Jo’s Monday walk : Cosmopolitan Horta

Our first ferry ride!  And would you believe it, the day dawned surly and grey?  Sad, maybe, that we were leaving Sáo Jorge for Faial.  In less than 10 minutes Velas receded into the mists, and we were racing alongside of Pico in bright sunshine, trailing clouds behind us.

A brief stop at Sáo Roque, on the northern coast of Pico, confused us a little, but the crew, aware of the limitations of us landlubbers, did a head count before leaving the port.  All present and correct!  Rounding the tip of the island, we whipped across the water, eyes following every movement of the waves.  Somewhere in the depths, we knew, were whales, but no mighty tail breached the water.

Soon we were sailing into the harbour of Horta, legendary in the yachting world, and gaping at the endless shoreline.  Whisking our bags off the conveyor belt, within seconds we were breezing along Avenida 25 de Abril, in radiant sunshine.  Our destination?  Casa Buonvento, a beautifully converted former captain’s house, with a sublime view of the harbour.

Our hosts, Elena and Jerry, were a lovely couple, who took great pride in their beautiful home.  And sometimes Pico joined the party, looming in and out of the clouds like a genial host.  You know the drill by now- quick check in, freshen up, and out onto the streets to see what Horta can offer.

The marina was more fabulous than I had imagined.  I had seen many photos of the artwork along the quay, but they had never done justice to the entirety of the bay spread before me.  With the fortress looking sternly out to sea, it would take a brave pirate to venture thus far.  But of artists, there were many, including one doing a little ‘touching up’. (Hint- there may be one or two July Squares in amongst the blue)

All kinds of humour, and artistry, are represented, and you could easily while away an hour or two, just reading the messages and admiring each craft.  But there’s no time to loiter- we’ve a town to explore!  I always struggle, tearing myself away from boats.

Horta curves around the bay at the southernmost point of the island of Faial, with Monte da Guia jutting proudly into the ocean, protecting her from all comers.  The lovely little bay of Porto Pim nestles close behind.  There are many fine buildings throughout the town, as befits its status as commercial centre of these islands, and the pavements are charmingly enhanced with mosaics.

As so often, I climb to dizzy heights and look back down with satisfaction.  The day was lengthening as we reached the harbour again.  People seemed to be gathering on street corners, and the distant strains of a band reached our ears.  Yet again we had stumbled upon a procession!

Nothing to do but watch it go by.  And then return to the lovely old wood and polished timber floors of Casa Buonvento, where a bottle of Vinho Verde and chocolates awaited us.  And the sun setting on the harbour, at the end of another lovely day.

It’s a special week for the lovely ladies of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, celebrating their first year together.  Tina talks about expanding horizons, friendship and things that are dear to your heart.  Jo’s Monday walks mean all those things to me.  Beautiful islands and boats are meant to be shared, aren’t they?

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As are walks!  And here you have plenty to enjoy.  Many thanks to all of you, for your time and patience.

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First up this week is Amanda.  Apologies because I missed her link up last week :

A Famous Evening Walk – Coolangatta

And Albert sent me 2 walks, so here’s one of them :

Sherwood Homestead (Former) Walk via Blue Range Hut

Natalie has switched hosts to WordPress.  See what they made of Malta together :

Malta Highlights

Irene saw something wonderful, and…

Stayed Awhile

Ulli takes us to a fabulous building in Berlin, with a fascinating interior :

Water for The City

I do love a cottage garden, and this one from Jude focuses on some beautiful details :

A Summer Garden

Drake shows us a railway, and an old fort, on Alderney :

Give way, railway

Abandoned battlefield

While Alice has a fort from a different era, and bug spray!

Civil War Fort

Anyone for salad?  It’s hot here, so I don’t mind if I do.  Thanks, Jackie!

Mixed Salad

Anyone hankering after cool?  Sandra has a few snowy peaks for you :

Dege Peak, Mount Rainier National Park, USA

Cathy continues her personal journey :

(Camino day 24) Villarmentero de Campos to Carrion de los Condos

While Cheryl always finds somewhere fascinating to take us :

The Hidden Delights of Taehwagang Grand Park & Simni Bamboo Grove

And Susan?  Well, she’s trying to shed stereotypes :

Walking Ushuaia, Argentina

A good time had by all?  I certainly hope so!  See you next week on Jo’s Monday walk.

109 comments

  1. Hi Jo! What a wonderful glimpse of Horta. I scrutinized all your photos of the “boat art”, but didn’t recognize any names. We know quite a few people who stopped in the Azores on their way east from the Caribbean, but that was many years ago. Yes, I could spend a couple of hours walking the pier and gazing at this fun art, left by sailors. It would be nice to add our own “signature” one day. But, I would also be delighted when Pico showed its glamorous outlines, or when just staring at that view from your accommodation. Harbors can be magical and views over the water always are!

    1. Shame, Liesbet! I’ll have to go back and try again? 🙂 🙂 Maybe then I’ll get to see into the caldeira, but Elena, who guest house we stayed at, says the weather’s been damp and dreary since we left, so I’m feeling privileged.

  2. Wow, what a place. The pavement art is brilliant, it isn’t something I’ve seen before, not even the odd bit of chalk drawing and it’s so effective. I would have wanted to look each piece. Those whales are illusive, I hope you did see one, but if not there was plenty of loveliness to keep you happy. Your last photo is to die for, the light is fabulous babe x:-)x

    1. Sailing into that bay was fabulous, Gilly, I never imagined the scale of it, and we stayed in a lovely place. Funnily enough Horta was our least favourite place but maybe because it was a huge contrast with little Velas. 🙂 🙂 Love you, hon!

  3. What gorgeous photos of a lovely town. I can see why it was hard for you to tear yourself away from the harbour. I too love the boats – so photogenic.
    Alison

  4. What a wonderful post Jo. Starting with a cruise and then that amazing harbour. Never seen anything like that ever. Love harbours and marinas, so much colour and things to see. Great photos.

  5. Impressive photos – your adventure was fascinating for me to admire through each photo you shared. I would have a hard time drawing myself away from all the artwork too. But, as you said, there was much more to discover. Thank you for sharing your walk. I enjoyed being a virtual passenger on your trip!

    1. I don’t do well with too much heat, though I do love a bit of sun and blue skies. People keep saying this hasn’t been a very warm summer yet in the Algarve but it’s more than warm enough for me. Thanks a lot 😍⛅⛵🌊💕

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