Do More In Azores, The Top Vacation Spot On Your Bucket List

Do More In Azores, The Top Vacation Spot On Your Bucket List

Most people here seem to know English, though Portuguese is the main language spoken, so don't shy away in fear of a language barrier.

95
views

Crystal clear ocean views, clean fresh air, and delicious seafood. These are three things I am enjoying while typing this article right now. Where might you find these things? Why, only in the beautiful islands known as the Azores. These nine islands are not well-known by the general population, but I have realized that this is something that needs to change.

After landing in the Azores, I was able to enjoy the views of Lagoa do Fogo, which is now a lake which was formed by a volcano. The hike to the top was not as fun as scaling the way down, but at both points the views were amazing. Next stop was a visit to Europe's only tea plantation, Cha Gorreana. Here, I was able to walk through the step-by-step process of making tea from the leaves growing outside. At the end of the tour, they had fresh tea (black and green) for the tourists to try. Another great stop was to the Pineapple plantation, where local Azorean pineapple is harvested, and has been for over one hundred years. My family and I got a close look at the pineapples in the greenhouses and were surprised to find they were not as large as typical pineapples! While we did a lot of adventuring, there are also lots of things to discover just in the little town we are staying in

Lagoa do Fogo, Sao MiguelPersonal Photo

Just behind our hotel is a beautiful garden; the surrounding landscape of the main attraction… the thermal pool. This is just one of the many thermal pools on the island, and just as it sounds, it is a pool heated solely by the earth. I couldn't believe how soft my skin felt after sitting in the pool for just ten minutes! Though the water was brown in color, it did not stop me from enjoying the experience! Just today, we ventured to Ponta Delgada in Sao Miguel to see the blue and green lakes. This was by far the best spot for pictures! It was incredible to see endless fields of green up against the bright blue water, and to take in the natural sights you don't typically see in Chicago! It was quite refreshing.

Pineapple PlantationPersonal Photo

This vacation is perfect for those who like to be on the go. While it could easily be made into a relaxing, spa-like vacation, I think not exploring the island would be a shame. Most people here seem to know English, though Portuguese is the main language spoken, so don't shy away in fear of a language barrier.

Thermal Pool, Furnas Sao MiguelPersonal Photo

Ponta Delgada, Sao MiguelPersonal Photo

There are so many unique things to see on these islands, though they are often overshadowed by mainland Europe's extravagance and stately looking buildings… but don't let that fool you into thinking the Azores isn't worth the trip! So next time you are vacation shopping for flights, try not to overlook the road less traveled and invest in a trip to the Azores. You will not regret the breathtaking views, or the authentic seafood meals you indulge in, so what are you waiting for!

Cover Image Credit:

Personal Photo

Popular Right Now

I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
169854
views

After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

1931
views

First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

Related Content

Facebook Comments