Blog 27 – Azores

20160913_172239.jpgLast days in Ireland at my Workaway Placement in Wicklow. On our day off, my lovely co-workers Alex and Alice from Lille and I hired a car and went North of Dublin to look at various neolithic sites. Above is Newgrange, one of a few tombs you can actually go inside (3000BC). On the winter solstice, 21st December at sunrise the sunbeams shine through the entrance right into the tomb for about 15 minutes. They simulated this by turning the electric lights off and then slowly have a beam come on. It was amazing and very moving. They had a lottery going for an entry ticket for that day. Only 20 people are allowed in. I signed up!

20160913_172823.jpgThe entrance to the tombs with ancient art work.

20160913_145841.jpgThis is Alex at Old Mellifont Abbey, an old Cistercian monastry (1124) for French and Irish monks.

20160914_055750.jpgThis is at the Hill of Tara, the most sacred site in Ireland, seat of the High Kings. This photo is a cheat, a shot of one of their maps, cause when you wander the fields it’s actually not that impressive. Just looks like groves in the paddock.

20160915_195355.jpgFinal good bye dinner for me, carbonade flamande, cooked by Alice & Alex. Felt like leaving family behind.

screenshot_20160917-182834.png17.9.16 Off to Dublin and visited Roseleen in Drogheda for a couple of hours, another lovely woman I met on the Buddhist Retreat, ages ago! I ended up spending two and a half months in Ireland. Not bad for not having had Ireland in my plans at all! Off to sleep now, taxi comes at 5.45am to take me to the airport for Lisbon.

18.9.16 Lisbon! Oh, I love you……and 25 degrees! Summer…..I just compared some photos from when I was in this airbnb in March and Helena dressed me up in wintergear….Lea the dog remembered me, so it appeared anyway.

screenshot_20160919-185629.png20160919_172601.jpg These are Helena and Lea looking out the window and Bettina and I exploring Castelo St Jorge.

20160920_091958.jpgLisbon was full of cruise ships. This view looks quite surrealistic I reckon.

20160920_155204.jpgAnd then we took the yellow tram #28 in all directions. It’s so adventurous, such a tight squeeze around the corners, you can shake hands with people who live along that line. They come out of their houses and get run over if they’re not careful. Mind you, that noise of rattling and ringing would drive me bonkers if I’d live there.

20160921_071416.jpg6.30am, 21st September. Off to the airport to fly to the Azores with Bettina. New adventures! 20160922_134405.jpgAt Ponta da Ferraria are hot thermal springs.img-20160922-wa0011.jpgThat’s me waving with the hat on. 28 degrees water temperature, wow, am I happy. First time in the ocean the entire year! This is one of the pools you can see from the photo above.

20160922_130209.jpg20160922_130409.jpgAnd these are two thermal spa pools of about 35 degrees, where I was totally by myself. Doing some stretches ahhhhhh, so nice.

20160923_133040.jpg20160923_133246.jpgBubble bubble toil and trouble…..

20160923_133129.jpg23.9.16 Today we went to Lagoa das Furnas. At one side of the lake were all these hot springs where they cooked a dish called Cozido, a sort of stew, in huge pots. We had the timing right and they were just getting the pots out and people from different restaurants arrived to pick up their pot.


From here we started the 9.9km walk around the lake. And it bucketed down rain, hence no photos. But troupers that we are, and not made of sugar, we bravely marched on. At least it was warm. Arriving back at the car, soaked to the knickers and no spare clothes, we had to wear our towels. Luckily we had them, cause the plan was to soak our beautiful bodies in some other hot spring.

20160923_161722.jpg20160923_161919.jpgAs soon as we were off the mountains the weather was gorgeous again. We thought of hanging our pants on the antenne or squeeze them in the windows of the car for a blow dry job, but decided against it! So, we visited the only tea factory in all of Europe in these outfits and only a few people laughed at us! We can’t help it, we look stylish in everything we wear.


20160924_200717.jpgToday we explored the Western side of the island some more, Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul. This was some stunning orange coloured, a fungus of some kind, bridge/aquaduct maybe, but really no idea what it was, just pretty colours.

We then hiked in the Sete Cidades and Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Verde area. Beautiful, a blue and a green lake. The usual story, a princess was in love with a shepherd and they met in secret where the two lakes meet. Her Daddy, the King, wasn’t happy about the set up, below standard and all and married her off to a proper Prince. She cried tears to fill a lake from her blue eyes (azul) and the shepherd cried a lake from his green eyes (verde). And everybody was unhappy ever after!



25.9.16 Caldeira Velha, waterfall and iron rich hot springs.

20160925_124911.jpg20160925_131431.jpgYet again more hot pools, at 35 degrees I’m in my element, while Bettina is close to collapse. The little wooden boxes are the change rooms.

20160925_130135.jpgIt feels a bit strange for me here, cause the vegetation is so close to what grows around Cairns where I live. Tea, pineapples, bananas, ginger types, melons, tree ferns, cycads etc ….

20160925_113630.jpgLagoa do Fogo. Are we bored of stunning lakes yet? Last series of earth quakes happened here from May to October 2005.

20160925_151410.jpgAnd from most places you can see the coast, the landscape is simply spectacular.

20160925_203641.jpgLovely Bettina outside our Airbnb, a whole little house for 36 Euros. And my flight here to Ponta Delgada was 40 something Euros return from Lisbon, incredible. Ryanair has only been flying here since 3 years. I just hope this beautiful place won’t be spoilt soon with ugly tourist monstrosities.

20160925_203720.jpgI look so innocent which of course I am.

20160927_185806.jpg27th. Last day already. Where did this week go? We drove around the East Coast today in our hire car, delivering potatoes and capsicum on the way! New Workaway job!

20160926_203753.jpgAt this place we walked to a little porto and lighthouse, about 1km VERY steep.

20160927_185806.jpg20160927_142551.jpgTiny little cottages plastered against the steep rock face. Perfect little airbnbs we thought….

20160927_145646.jpgHardly made it back up.

20160927_134702.jpgNordeste, the capital of the East coast.

wp-1475041430739.jpgAnd then I’m so proud of my collage making skills now, curtesy to Bettina. Little church in somewhere. Unfortunately I struggled with a migraine all day, which didn’t get better despite drugs. So, I left Bettina to have our good bye dinner on her own! img-20160928-wa0001.jpg And am I glad about that! Look at the mess she left, you can’t take her anywhere really.

wp-1475094556637.jpgWe had another try in Lisbon with me still not feeling on top of it.

20160928_133945.jpgAnd I had to put this photo in of Obivan, the vicious cat. But she is so photogenic compared to me! Final sad good byes to Helena, Shakir and Caueh. Thanks guys, you are an amazing family.

20160928_082444.jpgBye bye Azores and Lisbon and thank you Bettina, I had a blast. Holidays with you any time again….




5 thoughts on “Blog 27 – Azores

  1. Hast Du denn schon genug Sonne getankt für Österreich? Es ist Herbst, wir haben aber noch 23°. Angenehm. Oder tankst Du irgendwo noch weiter auf?


  2. Das war wirklich eine großartige Zeit mit Dir,Ursula Du weltbeste Leisereiterin. Was haben wir alles gesehen, erlebt und vor allem gelacht. Ich freue mich jetzt schon auf den nächsten gemeinsamen Tripp. Da musst Du dann aber wahrscheinlich 69 Std. fliegen und dann ist der Popo erst mal platt. Macht nix, da bleiben wir dann einfach lange genug und dann geht das schon wieder.
    Vermisse Dich und freue mich auf ein Wiedersehen.
    Gaaaaanz lieben Gruß


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