During Thanksgiving, Ryan and I took a week off to do some traveling. We hit 3 main destinations, with the Azores being our first stop. Upon arrival back home in Hawaii, I inserted my SDHC card into my Mac and it was corrupted. No pictures. Nothing. I was just looking at them on my Canon, and now they were gone. I barely took photos with my iPhone, so I literally came home empty handed. I don’t ever even buy myself souvenirs from the places I go; all I want are my photos to remember the trip. After a literal meltdown, I messaged my brother to see if by some miracle he could program something to recover these. He seemed fairly confident that it could be done, so all I needed was to get the memory card to him.
Fast forward to Christmas Day, and after a surprise visit home, the vast majority of my pictures were recovered from the corrupted memory card, in less than 20 minutes too! Seriously, thank god for genius older brothers. ❤
So, the first official stop on the Mega Trip 2016 was the Azores. Little known to most Americans (at least me) the Azores is a mirror image of our own Hawaiian islands, right in the middle of the Atlantic, sans the tropical climate. A wonderful place for whale watching in the springtime and canyoning in the summer, the Azores have quite a bit to offer. There are non-stops from Boston and Oakland on Azores Airlines and most of the time, the prices are incredibly reasonable. Like, $465 RT reasonable.
We only had a day on the island, and the first half was unfortunately spent sleeping as we flew ahead 9 time zones in a little less than a day. We were #blessed with wonderful weather (it can get quite rainy this time of year.)
It’s recommended to rent a car there, as there really isn’t public transportation. A few warnings:
- All car rentals in Europe are standard transmission. Not an issue here (thanks Dad/Chris/Cody) but for some this can be quite the struggle (…or entertaining for everyone but the driver.)
- Portuguese are INSANE drivers. So fast and aggressive. Perhaps I’m used to how slow Hawaiians drive now, but my oh my was I overwhelmed.
- Blind turns everywhere. Almost smashed into a lorry coming around a corner. Thank god for defensive driving lessons.
Most of the main island (São Miguel) can be seen in a few days, and there are flights between the other islands as well. This place is absolutely incredible, and I encourage everyone to take this destination into consideration when planning a vacation!