Portuguese first came here around 1450, founded as a village on May 29, 1507.
900 miles west of Lisbon with a population of 250,000.
There is a new pier building where we pull up right beside. Once off the ship you are within walking distance of the town. The terminal has lots of shops and restaurants.
|inside the terminal|
This area is known for their cheese, wine, pineapples, tea, jewelry and cork.
We did a tour of the island last year with a great guide - read about it here.
We strolled down Rua Ernesto do Canto to check out the market. It is a Saturday so the market is very busy but take note the stores close around 1300 today.
I wanted to check out the small mall that was mentioned in the port lecture to see what was there and if it is worth reporting. Well put it this way I have written too much about it already. Skip it.
We stop at a small coffee shop and enjoy our coffees and some local pastries.
Strolling along the water we head to the Campo San Francisco - a large square with lots of places to see around it.
The town gates and immigration monument are very impressive.
The beautiful Convent and Church of Our Lady of Hope doesn't look like much from the outside but boy is it ever worth a visit inside.
I had heard great things about the Fort Sao Bras and the Military Museum. At a cost of 3E (note closed for lunch) it is well worth a visit. The views alone are quite impressive.
It is now around 1330 and the stores have closed but the streets are busy with people (tourists and locals).
We stop at a restaurant away from the main tourist sites and enjoy the daily special which we share and start with a cheese/meat plate to enjoy with our wine.
Make sure you dress appropriately if going into a church. I noticed the drivers here were very good and will stop for pedestrians (not like this in many European cities we visited). It is hard walking if you have mobility issues due to the cobblestones, which are uneven and some steep hills.
We make our way back to the ship mid afternoon after a long day. It is a lovely day and there is what looks like a triathlon (or some kind of race) happening at the public space of the port building.
I like that the port building here is used by the locals too. The restaurants and shops are busy and a large sitting area outside makes it quite festive.
Back on board we take note that the Atrium is all decorated for Oktoberfest. Tonight there are all kinds of events planned -- games, dances and lots more. Also the German buffet is happening so you know where we will be.