When you travel around the world as a European, you can see traces of European countries in every other continent. It is sometimes amazing to realize, taking into account the current size of the country, how much territory was actually under its control just a few hundred years ago. Of all the former colonial powers, it has always struck me that Portugal still struggles with its current status of a smaller nation. It gives me a sensation of melancholy, of looking back in the glorious past, instead of looking defiantly to the future with all its opportunities. I definitely noticed this in Lisbon, and I was curious enough to travel to the outlying Azores islands.
After having visited former Portuguese countries in South America and Asia, it is certainly surprising to see to which extent the former colonial power had been able to leave its traces in the country. To me, it seems that the Portuguese have done an even "better" job than others in this respect. And I must say, that most of the things they left behind were beautiful churches, typical tiles, romatically laid out street patterns, ingenuously designed boulevards.
Apart from the cultural sights, the Azores also are just beautiful islands for the nature lovers. Inevitably volcanic in origin, it has steep slopes rising out of the sea, rough coasts where waves try to smash the hard rock, apparently innocent lakes in what have been craters of furious volcans, and the feeling of isolation which any (small) island can leave you.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Azores (Portugal). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Azores.
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