Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AZORES VACATION - Travel, jet lag, Hotel do Caracol, and Angra Do Heroism

Trip of a LIFETIME!
Oh my goodness we had such an incredible time.
I want to break up these postings by day but I'm combining pictures from 4 different cameras (Taylor, mine, Trav's, and our guides from canyoning). Anyway things have gotten a little jumbled up so I'm breaking it up into days but this first posting is day one combined with all our explorations of the beautiful city Angra do Heroism. We walked to the city every day so pictures of it are scattered throughout the week but I'm going to put most in this post entitled.
DAY 1 and DAY 2
Day one was a full fledged day of TRAVEL.  On Thursday March 23rd we got up and got to the airport in Salt Lake City at 6 am.  It was so exciting to see everyone, we all met up in Boston. It wasn't until the following day at 6 am that we go to the Azores. Well it was 6 am their time and 12 am our time. We had some jet lag that we had to get over that first day. I fell asleep on the coach when we went out to lunch, I would have gone to our hotel to sleep but we had to wait a few hours until our rooms were readied.

Our hotel

View from our room

There was this tower with a winding path that went up and around it on the hotel grounds. It was all so beautiful. We made plans with a tour group and set up 5 excursions/tours to do while we were there (on top of the canyoning and repelling down waterfalls tour).

After a nap and a shower I felt like a new person, ready to get out and explore the city Angra do Heroism.

 Walking into the city from our hotel.

There would be dogs on the gates of some homes, basking in the sunlight or guarding their homes?

They had so many beautiful cathedrals throughout the city that were incredible to see. The art work and craftsman ship were so impressive and huge.

They have this beautiful castle fortress on the hill next to our hotel, the King still stays there when he comes to visit. They have these handmade stone walls everywhere, mainly in the fields and pastures that cover the island. 

 They have so many cafes and so many yummy pastries, we had to get down to business and try them right away.

A view of the beautiful city.

 We stopped here numerous times to get money and have it exchanged to Euros.

The houses are colorful and our guide told us later that the color around the windows and doors represents a saint (this yellow color represents Saint Peter) and the color or the doors represents the year the building was first constructed.
 The streets were cobblestone and so narrow. The side walks had such pretty patterns along it that were hand laid.

They had this gorgeous garden there that you could walk around and the garden went all the way up the hill.

I've never seen a fig tree before, those are figs.

Our awesome tour guides showed us around the town and some of their favorite restaurants and we decided to try out the Pirate Restaurant. It was pretty unanimous that it was everyone's favorite, we went here a few different times. 
This is just outside the restaurant.

I think everyone thought whatever they ordered was the best, everything was delicious.

They have some type of potato (served in such different ways) with every dish and often a fried egg as well. They have exceptional steak here, they call it happy cow (I'll explain why later).

 Gorgeous walk home.

Strong start for our first day! EEEK I love reliving all this looking at all these pictures.