São Miguel Island: Vila Franca do Campo
Hello my dear blog readers. Here we are in the Azores.
The Azores is a chain of nine islands spread over more than 60 0km of ocean, half way between Lisbon and New York. They are regarded as the westernmost point of Europe. They are located 1,500 km from Lizbon and about 3,900 km from the east coast of North America.
One of the reasons why we are here is this wonderful friend of mine, Alda. She was born on the Sao Miguel Island.
We began exploring this amazing island in Vila Franca do Campo, founded in 1472. Vila Franca was the capital of the island until it was destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1522 and the capital was moved to Ponta Delgada. Today it is a charming town worth a short visit:
A very quiet town, not too many tourists this time of the year.
The biggest attraction in Vila Franca do Campo is the chapel Nossa Senhora da Paz, dominating the landscape on the northern side of the town.
This simple chapel was elaborated into an important scenic attraction with the construction in 1967 of a staircase to represent Pais Nossos dos Mistérios Gozosos e Dolorosos (Our Father and Joyful/Sorrowful Mysteries) prayer, separated into ten flights to symbolize the Ave Maria prayer. (Wikipedia)
From there you have an amazing panorama of Vila Franca and of the Atlantic Ocean:
And now, local oranges in a supermarket: