Friday, 11 May 2018

azores: sete cidades

 One of the main things I had wanted to see in São Miguel, and the Azores in general, was Sete Cidades. If you google Azores, the chances are that pictures of this stunning place pop up. And no wonder, the crater lakes, the volcano, the village and everything in the area is simply gorgeous.

I think the best way to explore São Miguel is probably by renting a car. You can take buses and tours, but having a car would possibly make everything easier, and you could obviously drive by your own schedule. But it's not what we did (not least because I don't drive). And to see Sete Cidades and its blue and green lakes, we went on a bus tour. Unfortunately it was the rainiest and foggiest time during our whole stay at the Azores and we definitely did not see as much as I'd hoped. When we got to the top of the lakes it was absolutely pouring - so much so that I couldn't even see the lakes! So that was a bummer. But I did enjoy all the information the tour provided, and the little stop at Lagoa de Santiago and the little stop at the Sete Cidades parish that's located inside the volcanic crater and seeing the lakes from that point of view (maybe not as spectacular, but worth experiencing nonetheless).

The legend of the origin of the lakes tells of a king and his daughter, the princess, of whom the king was quite possessive (what a shocker). After her mother's death, the princess was only allowed to see and talk to the king and her old nurse, and she was to stay within the castle's grounds. But once she escaped while the king was napping, heard a shepherd playing music and continued going to listen to him without being seen for weeks. Obviously, the shepherd ended up seeing her, they continued seeing each other in secret, fell in love and he asked her to marry him. They went to see the king to ask for his blessing, which he promptly and angrily refused, banished the shepherd and forbade the princess from seeing him. She decided to obey her father, and only saw the shepherd once afterwards to tell him they couldn't meet anymore. They spent the day hugging and crying, and their tears formed the lakes. One is green because the princess's eyes were green and one is blue because the shepherd's eyes were blue. How cute is that, I love stories like this.

I would love to go back to the Azores. To see the other islands, to explore more of São Miguel, to see Sete Cidades again, to take the time and hike in all these beautiful surroundings. I'd basically move to the Azores if that was an option. I really loved it. (And it is actually cheap to fly there from Portugal!) And even though the weather was a bit of a disappointment during this little excursion, the fog did actually make the whole place look quite atmospheric, after all. It didn't hinder my enjoyment and appreciation too much!



Corinne said...

Stunning photos! Love the eerie feel That legend of the lake is so sad! Poor couple!

Corinne x

Laura Jane Atelier said...

It looks amazing there, I love the fog

FashionRadi said...

Love this mist and absolute beauty! The nature is incredible!

Laura Jones said...

Corinne - thank you, doll! and i agree, it is such a beautiful yet sad story! xx

Laura Jane Atelier - me too, hon! xx

FashionRadi - isn't it, sweetie! the azores really are such a stunning place! xx

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