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Entries about islands

Portugal Day 12: Food From a Volcão

semi-overcast 75 °F

Today we set off on our tour around São Miguel. Our group separated into two vans, with younger people in one and older people in the other. Our driver, Paulo, was a police officer who leads tours in his free time. The other driver, Igor, lived in England for some time but was from the Azores.
Our first stop was Cerâmica Viera, in Lagoa. Catherine loves the blue Portuguese tiles and pottery, so we had a great time touring the various rooms, including the painting and the sculpting areas. She decided to a purchase plate with a hydrangea on it, although we also thought about getting a piece of religious artwork out of tile like almost all of the houses here seem to have.
More of the beautiful scenery as we drove around.
Tobacco cultivation. They grow tobacco and make cigarettes with it on São Miguel. Smoking seems to be very popular.
More scenery.
We stopped at a little beach area, where there was a swimming pool filled by the ocean water.
There were fishing boats coming in. Every boat seems to have a religiously themed name and a small image on the bow.
More scenery.
We went to Nossa Senhora da Paz chapel, where apparently some shepherd children saw an image of the Virgin Mary. We hadn’t really heard much about the miracle, but it was a beautiful church.
As you walk up the steps, every landing has a tile image of a different mystery of the rosary, starting with the joyful mysteries.


The Annunciation.
The Visitation.
The Nativity.
The Presentation in the Temple.
The Finding in the Temple.
Then the Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony in the Garden
The Flogging at the Pillar.
The Crowning with Thorns.
The Carrying of the Cross.
The Crucifixion.
Some pictures of the chapel and from the chapel. It was a beautiful place. The staircase appears to have been build in the 1960s, but the church is older. We did wonder where the Glorious Mysteries could be found, and then we found them behind the church.
The Resurrection.
The Ascension.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit.
The Assumption.
The Crowning of Mary.
After this, we went to Lagoa das Furnas, where there were beautiful gardens around the lake.
The Capela de Nossa Senhora das Vitórias, apparently built after the owner of the property prayed for his wife to get better when she was sick. She lived, so he built the chapel.
Around the lake. The Azores feel like Hawaii mixed with the Pacific Northwest.
The geothermal cooking pots where they make cozido das Furnas.
A beautiful picnic of volcano-cooked food for us. One of the ingredients, morcela (black pudding) was familiar to Anthony and his brothers from their childhoods.
Next we stopped at some volcanic hot springs. There was a beautiful garden near the hot springs.
Taro, or inhames as it is called here. It is a very common food, and was an ingredient in the cozido.
More of the garden.
The springs are very warm, and are a very different experience from most swimmimg. They are murky and sort of intimidating, but rather pleasant once you get in.
Some refreshments and a picture of the gardens.
We stopped at one last viewing place to take some pictures and see the beauty of the ocean and the island.
Catherine’s cousin Nicole wanted Italian food, which sounded good to us too. We walked down to the marina area and found a restaurant with Italian, Japanese, and Azorean food. After we ate, we met up with Ryan, Michael, and a person named Dominic, who is the nephew of Anthony’s cousin Don Santos. We walked to a place called Doris Bar. We had a couple local beers (there’s an Azorean beer called Especial) and tremoços (lupin beans). Dominic talked about his adventures in Terceira last year, when he ran with the bulls during the festa (on the television screen at the bar there were “highlights” of bullfighting and bull running disasters). It was a very fun night and we had a great time, and feel so lucky to be here in these beautiful islands

Posted by danielcatherine 07:23 Archived in Portugal Tagged islands volcano beautiful beauty pottery bulls rosary tile cozido são_miguel tremoços taro inhames Comments (0)

Ireland Day 9: Patrick's Footsteps

sunny 80 °F

Croagh Patrick is probably the most climbed mountain in Ireland: according to legend, it is where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. There is an annual pilgrimage on "Reek Sunday" (a "reek" is a mountain), which is in July. People climb it at other times as well, particularly in the summer. Since we were heading to Galway, and Croagh Patrick was so close to us, we decided to try to climb it. Daniel's parents had tried to climb it when they were here, but had not finished the climb. Thus, we were prepared to only go so far.D386910EDDF5E69DA47E171996245A54.jpegD397747DFD80EF89208FD4BCBBA5FE7E.jpeg90_D3AFD373C7E7141FD01EF774363B9737.jpeg90_D3BCA456E6D0CC2E8D0178D9D8A3DC0F.jpeg90_D3C9AF8CEBF0A0E761CFAEB531CCF97A.jpeg
Some pictures of the low part of the trail. There is a beautiful stream that runs down the side of the mountain, and the path at this point is mostly rock and dirt.
When we had climbed some of the way, Catherine started to feel like she needed to turn back. We had a discussion about what we should do, and she said she wanted Daniel to climb the rest of the way if he wanted to. She said she would go back to the visitors' center and wait, read a book, etc. Daniel continued on his own.
Daniel: I will write this part in my own voice since Catherine wasn't with me for most of the climb. The pictures show some of the beautiful scenery from the climb towards the ridge. It was actually a very warm day: the warmest of the year, and fairly sunny. In some ways it was a perfect day to climb, but it was uncomfortably hot. Catherine is actually in some of these pictures, making her way down as I climbed. I can't find her in them but I know she would have to be.
One of the cairns along the way. There are prayers that are traditionally said at these "stations."
More views from the mountain.
People seem to have climbed down to write messages using rocks around the pond here. Many messages are unclear, as if people have removed stones from them. I didn't see anyone climbing down to add messages, either.
There are a couple of small buildings with toilets and sinks. They aren't particularly clean but it is good they are there.
Some more views of the climb.
Some graffiti on the rocks. Advice, encouragement, and Eastern European rivalries.
I took this picture with my camera exactly at eye level facing forwards. It shows how steep the climb is at this point. This is the cone, the final part of the climb.
A glorious moment: my first glimpse of the chapel on top of the mountain. I was there!
St. Patrick's bed and a cairn. Both have many small objects (rosaries, crosses, ribbons, etc) that people have left.
There is such an incredible view from the top of the mountain: I am very glad I decided to go to the top. It is beautiful in every direction, and there is a great sense of accomplishment.
The beautiful chapel at the top, where I lit a candle for a variety of intentions.
I have to prove I was there, and didn't just download these pictures online.
This appears to be some prayers in Cyrillic writing. Perhaps the Russians that graffitied the rock? It is nice to see the wide diversity of people who come here.
More pictures of the church, including another selfie.
And another.
I took this picture accidentally, but it was a good picture to show what the trail is like.
From the path going down.
I took this picture also at eye level straight up and down. It shows how steep the path is.
As I went down it seemed both easier and harder. It was quicker, but more painful and more frustrating. It truly is a "whole different muscle group."
Back to the statue.
Catherine had waited at the visitors' center while I climbed. She purchased a book about the 1916 Easter Rising and learned some Irish history. At one point, a man came down from the mountain bruised and bloody. Is frightened Catherine, so when she saw me she was very happy. We took this picture of us with the mountain in the background. I bought an "I Climbed Croagh Patrick" T-shirt, and thought about buying the one that said "'I Climbed' Croagh Patrick" for Catherine. I was happy to have achieved it, but exhausted from having done such a long climb.
Both:A delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Westport.
We drove through Connemara on our way to Galway. It was getting dark so we didn't take many pictures. However, when Daniel was studying in Ireland eleven years ago he took a picture in Connemara that was published in a magazine called Dappled Things. The picture is called A Connmara Landscape and is one of the first Google Image results for "Connemara landscape."
Killary Fjord, the only fjord in the Republic of Ireland. It is a beautiful spot and we took several pictures even though it was starting to get dark. From there we went to Galway.

Note to Readers: we are now back in California, where we have our own internet connection. It was often hard to blog from Ireland as we would get in late, and also sometimes have spotty internet coverage when staying in rural locations. We plan to finish the blog, as we have pictures from each day and would love to share them with all of you. We also use this blog as a kind of photo album, and often use it to show people what we saw on our trips. Stay tuned for updates: we should be posting one or two posts per day.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:00 Archived in Ireland Tagged islands history statue views book stones climb chapel fjord shirt connemara westport saint_patrick 1916 croagh_patrick reek killary a_connemara_landscape Comments (2)

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