We were ready for another adventure, this time – for the wild Azores. The day we came there scored high in my ” best travel days”. I am trying to find an appropriate word to describe that day, and the word that keeps popping in my brain is “smooth“, so we’ll have to go with that.
A flight was a special experience itself. I am a person who still tries to find some romance in flying and all that airport jungle, but for the last couple of years this is really tough. I hate how mass tourism made whole flying experience like a bus ride, just with a lot more security. I hate being treated like a cattle in the security lines and during boarding. I actually hate everything about that, but still occasionally book with cheap airlines like Ryanair, Easyjet etc., who play a big role in that “cattle” system. Thankfully – this flight was everything I haven’t felt for a long time when flying.
We flew with a domestic Azorean airline, it was my first time flying with a propeller plane ( Dash Q-400) and I admit I was a bit sceptical at first, but it turned out to be great. The main thing that made the whole experience so lovely was the atmosphere – starting at the airport. No “cattle” system (haha), a person who boarded us did not give that “okay just another 100 passengers we have to board successfully ” or “I am so over it” attitude. This continued on the plane. We flew with an open cockpit door !! (which was a thing I was sure I will never experience again). The atmosphere on the plane was so relaxed, the pilot came out of the cockpit for a few times, greeted some passengers he must have known, and chatted with everyone. There were mostly Portuguese passengers on board, not many tourists.
As we landed the weather was bad – severe rain and winds. As soon as I saw clouds thickening, I knew we were up for a bumpy landing. Azores are known for unpredictable weather and are one of the trickiest places to land/take off. We were told current winds reached 70km/h, but pilots brought the plane down really smoothly.
As soon as we collected our bags we rented a car and drove to the other side of the island (where we stayed). Airport is on the southern part of the island and as I mentioned before the weather conditions were bad. As we drove towards the island’s hinterland a very thick fog hit us. At one point it was so bad we barely kept track of the road. Suddenly the fog dissapeared and we finally had our first real glimpse of the island’s nature. We were surrounded by vividly green hills and trees. It was so beautiful.
The weather was sunny in the northern part of the island. We have finally reached our destination. I will never forget the moment we stepped out of the car and looked around. I ran towards the cliffs and just stared at the ocean and wild coast for a while. It was so raw, so beautiful. There was no one around, just cliffs, greenery and ocean crushing against the rocks. It is always hard to explain what happens in our heads when we are experiencing something special. It’s hard to verbalise and break down all the emotions. Now as I write this I can recall the exact feeling – aaaah!
Azores are pretty special destination. If you don’t like spending a lot of time in nature, it’s probably not for you. Also if you don’t want to experience a lot of bad weather, rain and strong winds while on vacation, I suggest you to think twice. The nature here is raw, there are no tourist resorts, many bars, restaurants etc.
Yes the nature is stunning, but vividly green nature usually means a lot of rain. The best advice I can give you what to pack for Azores are 3 things: waterproof jacket + trousers and waterproof shoes (and keep that in your backpack at all times!) If we hadn’t had those, we’d get soaking wet at least 3-times a day and would ran out of clothes the second day haha.
This place will always be very special to us. Azores are a place where we got engaged. I know I have not shared anything other than that yet, because I keep my private life very separated from social media, but I have recieved a few requests to do a blog post about the engagement. I can’t say I haven’t hesitated for a while whether to do it or not, but I have decided I will. I figured I can share only what I want to and still keep some parts private and that’s how I will do it. So one of the following posts will probably be about that. Until then enjoy the beautiful autumn weather while it lasts.