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?
As are walks! And here you have plenty to enjoy. Many thanks to all of you, for your time and patience.
First up this week is Amanda. Apologies because I missed her link up last week :
And Albert sent me 2 walks, so here’s one of them :
Natalie has switched hosts to WordPress. See what they made of Malta together :
Irene saw something wonderful, and…
Ulli takes us to a fabulous building in Berlin, with a fascinating interior :
I do love a cottage garden, and this one from Jude focuses on some beautiful details :
Drake shows us a railway, and an old fort, on Alderney :
While Alice has a fort from a different era, and bug spray!
Anyone for salad? It’s hot here, so I don’t mind if I do. Thanks, Jackie!
Anyone hankering after cool? Sandra has a few snowy peaks for you :
Cathy continues her personal journey :
While Cheryl always finds somewhere fascinating to take us :
And Susan? Well, she’s trying to shed stereotypes :
A good time had by all? I certainly hope so! See you next week on Jo’s Monday walk.