Thursday, 8 June 2006

Holiday Greetings

a view of the village of Furnas on the island Sao Miguel (Azores)

Finally I have managed to get Internet access to my own laptop and can offer you a first update including photos. We are already staying on the second island as scheduled, which is Pico the one with Portugal's highest mountain. We could only see its peak for some seconds this evening for the first time. The weather is very changable with the clouds usually gathering around the hills at 500 meters. Sunshine at the coastline every day but daily showers, temperature at around 20°c.

The island of Sao Miguel turned out to be quite different to my own expectations. The landscape is not as spectactular as you find it on Madeira or La Palma. Angelika called it "Bavaria in the Atlantic". It's a cultivated, green and rolling countryside, dotted with thousands of cows. There are 130.000 inhabitants on Sao Miguel, and on average every tenth inhabitant owns a cow.

Arriving at the airport and renting your car you wonder about all the paragraphs of assurance one has to sign. After driving the first couple of kilometers you don't wonder any more. People are driving like hell. Once they have left their car they seem to have a really relaxed life but inside their car they are always in a rush.

You can actually state that Europe has arrived on the Azores. They have got every technical equipment, alongside the motorway there are big adverts built up, even for what they call a "Gentlemen's Club". At least thankfully there is not yet McDonalds present but I am sure it will not take long.

"Fumaroles" at Furnas, hot sources of sulfurous water

I will come back to you tomorrow evening with more photos.

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