Unknown destination

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I had ever heard of Ponta Delgada until we had booked our transatlantic cruise, and in my ignorance, I thought this “island” (belonging to Portugal) was just off the Portuguese coast. Ah well it just goes to show that travel really does broaden the mind.

Ponta Delgada

Firstly, the island itself is called São Miguel (known locally as “The Green Island” for its lush vegetation), and “Ponta Delgada” is its largest city.

Secondly, it is situated some 1430 km west of the coast of Portugal (which is further than Hawaii is from California).

And thirdly (just as a point of interest) São Miguel (at 745 sq. km) is the largest island of the Azores archipelago comprising of nine volcanic islands.

Who knew?

What I do know is that we had a lovely day there, despite the fact that the little tourist train we hopped on (at 5 euros) to save Tony walking up to the gardens I wanted to see took us on a totally different route, and, cramped in a tiny compartment with two giant Americans, riding down narrow streets we could hardly see a thing!

Nevermind. We had much more success on foot, walking through the Antonio Borges gardens (Jardim Antonio Borges)…

Jardim Antonio Borges

Antonio Borges garden

(ironically the tourist train followed us in!)

Tourist train Ponta Delgada

and in the grounds of the striking Sant’Ana Palace (have your photo ID and 2 euros ready on entry to this presedential palace).

Sant'Ana Palace

The gardens of the presendential palace Ponta Delgada

Lake in the gardens of Sant'Ana Palace

Closer to port, just beyond the historic city gates…

The city gates

you will see the bell tower…

Matriz Church and clocktower

of the main church (Igreja Matriz)…

Matriz Church

and the cafe opposite…

Cafe opposite Matriz church

is the perfect spot to take in the atmosphere of this quaint city, with its mosaic pavements…

Mosaic pavements

and distinctive brown and white architecture.

Typical brown and white buildings and mosaic pavements

It’s certainly worth mentioning the free wi-fi available at the Solmar Avenida Center almost directly opposite the port (a welcome opportunity for cruise-goers to catch up on cyberspace – the onboard wi-fi at US$35 per hour was, for us, cost prohibitive).

Cross here for Solmar Avenida Centre

But don’t get too caught up and miss out on exploring a little of what Ponta Delgada has to offer, whether you just wander off the ship as we did, or go further afield on an organised tour.

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About frenchfry36

South African by birth, British by right, Australian by oath, French by choice.
This entry was posted in Travel, World travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Unknown destination

  1. latonewyork says:

    It just looks so beautiful and I can’t get over the amazing paving on all the streets and roads. You must be having a wonderful time. Hope Tony’s leg is improving. Looking forward to your next post as always.

  2. frenchfry36 says:

    It was truly delightful and I just love getting to see places that have unique features like Ponta Delgada’s mozaic paving.

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