"After Barcelona, I wanted to shed my city skin, wander somewhere remote and maybe even get a little scared. The Azores beckoned."
Amongst my most unusual destinations, I was originally intrigued by the Azores by its location, size and the fact that Delta airlines would be introducing non-stop flights there from New York. An easy 4 hour flight later, I landed in the early morning with the island still in darkness.
It was hard to tell at the time but the flora in this part of the world is just amazing. Flowers in colors I've never seen before dotted the island effortlessly and the white washed buildings made the colors even more striking. The busy port city of Sao Miguel is lively during the day when cruise ships pull into its port and day trippers fill the streets and cafes. It reminded me of port cities like Santo Domingo and Grand Cayman.
Outside Sao Miguel, the island comes alive with green. Nested in the hills is the town of Sete Cidades. Much more laid back lifestyle here, where the population of cows outnumber people.
The Abandoned Hotel at Sete Cidades
Tucked in a hillside is an abandoned hotel in Sete Cidades. From what I understand, it inaugurated as a 5 star hotel that never took off, partly because of how remote its location is. Eventually the premise was abandoned and left for dead.
Though signs warn you not to trespass, there was nothing stopping you from doing so and although the property does have large areas of broken glass it was relatively safe to visit. The highlight of wandering through the property was climbing to the roof, where the view over Sete Cidades was breathtaking.
Lagoa de Fogo
On the way back from the abandoned hotel we continued to climb to the peak of the mountain. Nested amongst the foliage is Lagoa de Fogo, which translates to Lake of Fire. It would have been fun to actually go down there but we were on a tight schedule. I've never quite seen a lake so blue.