half regret it. bleh.

grace, heather, and michela again... everyone in spain has a dog. and they are all ridiculously scruffy and small and mangy like little thea. i swear i see theas cousin daily.

grace, dont go jogging in morocco. this one girl got followed when she did that.

thats it for now. i think i had more but my belly is a washing machine of last nights wine.

Posted by therook 02:35 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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