Adventures in the Azores, Part 1

Marty’s son John is currently off on another great adventure — this time in the Azores Islands! John’s girlfriend Steph has family there, and the pair went to visit and explore the islands. Marty’s been getting periodic updates through her phone when the internet connection is good, and we thought that it was time to share some of the fun photos that John has sent back.

John,  Arriving in the Azores

John, shortly after arriving in São Jorge Island

The islands, understandably, are famous for their seafood! There’s also a fair amount of dairy production as well.

Fried Fish, Azores

Fried Sardines for dinner!

Clams, Azores

Shellfish with cheese! Yum!

It’s easy to travel between the islands on ferries, so Steph and John took a boat over to São Miguel Island to visit its famous hot springs.

Hot Springs, San Miguel, Azores

A day well spent at the hot spring on São Miguel Island

With around 70,000 people, Ponta Delgada (“Narrow Point) on São Miguel Island is the largest city in the Azores. You don’t have to go far however, so see some pretty amazing views.

IMG_2786

Just outside Ponta Delgada is a gigantic crater lake called the Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Lake of Seven Cities). There’s an old legend about the lake that tells of a Princess kept in a castle by her jealous father, the King. One day, the Princess’ nurse helped her escape to explore the valleys surrounding the castle, where she met a young shepherd boy. They soon fell in love, and the shepherd decided to ask the King for his daughter’s hand in marriage. When the King refused, the young lovers began to cry, their tears forming a pair of lakes.

John, San Miguel, Azores

John, above the Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Steph, San Miguel, Azores

Steph at the Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Sunrise? San Miguel, Azores

Sunset over São Miguel

Açorianos love to celebrate family gatherings with huge meals. Steph and John have been treated to some pretty incredible spreads in the short time they’ve spent there! On religious holidays the party continues into the street and keeps going all night long.

Family dinner, Azores

Dinner with Steph’s Family

sao jorge azores festival

Cultural Week Festival on São Jorge

cultural festival são miguel

Dancers & Lights in São Miguel

John even got to go spear fishing – here he is with the catch of the day:

fishing in the azores

John, bringing home dinner, Azores

Many traditions in the Azores are similar to those in Portugal and Spain. Here you can see the Azorean version of the running of the bulls! If it gets too close, never fear — just jump in the water! Do you think John’s color choice in swim trunks was a wise one?

Bring on the Bull!

Bring on the Bull!

Pier, São Miguel

açores são miguel costa

View from the coast, Azores

Though Marty and Alisha are thrilled that John has had this opportunity to travel, they both say they miss him a lot and are a bit jealous. He’s not only a son and brother, but an essential part of the Marty Magic Team.  John can set up and break down the booth in record time, is good with the customers plus he’s great fun to have at the shows.  With the Gilroy Garlic Festival coming up, they’re extra envious of his vacation time!

John and Steph get back next Thursday, and we’ll be sure to post more photos and stories once they do. Stay tuned!

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