When I told people that I would be going to the Azores for two weeks in September, I got asked “Where are the Azores?” so many times that I gave up and started saying that I was going to Portugal. While it is the truth, it doesn’t really tell the whole story.
So where are the Azores? They are a chain of nine volcanic islands located smack in the middle of the North Atlantic at the intersection of three tectonic plates. When you think of islands in the middle of the ocean you naturally think of tropical, palm tree covered islands, but the Azores are situated farther north and have a nice, mild climate with stunningly lush, green fauna.
The islands are an autonomous region of Portugal, so I got to give my elementary Portuguese a try for the first time in a Portuguese speaking country. After trying to chat with a few cab drivers and security guards, I decided that the local dialect was unintelligible, but I still think some people were able to understand my broken Portuguese with Spanish sprinkled in.
I had heard of the Azores before I knew that I would be going on this trip, but it never occurred to me as a destination that I would ever be able to actually go to.
I had done a little research and seen pictures, but arriving to the Azores exceeded my greatest expectations. The Azores are a little paradise of sorts.
Lava rock abruptly juts out of the ocean and rises thousands of feet to the peaks of volcano craters that are filled with extraordinarily blue lakes. The scenery was amazing to say the least.
Despite all of the enticing things to do and sites to see, I had come to the Azores to work a surf contest and not just any surf contest, the biggest junior surfing contest…ever, as far as I know. So while you look through these photos, you may imagine leisurely days exploring the island, but think of it more as intense bursts of photos when I got a chance to momentarily stop checking emails, making phone calls and writing press releases. Hope you enjoy.
In conclusion, my trip to the Azores felt like an eternity with all of the work I had to do, yet at the same time it was too short and I saw too little of the island. But then again, I guess the other option would have been working in the office in San Diego and not seeing any of this, so it’s better than nothing. If anything, it’s given me a taste of the beauty of these islands and more than enough reasons to go back. Até mais Açores.