First Impressions of the Azores & the return to Europe

From outside the Azores seem like just some small Islands, but if you’ve visited them, you know it is a lot more. For us the first impressions were very interesting. Seeing the harbour of Horta with its huge amount of logos of other sailors, who have placed it there when they visited the Azores as a sign of their Atlantic crossing, of course we tried to look at every single logo and get to know the different journeys everyone did time ago. We even found some old logos of KUS from different years like 14/15, 18/19 or even older paintings.

Then when we got out of the harbour the first time on our trip into the city, we all were very impressed by the fabulous architecture. It looked like you did a time travel into the 15th Century, which probably also is the time the buildings were created. In Horta, you first get to know some of the most popular areas. One of the main places of course is the famous “Peter Café Sport”. In the main building of the café you get some impressions of who visited the island before, with a lot of flags and paintings hanging from the walls and across the whole rooms. They also have delicious food there. So, we spent at least one evening drinking hot chocolate and eating their “sailors’ cake”, a chocolate cake with chocolate sauce on top (Yes, I know it’s not enough chocolate). The second thing we did was walking into the biggest supermarket we could find. The never-ending shelves of European products stunned us… but just for two seconds. After that we immediately started to buy up the whole sweets corner. We’re all just humans.

On one day, I and some others had the luck to get to know a bit of the outer regions of Faial: We went collecting litter out of a dry river bed. I was really impressed of the green and the rural landscape with just some small houses of traditional architecture and some huge pastures for cows, that are surprisingly one of the biggest group of inhabitants on the islands. So, it was very nice seeing real green nature again after almost a month on a steel ship with 50 people in the middle of a blue ocean. On another day we went up a huge mountain, the “Pico” on an island with the same name near Faial and you could really see that it is totally different there than for example on the Pico do Fogo: It was a lot greener, even on the top, and it was colder. I was feeling like if everything on my body was just suddenly freezing.

Of course, being back in Europe also has a lot of other nice things, like paying with Euros and not with US-Dollars or Escudos. It is also a feeling of being home even if Germany is still thousands of miles away, yet you are in a European country where you have a European lifestyle, languages and products. For me it is like being back in Europe, it feels like a strong contrast between the Azores and Dominica: The landscape doesn’t look like the densest rainforest anymore and green grass and oak trees are everywhere now. The houses are not broken because of a hurricane and it is not raining every 5 minutes. But there aren’t that much people sitting in the street and greeting you, and there are also no fruit merchants in the street who give you sweet and fresh fruits for almost no money. And of course, the climate changes from being warm and dry to being cold and windy like I’ve already said, but I think we all have to get used to this again, because back in Germany it is cold, too. But even though we don’t have all the things anymore, there are other things to be happy about and I’m really looking forward to our land excursion on an island called Pico and really hope to get to know more about these beautiful islands.