Monday, May 21, 2012

Angra do Heroísmo

On Friday, Grandma and I went to Angra, the largest city on the island.  We took the bus from Vila Nova to the city, which is how the family has always gone, including my mom and her siblings when they were little, although they went rarely. Angra is an interesting mix of South American, Central American and Oriental influence, with many things brought to the city on voyages back to Portugal.  What a gorgeous place-the first European port city established in the Atlantic during the voyages that resulted in the "discovery" of the New World.

We headed to the public garden first, which was one of my favorite things about the city.  It has lots of labeled tropical plants imported from exotic cities in the New World during the times of exploration.

Many buildings looked like they were taken straight from Bourbon Street.  This was the cutest one-I have always wanted a red door.

Below is the cathedral, and then the view from its doors.

This one's certainly good for a laugh.  I found this cucumber at the market and Grandma was nice enough to humor me for this photo.

Here's some more shots of the city, one taken from high above, looking down on the main street, and the second is of the harbor.


We ate a belated Mother's Day lunch at the Hotel Beira Mar Restaurant, where my mom said she remembered eating once.  I had my usual espresso after lunch, which Grandma is certain is bad for me.  This is funny for two reasons.  One, she always orders a galou, which is just a shot of espresso plus steamed milk, so she's consuming the same amount of espresso as I.  Two, whenever we get coffee, she's torn between concern for my health and Portuguese hospitality, so usually after she cringes at the harm I'm doing to myself drinking it, she'll offer me another, since one is just so small. 

They delivered our check in an adorable treasure chest filled with golden chocolates, which I returned to them with something much more valuable inside-money.

We popped into a few stores, and Grandma bought me a cute pair of earrings with rock from Terceira's volcano wrapped inside the silver design.  Finally, with one hour left before the bus, I walked through the garden and up a ton of steps to the Outeiro da Memoria Monument with a beautiful view out over the city and the ocean. 


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