At YYZ waiting for my flight with F! Excited for our girls trip! She brought me Smarties, as requested, to keep my chocolate cravings in check for the next 10 days!
For those of you who don’t know F, we met at the same table during a working period in grade 6. That day we exchanged gel pens and became friends for life! We soared through the same high school and university together.
Here we are 17 years later and ready to conquer Portugal together! Wish us good health and safety! 🙏🏽💃🏾💃🏾
Good morning! After a 5.5 hr flight, we have reached! Here are some pics of our Oceanside hotel 🏢The weather is 16 degrees, sunny, and some wind - but absolutely beautiful with loads of fresh air! Before I go ahead and post about the amazing adventures I had today, first and foremost...❤️❤️❤️ Beautiful views of the Island - Southern Side!
We spontaneously hired a driver for half the day and it was THE BEST decision! He toured us to local places that tourists normally don’t go to...my highlight is in the next post!
Sights for the day (names I can remember, I forgot so many)...my Portuguese isn’t great:
Praia Santa Barbara - the sand is black due to volcanic activity
Sao Brás - a serene lake where I fed ducks my leftover French fries!
South side villages and other view points with lots of views of previous volcanic activity and rich history of past wars!
You’re Canadian!!! Welcome!!!! So mid-day in between all the beautiful sights, we were brought to a small cafe owned by a Canadian. Jose lived in Gatineau for MANY years and was a journalist...still is, regardless of retirement!
We had Azorean tea that was just a delight, In his beautiful backyard - spacious green space, with the ocean, and an flag flowing in the wind proudly.
Last stop after an amazing Oceanside dinner - O Chocolatinho!!!! BEST CAKE POP EVER! You don’t even want to know the amount of crazy chocolates I bought to take home for V and I to indulge in - chilly chocolate, mango, cheese chocolate, etc etc etc!! 😊😊❤️ Overall Day 1 in Ponta Delgada has been a blessing with beautiful sunshine and welcoming locals ☀️ This is the traffic in Sao Miguel... The Azores is made up of 9 islands. Sao Miguel is the Island we are exploring this trip!
The population of humans is 137,000 approx, while there are apparently 65,000 cows on this island! Mooooo!
First stop in the morning - Pineapple Plantation!
It takes 2 years to grow a pineapple! Special greenhouses are built for pineapples here and we learnt about all the stages from the nursery to smoking to final picking stage.
My favourite fact: in the smoking stage the farmers burn buckets of banana leaves in the greenhouse to trigger the pineapple plants to sprout a pineapple. This is a flight or fight reaction by the plant. Because the plants believe they may die, they want the next generation to come alive and flourish!
Another cool fact: the root, when planted, is placed horizontally in the soil and will produce up to 5 plants potentially.
Super yummy! V - I know you LOVE pineapple, so I got you a little souvenir! Hehe
Lots of fog, but that didn’t stop us from seeing the beauty!
Here are some pics from our stop at Caldeira Das Sete Cidades! A lake that is divided in two - one side blue and one side green. It is in a dormant volcano. The legend has it that a princess with green eyes, and her forbidden lover (her father said NO NO NO!), with blue eyes, cried together and they formed this two coloured lake. F thinks the story is cute, I laughed so hard reading the Wikipedia, especially because the story was sooooo long!!!! Lol!
Local bread for 0.3 Euros at a bread shop owned by a local. Due to government restriction, she’s unable to open her shop the public, so locals who know of her stop by for fresh bread! Here I am biting into some DELICOUS warm fresh baked bread! Views! I’m definitely falling in love with the cows here, that’s for sure. If you know me well, I’m sure you can imagine me Mooing realllllly loud at the cows in a distant - I did so! One cow looked at me 😂😂😂 Miradoure das Pedras Negras!
Beautiful view point of the ocean and much more! Also - the wind blow our umbrella to a point that made it useless... haha! Loved it!
If you carefully look at the picture with the rocks in the distance, you can see an elephant drinking out of the ocean. ❤️
A serene location with natural hot springs and the MOST beautiful greenery! Natural boiling water!
Afternoon tea please! Louvre Michaelenese ☕️ Our Vegetarian dinner at Rotas aka Roti 😂😂😂 That’s it! Goodnight and may God Bless You on this auspicious day - Maha Shivratri 🙏🏽 Day 4 of trip (day 3 on Sao Miguel) started wonderful with beautiful sun! ☀️ 🙏🏽 First stop - Fogo Lake! 900 m high! High winds today! This was actually a destination on our tour yesterday, but because of the fog, we were unable to see it. Our Guide was kind enough to take a quick stop there today! What a site!
Also, my hair was a mess today. I thought I’d share a picture of it 😂
Next stop! A beach and I can’t remember the name 😂 Beautiful views from the top of a Church. Holy! Furnas has active volcanic activity. Locals take their uncooked pots of meats and vegetables to have it cooked underground in the “mini hot springs” - it’s amazing! Next time I come back, I want to take a pot to make biryani!!! Hot Springs at Terra Nostra. Beautiful garden with three big hot springs! This was, obviously, a favourite part of the trip! Hehe! Serene park with waterfall! All the feels here! I can’t wait to come back. I fell in the water before taking this picture...still had a smile! Haha It was perfect timing for my chappals, because we went to a tea plantation! Chappals and Chai all day, everyday!☕️🥿 Learnt how the three teas are made! Let’s just say the gift shop guy loved me ... 😊😊 V! I’m coming home with chai! Last beautiful day in Sao Miguel! This is the largest crater that we see below. Kings viewpoint was phenomenal with the fog today - overlooking the Blue and Green lakes I posted about on Monday. Monday we visited them at lake level and couldn’t get a good viewpoint of them from above, but today was a different story! Feeling so blessed to have seen the amazing views today! Lunch at Green Love today! I had amazing tomato soup, Azorean cheese, and local bread. The quality of food here is amazing, and because they are secluded, there are no bugs for them to use pesticides against - truly organic. Back on a plane for our next stop! Just a slow day with lots of city exploring. Lisbon is definitely the European San Francisco! Hills, trams, ocean, and tourists! Don’t forget the Seagulls. 😒😀 I decided to visit the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum on my own for the afternoon. There are multiple buildings so I chose to explore the Original Exhibition and the Modern Exhibition. Here are some pictures of the Original Exhibition. It displayed lots of artifacts from Persia, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, etc etc from 1400 onwards. I love love loveeeee the Modern Exhibition! Everything had so much meaning, history, and display of today’s reality. I can’t wait to come back and spend a full day! Eventually we made our way to this beautiful coffee shop - Fauna & Flora. I tried the Chai latte from Australia (made with Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka) - sadly they didn’t have Azorean tea! But it was amazing! We also had AMAZING pancakes! Time to end the day early so we can get an early start for our Porto trip tomorrow! ✈️ Also - I promise I’m not wearing the same outfit every day 😂 my coat blocks my tops and I’ve been wearing different black tights! Haha! Waking up 6 am anywhere in the world is hard for me (I learnt this today), but feeling the beautiful sun on my face this morning was totally worth the struggle! ☀️❤️ Good morning! Beautiful views from Porto downtown and Cristal Palace! A local man comes everyday to Cristal Palace to feed all the birds some bread - Seeing peacocks run after an older man, who did not experience any fear but a fatherly type of love, melted my heart! What an experience to witness. Lunch by the ocean followed by more touring on the hop on hop off bus! We were given roses for international woman’s day! I feel incredibly grateful for all the women in my life - professionally and personally. 💕 Tea and cake for my afternoon snack! 😍 Finally, we made it for the BREATHTAKING sunset ☀️🔥 Back in Lisbon by 11:15 pm and it’s time for us to call it a night! 12:03 AM - I need a foot massage 😂 My feet are finally expressing what they should have days ago after all the walking we’ve been doing! I’m not really feeling like I want to do multiple posts for today, so here’s a glimpse.
Lunch by the water and a great view of the bridge
An hour walk from the bridge to the mall with beautiful tiles and a hidden park
Rooftop tea late night
Alfama District has the most amazing viewpoints in Lisbon ❤️ Our walk to the Alfama District! We stopped at a beautiful viewpoint on the way! I need this flower window! Obsessed with the flowers Local Transit! Tram and Tuktuk! THE BEST ASIAN FOOD I HAVE EVER HAD!!!!!!!!❤️❤️❤️🔥 Vegan Chocolate Cake made from dates and dried fruits with a black tea @ Cafe Comoba To be honest - I’m most excited about giving all the souvenirs I got to my peeps! Muahahahhahahaha! 3:45 am start to the day! Off to London...aka Grandma Land 😂 The sun is shining bright, and the sky is looking stunning ✈️☀️ First stop... M&M world!!!!!! El&N for afternoon Tea! Earl Grey with some Saffron & Rose cake ❤️💕 A little more exploring at Kensington Park and Central London! 😊☀️ On the plane, boarded and ready to land in Toronto soon! I’ll be carrying on to Minneapolis after! Landed in Toronto and now a few hours until my flight to Minneapolis! Missing my Toronto family that’s either out of town or busy!❤️ Finally home safe, with all of my goodies for everyone!❤️🙏🏽 Thankful for the safe trip and good health.
Paste it somewhere!