Ponta Delgada isn’t especially grand, as capital cities go.  In fact, my initial impression was that it was rather shabby.  But it is the gateway to an archipelago that captured my imagination long ago.  The Azores for me were the fulfilment of a dream.




Sitting in mid-Atlantic, this group of 9 volcanic islands seemed to me a world apart, and yet so much of their architecture felt familiar.  They are, after all, Portuguese islands.  Ponta Delgada, situated on the largest island, Sáo Miguel, is their administrative capital.  Funnily enough (history is a strange thing) the religious capital of the islands is Angra on Terceira, and the legislative process operates from Horta on Faial.


It was pure coincidence that we arrived on the island in the midst of their greatest religious festival, in May.  Ponta Delgada is the traditional centre of Festa de Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, and the Campo de Sáo Francisco and surrounding streets were decked in all their finery.






The Convent of Nossa Senhora da Esperanca is extraordinary both inside and out, especially by night when the whole square radiates light.  From its origins as a small fishing village to the cosmopolitan city that it now is, Ponta Delgada retains something of the charm of these magical islands.

It takes a special person to induce me to delve into my archives.  Viveka is making a guest appearance hostessing Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week.  Few people are more well-traveled than my lovely and generous friend, but I don’t think she has been to this particular Capital.  Thanks for taking me back, darlin’.  I enjoyed every second!

 

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