Sunday, 2 April 2017

Santa Maria island - The Azores - strolling around on the way to and back from Vila do Porto - The 30th of March 2017

Despite being tired I decided to walk to the city centre, once the flight back to Lisbon wasn't but in the evening and the day looked bright and shiny.

I took a road I had never taken before and which seemed to be as straight as the one paralell to it and to my surprise came across a church, which I unfortunately didn't manage to visit, as it was closed.

Upon having reached one of the main roads leading to the centre I couldn't help admiring the magnificent cottages lining it and wondering what a difference did it make living on an island and a clustered city like Lisbon.

The 1607 Convent of São Francisco,  comprising one of the oldest churches and convents of the island, now housing Vila do Porto townhall stood there right in the middle of a pedestrian square, whose information panel displayed the important role it played in the 17th century before the Algerian privateers ravaged the island, making a number of people captive.

After having visited its rather small yet interesting church I ventured into the cloisters with the different Townhall departments surrounding it.

I kept on walking down towards the fortress of São Braz, having come across another church and several quite interesting  19th century water fountains, which are still well preserved. Some of the old restored mansion houses were equally worth noting, especially because they contributed towards the whole arquitectural ensemble of the old village.

I sat on the fortress overlooking the Atlantic for a while and wondered what it must have been like to fight off the privateers that often invaded the island, particularly after having read some of the incredibly inspiring legends related to some of those invasions.

On the way back to the hotel I stopped at a restaurant in order to have lunch and regain my physical strength.

It was extremelly hot thus making my strolling adventure harder, but the sight of the old tin houses, the former Airports and Air Navigation Club and Cinema brought back a not too distant past which made me inevitably travel back in time and it was as if I was not walking there and then, but revisiting memories of the past.  

When I got back to the hotel it was still too early to head to the aiport in order to check-in so I sat in its interior garden reading till it was time to board.

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