Ponta Delgada, in the Azores

Ponta Delgada was the last port of our fall cruise.  It’s located on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores.  The Azores are a group of extinct volcano islands, an archipelago, belonging to Portugal.  They are almost a third of the way across the Atlantic.

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It was a Sunday and  many places were closed but we took a nice walk around the small town. 

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This is the Portas da Cidade, the historical entrance to Ponta Delgada.

The small Fort Sao Bras is right on the water.  This is still an active military base.

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Looking back across the waterfront from the fort to our ship.

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DSC04197 C St Joseph

No shops were open but some churches were.  This is St Joseph’s.

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DSC04207 C Convent Our Lady of Hope

The Convent of Our Lady of Hope

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Impressive blue tiles in the chapel.

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This small church was not in use.

We knew we were in Portugal because of the tiled streets!

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A few cafés were open but you can see it was pretty quiet here.

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DSC04243 C Look who we spied in a window.

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Good bye to Ponta Delgado.  Next stop – the U.S.A.

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El Puerto de Santa Maria and Cadiz, Spain

Our ship docked in Cadiz, Spain.  We spent a day in Cadiz on another cruise so this time we hopped on a ferry to cross the bay and visit El Puerto de Santa Maria.  Columbus sailed from this port on his second voyage to the Americas.

The town is smaller than Cadiz and is very easy to walk.  Not many tourists come here so it was a relaxing day.

The most interesting site is the Castle of San Marcos.  Built as a fortified church in the mid 1300s, it was constructed over the remains of a 10th-century Islamic mosque.

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Alfonso X of Castile ordered the building of the castle.

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You can definitely see the Islamic influence inside.

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At the end of the tour there was sherry tasting.  The Caballero winery is right next door and is part of the castle tour!  We met an English family on the tour and spent an interesting half hour drinking sherry and sharing travel stories.

Then, well fortified, we set off to walk around the town to see the other sites.

This is the Fuente de las Galeras.  Boats heading for South America would pick up water provisions here.

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DSC04070 C  DSC04077 C Iglesia Mayor Prioral

Iglesia Mayor Prioral (the Priory Church) was built in the 1400s and rebuilt after an earthquake in the 1600s.

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DSC04089 C Plaza Espana  Plaza de Espana

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For lunch we tried another potato dish, this time with an aioli sauce.

Wandering through town we peeked into lots of interesting doorways.  These are very similar to what we’ve seen in Portugal, which is not very far from here.

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We walked through the marcado (the city market) and stopped in to a kitschy bar.

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This is the local bullring, Plaza de Toros, built in 1880.

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DSC04108 C Palacio de Aranibar

Palacio de Aranibar is the mansion of a merchant trader to the Indies.  Now it’s the tourist information office.

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After the ferry back to Cadiz we had time for a short walk before we boarded our ship.

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It was fun to see some familiar sites.  Click Cadiz, Spain to see pictures from our first visit here. 

 

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