Over a month ago Db and I went to Faial with my family, and oh man, it was SO COOL. I had no idea my Dad was from somewhere so beautiful. I've heard stories my whole life and always imagined it to be pretty rad, but holy shit! I got to see where my family lived and where all the classic stories took place. This house is actually the house my dad and the whole family lived in until they came to the USA. That front window was a bedroom view of the open ocean. I got to see the stone oven my Vavó used to cook bread in, the whole house was magical.
While we were there we got to hang out with super nice people always, eat such good cheese, bread and fish, see dolphins, black beaches, volcanoes and tropical plants. I would totally like to go back someday. The island maybe takes an hour to ride around the whole thing, and the villages are all really small and cool. They have names that translate to things like "Deep Ravine", "North Beach" and "Little North". Db, my brother and I were all kinda of surprised by how much we liked it. Totally worth the wait in making it happen!
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^^^ The Fajã. This is a really cool black sand beach. All the rocks on the entire island are volcanic, which makes sense because it's part of a volcanic island chain in the middle of the Atlantic. They are so rough and really look new. It's funny how you can tell that time hasn't really bothered them much yet. I got to see some fishing spots along the rocks that my uncles used to fish at too which was really cool.
^^^ All the rocks along the water look like Mordor. So rough and much blacker than this picture makes them seem. However, the water really is that insane and blue, this picture isn't edited. Just 20 feet to the left of this pic is a fairly natural swimming hole. Fairly natural and not "all the way natural" because they built a little wall with a drain and grates in it so the water can come in but you can't get washed out to sea. It was epic.
^^^ Db, my brother and I on the very edge of an old volcanic caldeira/caldera. As we were driving up the side of it we were going more and more into the clouds and by the time we got there it was just a chilly socked in fog experience. We all ended up having a picnic at the top, getting a little drizzled on and hoping it would clear but it didn't. We thought it was so funny we were on the precipice of something we imagined to be so beautiful and weird but weren't able to see it, so we took a selfie with the caldeira behind us anyways. Behold! Caldeira!
^^^ All was not lost though, we went up to caldeira the next day and it was clear and we got to take actual pictures with it. No actual selfie though haha. We threw rocks too, always very important when standing on the top of something tall.
^^^ This alien landscape was on the top of the caldeira edge at a much younger volcano than the one in the last picture. Such weird cool plants, they really were this odd neon color.
^^^ This is a view of Pico from Horta, Faial. The port of Horta is actually pretty famous, it's covered in murals and tags from people who stop in. There are murals from all over the world, it's an interesting place. The week we were there was Semana du Mar which is a festival at the port, basically a big party for no reason other than liking the ocean.
^^^ Horta from above
^^^ Semana du Mar in full swing!
^^^ And last but not least, while my dad was giving us a tour of the old fields we peeked our head in a little shed for equipment and grain and I spotted the ultimate evidence a Portuguese person has been nearby… sardine tins!
All in all the place was really cool and not at all what I was expecting. So many little lizards and crazy sounding birds, micro-climates and cows grazing. It ruled, I hope we get to go back someday!